Mice are among the most common household pests. Their small size and rapid reproduction can make the problem difficult to control. Before you panic, there are ways to minimize or eliminate mice before they take over your home.
Contain The Problem
Before you can genuinely address mice in your home, you need to keep the problem contained. You should inspect every part of your home to ensure mice are not free to come and go as they please. Look at the outside of your home for any holes or cracks that can be used gain access to the indoors. Since mice are small and can squeeze through openings, even small cracks can be used as an entrance point. Larger holes should be patched with mesh before filling the area with plaster. Not only does the mesh provide additional support to larger holes, it is unlikely the mice will be able to chew through your patch.
Small cracks can usually be fixed with the appropriate caulking. Make sure you are using ones specifically made for the job, such as indoor vs. outdoor. Filling in small cracks can make it less likely mice will exploit the area by chewing on it to make it bigger. Furthermore, once water gets inside the crack and with changes in weather, the crack will usually expand in size. If there any pipes, such as exhaust pipes, that lead outside of your home, make sure they are covered with a screen. This allows water or air to be vented away from your home, but the screen has small enough holes to prevent a creature from climbing inside.
Use The Right Traps
Now that you have prevented mice from coming inside your home, you must eliminate the ones that are already inside. Finding the right mouse traps will provide a balance of effectiveness while being something you do not mind cleaning up. Unfortunately, conventional mouse traps are often undesirable because they can cause a mess and can be unpleasant to clean up. Additionally, they are not perfect. If the trap is deployed and does not come into contact with the mouse or only renders non-lethal force, you will need to keep reloading traps to catch the same mouse.
Enclosed mouse traps are beneficial because the mouse will likely remained trapped for disposal, even if it is not killed. The mechanism of action appealing to many people, since you do not see the mouse inside and it is not messy. You can pick up the used trap or if you do not want to touch it, use a broom and dust pan to sweep it up and toss it in the trash. Additionally, if you have small children or pets around, enclosed traps are less likely to cause harm to them. Curious fingers and paws can become injured in conventional mouse traps, and mouse bait can be poisonous.
A popular misconception is that adopting a cat can be used as a tactic to rid your home of mice. Unfortunately, adopting a cat purely as a method of pest control is unfair to the cat. Although cats are natural hunters, this is not expressed by all cats. A completely outdoor, feral cat is more likely to hunt and kill mice, purely because it frequently hunts for food. Your average cat that is accustomed to living indoors and is a pet, may or may not hunt and kill mice. Some indoor cats are avid hunters and will bring their owners dead animals whenever they can or eat their kill. However, there are plenty of indoor cats that would be frightened at the sight of a mouse inside your home or only want to play with the mouse and not kill it.
Making your home inaccessible to mice and eliminating the ones already inside is the ideal strategy for getting ahead of the problem. Dealing with a mouse problem in your home promptly can reduce the likelihood of a single mouse turning into an infestation that requires professional mice extermination.