You may think they’re cute, or you make call them vermin, either way, mice are usually unwelcome guests in your property and getting rid of them can be a tricky task.
Here at AMES, we pride ourselves on our pest control expertise and we have guaranteed ways to ensure that mice are eradicated from your home as safely and humanely as possible.
First, it is important to understand the nature of mice and what areas they’re usually found in.
What are Mice?
An elementary question, but one that many people don’t ask themselves enough when they’re sourcing ways to get rid of them.
House mice are covered in short hair that is light brown or grey to black in colour. Fully-grown mice weigh around 12-30 grams depending on their diet and can grow up to 20cm long (nose to tail).
What Are Mice Like? Diets & Habits
House mice usually make their homes in fields, grassland and wooded areas. They’re experts at building nests in areas that are dark and protected from the harsh weather, they’re also adept scavengers and can squeeze into the tightest of spaces.
Mice are also naturally inquisitive, they spend most of their day roaming their territory and identifying any threats, food sources and mates. Their diet usually consists of nuts and seeds, though if you leave food out overnight, this will also attract them! They aren’t the fussiest, especially when outside temperatures begin to drop.
Mice don’t hibernate, and so begin the many reasons why you may find them in your house! Especially during the colder months, mice will look for somewhere warm to live. They’re specifically attracted to the smell of food and will squeeze and squirm their way through pipes, drain ways, gaps beneath doors and any other accessible area in order to reach food and warmth.
How Quickly do Mice Reproduce?
Mice are infamously known for being able to reproduce very quickly. One female mouse has the ability to produce up to eight litters per year, averaging six per litter. After the female’s 21-day pregnancy, her babies are born hairless, blind and entirely dependent on their mother for everything. After 21 days pass, they are slowly weaned off their mother’s food and warmth supply and begin to take short trips away from their nest to explore their surroundings. The scary fact is that mice reach sexual maturity at roughly 35 days old and start the mating process when they are six weeks old.
Now that you’re up to date on the life of the common house mouse, it’s time to start dealing with their infiltration tactics!
The First Signs of a House Mouse Infestation
Usually mice are more prone to roam around in the evening, under the cover of darkness. However, it is not unheard of to spot a mouse scurrying around in the middle of the day either. Most of the time the mouse isn’t necessarily running from or too anything, they are simply scouting their surroundings.
You don’t need to be eagle-eyed to spot these little paw prints. Common places you may find them are areas you may not necessarily visit too often, areas may include window sills, for example, or even coffee tables that haven’t been cleaned!
House mice are renowned for their ability to chew through almost anything, from computer cables to carpets. Key things to look out for are accumulations of fresh debris, be it shavings, torn up carpets and in rare cases, holes in your clothing. Teeth and bite marks may also be found along the edges of desks, draws or anywhere the mouse frequently travels by.
During the evening hours, you may hear the scuttle or rustle of a mouse in the background. They could be hiding everywhere, from the floorboards to your walls! The sound is slight, though instantly recognisable.
House mice are renowned for building nests in materials that provide a dark and protective environment. They’re fairly easy to spot, as the opening to their burrow is usually tunnel shaped!
But How Do I Get Rid of Them?
Mice are experts at infiltrating your home, so barricading your windows and doors won’t be enough unfortunately. All cracks, gaps, crevices and holes must be sealed. Cement or some sort of mixing compound will do the trick, but abstain from using wood, as mice can easily chew threw it.
Cleanliness is also something you must stay on top of. Be sure to dispose of any open rubbish inside your house, clean dishes immediately after use, ensure lids are firmly closed and no food is left out overnight (this is when they are most active!)
If your home has already been infested, then prevention is essentially useless. Your best solution is to seek professional consultation and advice on how to deal with the infestation. This may involve AMES coming to inspect the property and deciding on a suitable and humane course of action.
Ways to Dispose of Mice
Mouse Repellent Sprays
There is a plethora of ways to rid your life of mice and mouse sprays may have never entered your mind. That’s because they are not as efficient as others. Don’t get me wrong, the spray does a good job at keeping mice away from certain areas, i.e. if you have an infestation that you’re working towards eradicating but want to keep them away from the fridge (as an example), then the spray is a good fallback.
Though, rather than depending on sprays, the best way to prevent infestations is to follow the aforementioned tips on ensuring your house isn’t easy to infiltrate.
Electronic Mouse Repellent
Similar to using high-frequency bird sounds to drive them away from airports, the EMR follows the same principle.
Such devices have been touted as repellents for everything from insects to rodents. There are multiple examples of these devices, all essentially serving the same purpose. Whilst there is no direct evidence that these devices deter or repel insects, mice and rats communicate in high frequencies and these sounds have been known to disrupt their communications and force them away from the source of the sound.
The theory behind these devices follows the fact that rodents find the sound very distressing, though the frequency is out of range to humans.
Whilst these devices are known to repel rodents, it does not guarantee to fully eradicate them.
The Classic Mouse Trap
How does it work?
Spring loaded bar traps are probably the most common form of mousetrap you can find on the market. These are the traps that you’d place in areas where you believe the mouse/rat would access usually bait would also be provided.
This is one of the more aggressive ways of mouse eradication. This is not a humane way to dispose of mice and will certainly not stop infestation.
Glue traps follow a similar style to that of bar traps, in that they are placed in the same locations but instead of instantly killing the rodent, they are immobilized by adhesive. The rodents eventually die from hypothermia.
The most humane traps are live-catch traps, as they are designed to catch and release the rodents back into the wild.
Five of The Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice
If you do want to follow this route, you’ll need to know the best ways of utilising these devices.
How Many Mouse Traps Do I Need?
Usually, you’ll need to buy more than you think you need. Not only do you want to spread out the traps, but many mice have become experts at working their way around these traps, so the more the better.
Your aim is to rid your house of these mice as quickly as possible, so maximising the volume of traps gives you a better chance of reaching your goal. Six traps should do the trick, though feel free to place as many as you can (try not to step on them!)
What Type of Mouse Trap is Best?
The Victor Electronic Mouse Trap
This is a reliable and incredibly popular customer choice as they are quick, clean and highly effective. They are easy to arrange, and it has the added bonus of you never having to touch the dead mouse – not only that, but the shock is quick and humane. You don’t even need to worry about stolen bait with this trap.
2. The Snap-E Mouse Trap
The name itself hints at its effectiveness. Based on customer reviews, this snap trap is the highest rated trap currently on the market. They are very easy to set up, easy to bait and even easier to release and reuse. They are made from a combination of plastic and steel, their longevity is decent and they come in a reasonably priced 6 pack on most major retail sites including Amazon.
3. The Havahart Live Catch Mouse Trap
If you’re looking for a more human trap, I’ve also included the Havahart Live Catch Mouse Trap. This trap gets my approval as it has a cage design that allows air to circulate while your mouse is waiting to be released. There are a good selection of alternative humane mouse traps on offer if this is the avenue you want to go down.
Where Should I Place the Mouse Traps?
Placing your mouse traps is essential in order to capture your cretinous rival(s). Placing them in random locations will not be as efficient as placing them tactically around their travel paths.
In order to find out the best places to place these traps, you have to already have an idea of whereabouts the mouse is nesting. Placing the trap in the middle of the room where its nesting is not only unsafe but it’s very unlikely the mouse will venture that far out into an open space, especially during the day. Place the trap along walls and near their home base. Another good place is behind furniture or any areas that look dark and warm, mice like these areas as they feel safer.
If there is no luck within the first few days, don’t be afraid to switch it up a bit. Start placing the traps around different parts of your home in order to source where the mouse has been nesting.
What Bait Should I Use?
A common misconception is that mice love cheese. Mice certainly don’t hate cheese, but they prefer sweeter treats like raisins or bits of fruit. Peanut butter is also a very good choice as the scent is strong.
How Often Should I Check My Mouse Traps?
As much as you want to rid these mice from your life, checking every half an hour will only slow the process. Mice – like other rodents – are very skittish and will only surface from their nest if they feel safe. However, you should be sure to check the trap twice a day for health reasons, as the longer you leave a dead mouse, the quicker bacteria will take over.
If you’re using humane traps, i.e. live traps, this is even more important. The point of these traps is that you want to release the mouse back into the wild without harming it. Neglecting to check on the trap may result in the mouse suffocating and dying due to the lack of oxygen.
They should be checked more frequently than other traps because of this. If this isn’t possible due to your busy lifestyle or simply having other commitments, using a snap trap is actually more humane.
How Will I Know When I’ve Caught All of the Mice?
Be sure to keep on top of cleaning the mouse mess from your home first of all. Once you’ve caught the mouse, or mice and you realise you don’t have to clean up their mess anymore, your job is almost certainly done. Cleaning up the mess is a sure fire way to ensure that they haven’t come back.
Failing This, Call a Professional!
Here at AMES, we’ve been at the top of our pest control game for the past 27 years and know all too well how pesky these cretins can be. Sometimes you simply may not have the time to lay the traps or keep on top of removing the captured mice.
This is where we can help. For all your pest control queries, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team, even if it’s just for some advice! Our door is always open and we’re happy to help.