The Mickey Mouse and Jerry in cartoons may look adorable, but real mice can be troublesome pests. In addition to destroying your home and appliances, mice carry serious illnesses, including hantavirus and salmonella.
So, however gracious of a host you are, you’d never want to share your home with the mice. The good news is that the mice infestation can be prevented through exclusion and sanitation and controlled when it occurs.
This post will discuss everything you need to know about mice infestation, including what mice look like, what attracts them to your home, and how to deal with them.
Feel free to jump ahead!
What’s a mouse, and what does it look like?
The house mouse is among the most common mammals in the world. And although they’re native to Central Asia, the mouse came to the U.S using the first European ships to arrive on the mainland.
Adult mice have small, slender bodies, weigh between 0.5-1 ounce, and have a lifespan of about 6-18 months. They have large and almost hairless ears, long tails, sparsely furred, and covered in scales.
Mice are agile and highly adaptable. They can jump to a height of 12 inches or higher and have good senses of touch and smell.
What do mice eat?
Mice are mainly omnivorous, although they prefer grains, nuts, seeds, and cereal. However, the mice will consume whatever is available to them, including farm produce, crops in the garden, and pet food.
They have sharp, long-lasting teeth to chew through rubber materials and plastic packaging, meaning the rodents can access even sealed containers. They’re notorious for chewing cables, wooden cabinets, and other valuable materials in the home.
What attracts mice to my home?
Essentially, mice have the exact needs of human beings: food, shelter, and comfort. And if these are readily available to them, they’ll take every opportunity to make themselves comfortable in your house or business.
Let’s go through the things that may attract mice to your home:
Mice will barely resist the lure of food, whether leftovers, freshly-cooked meals, or food debris. And although they are omnivores, they prefer a diet with fruits, seeds, grains – anything with high levels of carbs.
As the hot sun of the summer disappear and the winter sets in, mice will look for shelters inside our homes. They’ll squeeze themselves through small spaces (as small as ¼ inch) to get inside your house.
Mice make nests to give birth and bring up their offspring. They like soft materials like pet hair, cotton, shredded papers, and insulation, most of which can be found inside homes or business premises.
How do I know if I have a mice infestation?
Mice leave behind clues that are easy to notice. Some signs of rodent infestation include;
- Chew-or scratch marks; are easily noticeable on shelves, baseboards, or around food packaging.
- Food crumbs or debris; found on shelves or other unusual places like the middle of a room.
- Mouse droppings; resemble small oblong pellets. You can find them in used corridors, room corners, or under sinks.
- Nests; created from shredded paper, pet hair
Noises, such as scratching or squeaking in the walls at night.
- Odd pet behavior such as barking, scratching or pawing at or under appliances. \
How do I get rid of mice naturally and in a humane way?
If you’ve got a mouse problem in your house, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of them. There are lots of humane ways to do it.
Mice are attracted to food, so if you have an infestation, it’s probably because something in your home attracts them: crumbs on the floor, pet food left out overnight (they love cat food), or even dirty dishes in the sink.
Here are 5 ways to deter mice from entering your home and prevent them from breeding.
Seal potential entry points.
First, seal all entry points where mice can come into your house. This includes sealing holes in the walls and cracks or crevices around windows and doors.
Steel wool blocks small holes, while spray foam works well for larger holes or gaps. You may have to seal off several areas. The last thing you want is a bunch of mice running around while you’re trying to sleep at night!
Get rid of any food waste.
Get rid of any food sources that attract mice, such as pet food left out overnight, birdseed, or grain that has fallen off the shelf in your pantry or basement.
Keep all foodstuffs tightly sealed up in airtight containers, such as plastic bins with lids on them, so that there is no way for mice to get into them.
You should also clean up after yourself when you cook at home so that no crumbs or spills remain on the countertops or stovetop areas.
Set mouse bait traps.
Mice are crafty creatures, so catching them requires time and effort. Traps are effective because they give you a chance to kill the mouse without having to see it or touch it first.
There are many different traps available for purchase at pet stores and hardware stores. However, there are also homemade versions that you can make yourself using things you have lying around your house.
The types of mouse bait traps available on the market today include:
Glue boards come in various shapes and sizes; they’re usually thin pieces of cardboard covered with glue on one side, which allows them to stick firmly to whatever surface they’re placed on—such as walls or floors.
When a mouse steps onto or touches the glue board, it becomes stuck and can’t move off until someone comes along and frees it (or until it dies).
Glue boards are typically used for catching larger numbers of mice at once (such as those living in an attic) rather than individual ones.
Electronic Mouse Traps
Electronic mouse traps use electric shocks to kill mice within seconds after they step on the trap’s metal plates. This may be an excellent option if you need something quick and painless for your rodent issue.
A live trap is usually made from wire mesh with a door at the end where the mouse enters. Bait such as hazelnut spread or dog food is placed inside, which lures the mouse in to try to take it.
Once inside, it will not get out again, but it can be released without causing harm to either the animal or human. Live trapping is an excellent choice if you’re trying to catch rats humanely.
Snap traps are one option for getting rid of mice, but it entails killing the rodents. When a rat steps on these traps, they snap around its neck, killing it instantly.
These traps are effective, but they are not always humane, and their design can make them difficult to use for some people.
A snap trap necessitates simultaneously pressing two buttons while avoiding getting your fingers caught between them as they snap shut. If you have minors or pets in your home, this may not be an option for you.
You can set these bait stations near entry points around your house: under sinks or stoves; in dark corners; behind appliances like refrigerators, freezers, or washing machines; under desks and cabinets; behind water heaters; in cupboards; around plumbing pipes (especially outside).
Use repellents such as peppermint oil.
You can find natural repellents at your local pet store or online. These products usually contain peppermint oil or other essential oils, which rodents don’t like.
Put some drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls or homemade mousetrap and place them around areas where you know mice are living. The smell will keep them away from these areas.
Bait Them With Peanut Butter
Mice are attracted to peanut butter because it is high in protein and fat. You can make your own peanut butter bait by mixing peanut butter with flour.
This will give the mouse something to hold onto while it eats the peanut butter, making it easier for you to catch it once it has consumed the bait.
Place this mixture in areas with mice signs or where mice have been entering your home. Once an animal eats this mixture, it will become very lethargic, which allows you to catch them with traps or by hand easily.
What if all fails?
In some situations, you may want to hire pest control professionals to deal with a larger mouse infestation than a homeowner can handle.
Pest control companies often use traps and poison baits to eliminate rodents from an area. They also use chemicals that are applied directly to the source of the problem — inside walls or beneath floors — to kill pests on contact.
The bottom line:
There you have it; The best ways to deal with mice and how to keep them from coming back. If you’re ready for the challenge, try out some of these mice removal methods and see how they work for you!