Once you discover that you have mice in your home, you will want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Not only can they spread disease and contaminate food, but they can also exacerbate allergies and asthma and create a fire hazard by chewing through electrical wires. Get rid of mice in 3 simple steps: Prevent, Trap, and Bait.
As soon as you realize you have a mouse problem, it is imperative to figure out how the mice are getting into your house and seal up any problem areas. If you do nothing to stop them from entering, you will never be able to get on top of the situation. Walk around the exterior of your home looking for cracks, gaps, and holes. Seal them with steel wool and expandable spray foam or silicone caulk. Especially check areas where utility pipes and wires enter the home. Next, ensure that all windows and doors close tight. Add screens, weatherstripping, or door sweeps so that there are no gaps. You should also cover chimneys, vents, or weep holes with hardware cloth or flexible wire mesh.
After your home is sealed the best you can, you must get rid of things that will attract more mice to your home, namely: food, water or shelter. Keeping your home clean and free of crumbs may not completely prevent mice from entering, but it will help. It is important to store your food properly, either in the refrigerator or in metal, glass, or thick plastic containers. You should also fix any leaky pipes or faucets that may be adding excess moisture to your home. Lastly get rid of harborages where mice like to live. This can include things like overgrown bushes or tall grass on the outside of your home or clutter and cardboard boxes inside your home.
Mouse trapping techniques have changed very little over the last hundred years, but that is because they are simple and get the job done. Use a basic snap trap or consider a Harris plastic reusable mouse trap. To effectively trap mice, you need to get three things right: the right amount of traps, the right bait, and the right placement.
Number of traps: Many people set one or two traps, hoping that this will do the trick. While they might get lucky, setting many traps will be more effective. Set traps at various intervals every 2-10 feet in areas where you have seen signs of mice. Mice are curious creatures, so more traps will increase your likelihood of catching as many as possible.
Bait: How you bait your trap is key to your success. You do not want a large amount of bait. Instead, stick to a pea-sized amount. While cheese is often pictured in comics and cartoons, mice actually prefer sweets, fruits, and nuts. Try baiting with peanut butter, chocolate, hazelnut spread, oatmeal, or fruit.
Placement: Traps should be placed in areas that show signs of mouse activity consisting of droppings, rub marks, footprints, chew marks, etc. Set the traps perpendicular to the wall with the trigger end closest to the baseboard. Mice tend to run along walls to get to and from their food source, so this placement will ensure that they come across the bait from either direction. Check the traps often and re-bait and move them if no activity occurs after a few days.
The last common way to get rid of mice is using poisoned bait. If you choose to use bait, we recommend using a bait station. Harris Mouse Killer and Bait Station is a great option. Even though the bait is contained inside a tamper-resistant box, you still want to place it in out of the way areas where kids and pets cannot play with it. The mice will be attracted to the bait, eat it, and then die. Supply fresh bait to the station for at least 15 days until rodent activity has ceased. If you need to clean up dead rodents, make sure that you use appropriate safety precautions, especially gloves.
Harris pest control products can help take care of whatever pest is bothering you. For more information on mouse control, check out Rodents: The Ultimate Guide.