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Get Rid of Mice

Updated on April 28, 2011

Introduction to Getting Rid of Mice

Mice are one of the most troublesome pests homeowners can find themselves up against when defending their home. House mice, or field mice as they are often times called, can survive in a variety of conditions in and around your home. Often times mice can carry diseases which may be transmitted to both humans and pets. Their feces can infect your food supply and the contamination can result in the spread of salmonella. Mice have the tendency to gnaw on things, such as wires, which could cause damage to property in your home. For these reasons and others, people have been faced with the age old problem of how to get rid of mice.

Do I Have a Mouse Infestation?

If you're reading this hubpage, you probably do, but if you're not entirely sure, here are the tell-tale signs that you truly do have a mouse problem. If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you probably have a mouse problem to deal with, but don't fret because we'll walk you through getting rid of your mouse problem.

1. Have you seen one or more rodents crawling across the floor? This is probably a pretty good sign that you have a mouse problem. Seeing is believing, so this is usually a pretty good indicator.

2. Have you seen mouse droppings or feces in or around your home? This is one of the most common indicators that you have a mouse. Mouse feces are generally rod shaped with a length of approximately 1/8" to 1/4". If you see mouse feces, this is a pretty good indication that a mouse or several mice are active in that area.

3. Have you seen or recognized any damage from what appears to be gnawing?Mice will gnaw on things for a variety reason. One reason is to get at a food source. Check the corners of cardboard boxes as this is an ideal access point for mice to gain entry to food sources in a pantry. The other reason mice gnaw on things is to obtain insulation for their nest. Mice will shred paper and cardboad and take it back to a safe location for nesting purposes.

4. Have you heard what appears to be scratching sounds coming from within your walls? This means one of two things, you're hearing things and you need to seek a psychological help, or you have something crawling around in your walls... odds are that it's a mouse making itself at home.

5. Have you smelled anything that could be associated with rodents?  Mice tend to have a musty smell.  If a mouse died in your walls, you'd know it.  So if you're not smelling anything now, don't waste time using your nose to sniff them out. 

How to Get Rid of Mice

You've read about techniques on the internet about what acts as an effective mouse repellent, yet you still have a mouse infestation.  It's not that these mice repellents aren't working properly, they do work... sometimes a mouse is willing to take the risk if it has found a reliable food source - survival is more important.  If it's a matter of starving to death or getting attacked by a dominant male mouse (the sound an ultrasonic repellent emits), the mouse will take it's chances and go for the food.  When it's life and death, you'll take your chances which may be why the ultrasonic repellent failed to work.  So you have a mouse, what do you do?

The most common way to deal with a mouse problem is to set traps. There are a various styles of mouse traps, but I'll only discuss what I believe is the most effective method in understanding how to kill mice. You will probably be tempted to use poison to kill mice, but let me tell you - DON'T! Let me say that again, if the mouse is in your house, DO NOT USE POISON! The problem with poison is that you're giving up control of one very important part of getting rid of mice - where the mouse dies. There is a time delay for the poison to kick in which gives the mouse the opportunity to continue moving. After eating, it is very likely the mouse will return to its nest. There's a very good chance that the nest will be residing in your wall or some other area that is inaccessible. If the mouse dies in your wall, your choice is to live with the putrid smell for a couple weeks until the mouse dries out, or knock a hole in your wall to try to find the dead mouse. Neither option is very appealing to me...

It is for that reason that I recommend the tried and true method of mouse traps. There are a variety of traps available depending on your preference. The most common type of trap is the spring-loaded bar trap (the kind you see on TV all the time). There are tons of different models out there, but all traps aren't made equal. In this field, you get what you pay for, so don't buy the cheapest. Buy a trap that is sturdy, and you'll be able to use it as many times as is necessary to get the job done.

Once you've gotten yourself a trap you need to bait it and set it up. For bait, don't waste your time and use cheese... it doesn't work. You want to use something that is sweet smelling - chocolate works very well. I have yet to meet a mouse (or person) that doesn't like chocolate! You need to strategically place the traps where the mouse is likely to come across it. That's where identifying some of the signs of mice above becomes so important. If it was there once, and it found food there, it's very likely that it will come back for more and keep coming back.

This is why people often time will "prime" the trap. They'll place bait on the trap, but will not set it. The mouse will take the bait safely... as a reliable food source, the mouse will come back for more... that's when you set the trap! Let them think that the coast is clear, and the food source is safe, and then THWAP! You got 'em!

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