As we head into winter, mice tend to start looking for warm and safe places to nest and your home is often the ideal place! You may have seen a mouse scurry by as you enter your home through the garage, or perhaps spotted a tell-tale sign of mice droppings in your kitchen or perhaps in the basement. Your natural first thought is to rid these unwanted visitors yourself, and you may have checked out a helpful article or two on how to get rid of these pests. But … the mice are still scurrying about and you’re frustrated! Here are a few things to think about before calling in a professional:
- Have you inspected your entire house to identify where they have their hideouts? Mice love nooks and crannies where they can safely make their nests. Use a high-powered flashlight to inspect any cubby holes, crawl spaces or attic space in your home for evidence of mice. Telltale signs of mice infestations are droppings, grease marks along the walls where they run, food caches and gnawed items and enlarged holes. These are the areas to focus your treatments.
- Are you using enough traps and bait, and are they placed correctly? It’s always a good idea to use more traps than you think is necessary, so that you’re attracting the mice where they’re at. Your traps also need to be placed along walls where mice tend to travel.
Of course, the best treatment for mice is prevention.
- Have you inspected the outside of your home for potential rodent entryways? It’s best to focus on garages and sheds that may be attached or close to the home. Also, check any air conditioning lines, utility lines that enter the house, as well as hatchways and entry step areas. As a rule, mice can get through openings the size of a dime. Any cracks, gaps and larger openings should be sealed with an appropriate material.
- Do you have a low deck attached to your house? These structures often provide mice with protection from natural predators or even your cat! Also, openings to your home may exist under your deck in places hard to inspect or get to. If you can’t get under your deck, give the sill area inside a good look and seal any openings.
- Do you have woodpiles or too much vegetation or clutter close to your home? These areas provide mice with hideouts and protection where they can nest and multiply. It’s best to keep vegetation short and woodpiles stored away from your home.
- Do you treat the outside of your home as well as the inside? Don’t wait until mice are already in your home. Setting up targeted traps around the perimeter of your home can be your best defense from those unwanted pests.
- Do you store birdseed or any pet food in bags or outside? Once mice know there is a food source, their sharp teeth can easily gnaw through bags and light containers. If you love feeding birds and outside animals, transfer bird seed and food into strong plastic or metal containers, and always keep them well sealed, especially if you store them in the garage or near the outside perimeter of your home.
There is much more to rid a home of unwanted mice than simply putting out a trap or two. If you’re not getting the results you want, it may be time to call a professional who can help identify these pests’ points of entry and determine the best, most effective way to keep them from infesting your home – for good! At Graduate Pest Solutions, we’re here to help you keep mice out of your home! Fill out this form to get started!