Repel Mice

Mouse Control: How to Prepare Your Home

Written by John Wells

Contents

Don’t let these furry little creatures make you think that they’re harmless. Mice can cause damage to both your home and your health, especially when you can’t see them. No one likes having invaders in their home, especially ones that pose a big threat. Sure, they might seem cute on photos but they’re a real nuisance once they find shelter in your home and start stealing food.

Mice are small. So small, in fact, that they’re able to crawl through the tightest of spaces. You wouldn’t believe how smart and resourceful they can be! Mice are also present just about anywhere from North America to South Africa and Australia (as evidenced by the following picture, Wikipedia). They’re also the most common pest found in homes, mainly because they’re the only animal willing to go to great lengths for food and shelter. Their size and posture also let them be nigh invisible to homeowners.

These rodents can adapt quickly and efficiently to almost any situation and location. They’re flexible in terms of temperature preference, food preference, and various other things. All of these reasons contribute to the hatred of mice and the constant battle against them. They reproduce incredibly quickly and, once they increase their numbers, will start causing real damage wherever they go.

Most people choose to get rid of mice by hiring mice exterminators. You can find out more about making the right choice when it comes to exterminators here. Otherwise, this article will teach you about a couple of methods to get rid of mice, as well as prevent them from coming.

Mice Habitats Around the World

Why Do Mice Pose Such a Threat?

Mice can carry various dangerous and potentially fatal diseases. You don’t even have to touch a mouse to get sick. All it takes is being around them or eating food that was contaminated with mouse urine. In most cases, you wouldn’t even notice the urine. Another way of contracting diseases from mice is through their droppings. Mice usually leave droppings wherever they go, especially around areas of your home where they can find food. So, the mice might be tucked away in a shelter of their choice whilst you eat a sandwich which is contaminated. The black plague was so effective at wiping out the population because of all these factors – people didn’t even have to come close to a mouse and they’d get sick. As soon as you see a mouse, you can be sure that there’s more than one. This should prompt a swift reaction from you!

But diseases aren’t the only weapon (even if unknowing) in their arsenal. They’re used to chewing through everything and you might wake up one day to a nasty surprise; chewed wires, insulation, wood, anything really. You’re probably thinking that a mouse chewing on some wires isn’t that dangerous; after all, it could only be an inconvenience if your TV doesn’t work anymore. However, this isn’t the only issue with chewed-through wires. Mice are, in actuality, a pretty big fire hazard – or at least, they can create one by chewing through the wires. Wires that no longer have insulation on them can conduct electricity ‘away’ from the wires and, since electricity generates heat, it can cause a fire.

Lastly, mice can carry insects such as fleas, lice, and ticks. All of these pose a threat to humans and animals alike. You might not get fleas easily but your pets might, and we all know how tedious it can be to get rid of fleas from a dog. Getting rid of the fleas isn’t even the biggest problem here; fleas, as well as lice and ticks, carry many diseases which can harm your pet or you. If you already end up with a mice infestation, it’s best if you start work on getting rid of them quickly. Research and proper equipment are needed for a successful eradication of these infestations.

Prepping Your Home For a Mice Infestation

  • Seal the outside of your home – Even though you probably won’t be able to seal every single nook and cranny on the exterior of your house, you’ll make it very difficult for the mice to enter. Take one day off and focus entirely on the prospect of protecting your home and family from mice. Carefully examine the outside area and exterior of your house and seal up any possible entrance. Popular entrances into homes are pipes, vents, windows, and even doors. Always close the doors behind you because if you leave them open for a bit longer than necessary, they’ll run inside without you noticing. This happens more often than not!
  • Protect your food – Mice love an open invitation for a meal, if you aren’t careful with crumbs and the way you handle food, they’ll be more than happy to join in. Always seal any container with food so you make it difficult for them to open it and take your food. This isn’t their primary way of taking food; crumbs are much more enticing to them since you won’t even notice the crumbs you or your pet has left behind. The crumbs almost always end up under a bed, on the floor in the corners, etc. Clean behind you whenever you eat or eat very carefully.
  • Keep trash secured – You might know about images of raccoons getting into trash bins and eating whatever is there. Mice work the same way – if you leave your trash out in the open and not secured, they will get into your trash cans and make a huge mess. Don’t let your trash get out of hand as well; clean your trash bins as often as possible, both inside and outside of your house.
  • Traps – Traps are the bread and butter of exterminating mice. They’re the main tool that both exterminators and homeowners alike use. Without traps, you’d have a more difficult time getting rid of them. Traps are amazing and there are many variations of them available. Most people prefer traps since they’re flexible and easily adaptable to various situations. You can use most traps easily because setting them up is fairly simple. Another benefit of using traps (compared to poison and other methods) is that they can be used before an infestation happens to deter the mice from entering, or when an infestation is already in motion. This means that one trap is effective at both keeping the mice away and getting rid of them. We’ll go into the topic of traps soon!

Additionally, take a look at this picture, showing where mice most commonly enter homes:

Cats. – Yes, cats. Cats are great at keeping mice at bay, but you need to be careful – some cats are afraid of mice and won’t do anything about them. Also, cats aren’t invincible – it’s better if you use traps and other methods to get rid of mice, instead of cats. They can get exposed to diseases and insects such as ticks. The chances of this happening are much lower if the cat simply ‘defends’ your home from the mice.

Most Effective Mouse Traps

Some traps are more effective than others, but all of them have positive and negative sides. It’s down to the person exterminating to make a choice depending on the situation and all variables. The most common mouse trap is the snap trap. It’s a timeless classic that works well and is a great example of “if it works, don’t change it”. These also come in many variations but the most distinct difference between snap traps is the material they are made of. You can find the usual wood + metal ones, plastic ones, and even full metal ones. But we can’t say that they’re the most effective; after all, snap traps have their negative sides as well. Let’s take a closer look!

Type Glue Traps Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Catch & Release Traps Plastic Enclosed Snap Traps Plastic Snap Traps Electric Mouse Traps
Pros – Painless – Lasts long – Painless – Clean
-Safe for kids and pets
– Easy to use
– Reusable
– Quick kill
– Cheap
– High success rate
– Reusable; Lasts long
– No sight of dead mouse
Cons – Not always effective – Not very effective
– Doesn’t get rid of mice; keeps them away
– Quality vastly varies
– Mice can die in trap if not released in time
– Must release mice far away from home
– Not reusable
– Might get expensive if mice infestation is big
– Unhygienic – Slightly expensive (but are reusable and long-lasting)

Out of all these traps, you’re probably going to choose between the ones which are humane and the ones which are not. Most people make their choice with this criteria in mind as well. However, if seeing and handling a dead mouse doesn’t bother you; getting snap traps might be the best choice since they’re cheap, simple, and effective.

Word of caution: Ultrasonic Pest Repellers don’t usually work properly. There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding these devices and we can’t recommend them. They do work sometimes, but it’s pretty rare, and their success depends on the outside (and inside) conditions. They’re also useless if you already have a mice infestation since the mice won’t care about the sound waves if they have shelter, warmth, and food. Their effectiveness gets worse if the device’s sound waves can’t reach far (if it’s set-up behind beds, couches, or any obstacle for that matter).

Conclusion

In short, you should use a combination of mice repellers and mice traps to prevent them from ever reaching the inside of your house. But this doesn’t always work so you’ll have to think in advance and prepare an action plan in the event of an infestation. Remember: One mouse usually doesn’t mean there’s only one mouse. If you see a single mouse, you can be sure that there are plenty more (at least 6). If you don’t take precautionary measures and react as fast as you should, it might get way out of hand, and in that case, you’ll have to call the exterminators to deal with the issue. Exterminators are great at their jobs, but hiring them is expensive. You should call them only if the infestation is too big for you to handle alone. In all other cases, you’ll be able to handle the mice yourself.

About the author

John Wells

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