Pest Management - How to Get Rid of House Mice
Mice are very common. They live in woods, in fields, and in urban areas,
and a warm house is a tempting place to shelter and look for food! Scratching
and scrambling noises in the walls could indicate that you have a mouse problem...
but it could be some other type of pest too. Figuring out how
to get rid of house mice
first requires confirmation that it is actually
mice you're dealing with. What works to control and manage one type of pest
won't necessarily work for another.
Differences Between Mice and Rats
Mice are quite different from rats, in both appearance in in behavior.
- Mice are generally tiny little creatures, with small heads and feet.
- They prefer nesting in soft materials like cardboard or papers. Any cluttered areas in the home
are at risk for attracting mice, who can enter a house through a hole as small as an index fingertip!
- Mice are very curious. They like to explore new things.
- They will eat almost anything (but prefer cereals and grains if available).
- Mice are superb climbers and can jump very high for their size. They're also excellent swimmers.
- They are very fast... you might catch just a glimpse of them out of the corner of your eye before
they disappear (don't ignore this - if you think you have a mouse inside the home, it's time to deal
with them before they start breeding more).
- Mice are nocturnal. They are mostly active at night and in the early morning before the sun comes up.
- They can be found pretty much everywhere! Homes near fields and woods are at risk for being infested,
but so too are homes in urban areas.
Tips on Dealing with Mice
There are several ways to deal with mice:
- Through the use of traps. There are the
traditional mouse traps ('snap traps')
and glue traps, as well as humane live traps
too. It's important to get a trap specifically sized for a mouse, as one sized for a rat is too large.
- Mouse repellents and poisoned baits / rodenticides. These can be highly toxic and
are NOT at all humane. Great caution is needed when using these, particularly in households
that include children and pets.
- Through ultrasonic devices
that emit sound or vibrations that mice don't like. These ultrasonic devices
are more humane, but they might not be effective over the long term. Mice may
become accustomed to the sounds or vibrations, in which case another method will need to be
found to deter or repel them.
It's important to immediately deal with any mice in the house. Mice breed like
crazy, and if they're not dealt with in a timely manner, you'll end up with far
bigger problem! Once any mice currently in the home have been removed, then attention
should be turned to preventive pest control.
Anything you can do to rodent-proof your home
can only help to minimize the risk of a major issue. Knowing how to get rid of house
mice is useful... but knowing how to prevent the problem is equally as important -
and prevention is actually the most humane pest control method available.