Many feel tempted to delay taking action to eliminate a rodent problem, not realizing that “time is not on your side.” Mice populations can soar within only a few weeks and do extensive damage.
Here are five steps to ridding your home/business of mice:
1. Spotting/Detecting the Mice
Anywhere there is a source of food and a warm, sheltered nesting location, mice are liable to make themselves at home. Mice are quick, elusive nocturnal foragers, however, so you may not even spot one for some time. If you do, it will likely be at night.
Signs that mice (or rats) are living in your home, short of seeing one, include: squeaking, scratching noises, an unpleasant odor caused by mouse defecation, droppings and urine pillars, mouse tracks, damaged food products, and anxious pet behavior.
2. Contacting a Pest Control Company
Once you suspect a mouse is present on your property, waste no time in contacting a local pest control company that can render your building mouse-free within a matter of days.
You should be able to get a free estimate, a reasonable rate, and fast, effective service, so do some comparison shopping. Make sure the company has extensive training/experience in eradicating rodents, good references from past clients, and uses only safe, legal methods.
3. The Initial Inspection
The inspection will cover all rooms of the house where mice may routinely forage or where they may be entering the building. Once entry points, nesting sites, and “mouse paths” have been located, an effective strategy can be formed.
Mice can squeeze in through small cracks/holes as small as a quarter-inch wide, so all potential routes into the building must be sealed off. Inspectors will also look for grease marks where mouse hair rubbed against walls, fresh tracks, and for mouse nests, often hidden in wall cavities.
4. Treatment Methods
Various techniques will be used by your pest control company, including poisoned baits, snap traps, glue traps, live traps, physical repellents, and electronic repellents.
Traps should be set along mouse paths, but also in hidden/hard-to-reach areas since traps out in the open will both catch fewer mice and be a danger to children/pets.
5. Results and Future Prevention
Your pest control company should do a follow-up inspection, but if there are no new droppings, tracks, scratching sounds, or sightings within a few days, all mice are likely eliminated.
To keep it that way, keep up high sanitation, seal foods in tight-lidded containers, and seal trash cans as well. With entry points blocked and no food readily available, mice are not likely to get in.