Nobody wants to find mice living in their home. Mice can cause all kinds of issues from property damage to health issues for you and your family. Mice can spread some very nasty diseases, including Listeria and Salmonella, through their bedding, droppings, and urine. Mice tend to build their nests near food sources (often your food sources!) and to mark their territory with urine. This means that your family could be at risk of food poisoning if you have mice in the house and getting at your food. As they’re running around the house, they can carry all kinds of bacteria with them, spreading it to any surface that they touch.
Mice can also cause a lot of damage to your property, thanks to their need to gnaw things. Mice gnaw to keep their teeth at an even length, and they can chew through almost anything. Water and gas pipes, electric cables, woodwork, and other property can all be damaged by chewing from mice. Electrical fires and floods can even be caused, thanks to their chewing.
Now is the perfect time to think about protecting your home from mice and preventing them from coming in. As the temperature begins to drop here as we approach Winter here in Australia, mice will head indoors for food and shelter from the elements. Your cosy home is very appealing to them!
How can you tell if you have mice in your home?
There are a few signs to look out for that can let you know if you have mice living in the house. You can have a lot of mice for quite a while without actually seeing or hearing the mice themselves, so it’s important to be vigilant for other signs of rodent activity.
Rodent droppings are one of the most obvious signs that there are mice moving in. Fresh droppings will be dark and moist, whereas older droppings will be dry and grey in appearance. You’re most likely to spot droppings around food sources, or around food storage areas. Keep an eye out for droppings under sinks and other similar hidden areas too. The highest number of droppings will be in places where the mice are nesting or feeding, so if you find a lot, the mice may be nearby.
Gnaw marks on food packaging or your belongings also suggest a rodent infestation. Larger gnaw marks could suggest rats rather than mice. If gnaw marks on furniture or woodwork is pale, it is fresh, suggesting there are mice present. Older marks will grow dark and fade with time, so could be from an older infestation.
The odour of mice around the home will excite pets like cats and dogs. If you notice your pet paying a lot of attention to an area they weren’t bothered about before, this could be a sign there are mice nearby. If you have a lot of mice, you might notice the smell yourself, from their urine.
You might also notice other signs like footprints, smudge marks, urine stains and droppings in rodent runways or tracks. These tracks are the routes the mice take when they are travelling around the house. If you aren’t sure if tracks you find are new, scatter a light layer of flour or baby powder over the runways before you go to bed. Go back to check for footprints or other signs of disturbance in the morning. Mice will also build nests with things like shredded paper, dried plants, or scrabs of fabric. Finding a nest is a clear sign of mice in the house.
How to get rid of mice
One: Eliminate Entry Points
The first thing to do when you suspect you have a problem with mice is to try and work out where they are getting into the house. Mice are able to get into the house through some very small gaps, so carefully check your outside walls for any cracks or gaps around doors, windows or pipework. A good test to see if a mouse could get through a gap is to see if a pencil will fit. If you can get a pencil into the gap, a mouse can use it to get in. Rats can also get in through much smaller gaps than you would think. Fill any gaps that you find, but be sure to use a material that mice can’t chew through. Avoid plastic, wood, and rubber, as mice can easily chew through these. Instead, fill gaps with caulk or steel wool, as mice can’t get their teeth into these.
Two: Set Mouse Traps
If you know where the mice are gathering, you could set out some mouse traps to try and catch them. There are lots of different options for mouse traps, including live traps if you would prefer to catch them live and release them elsewhere. You could also try baited traps or glue traps. Traps can often be ineffective, however, as mice are very smart creatures and will learn to avoid them, so combining traps with other methods is wise.
If you’re using food to lure mice into the traps, try to use what you know the mice have been eating from around your home. Peanut butter, chocolate, dried fruit, and bacon are all popular options that tend to work well. Ideally, pick something which is sticky, so the mouse can’t remove it from the trap in order to eat it. A food with a strong scent can work well too, as the mice will notice the smell and come to investigate.
Set the traps perpendicular to your walls, with the trigger section facing the baseboard. This will cause the mouse to run directly towards the bait as they run along the walls, instead of triggering the trap too early and not getting caught in it.
Three: Maintain Good Sanitation
Keeping the house clean won’t get rid of mice once they’re in unfortunately, but poor sanitation in the home can attract mice, so keeping up with cleaning is a good idea. Make sure to thoroughly wipe down any areas where you prepare or eat food, and vacuum thoroughly to get rid of food crumbs that could attract rodents looking for a meal. Always store food in properly sealed containers and never leave food out overnight. Keep your trash secure too, as leftovers and food packaging can be attractive to mice too.
Four: Clear The Outside
While you’re working on cleaning the inside of your house, don’t forget the outside too. Remove any piles of leaves or other debris from around the edges of your home, as mice may hide for these for shelter and then be tempted into the house from there. Cut back any weeds, and if you spot burrows, destroy them immediately. Line your home’s foundation with a strip of heavy gravel to discourage nesting. Cut back any shrubbery that are getting close to the house too, as these can also provide entry routes for rodents looking for a way in.
Five: Check The Garage
The garage is a very popular spot for mice to set up home. They can find shelter here, and there’s often more entry points than there are into the main house, as people are not as cautious about sealing up gaps. While you’re looking for entry points and tidying up, check the garage at the same time. Make sure you check your car as well, as the warm engine can encourage mice to get inside to build a nest, where they will start chewing through wires and causing a lot of expensive damage.
Six: Call In The Professionals
If there are a lot of mice living in your home or you’re struggling to get rid of them, you may not be able to tackle your mouse problem by yourself. If this is the case, call in a professional for help. A professional pest control company will be able to find out the extent of the rodent infestation, where they’re getting in and how to get rid of mice in a safe and effective way. Bringing in professionals also saves you from dealing with the unpleasant side of handling a mouse problem. Many people find the setting and dealing with traps upsetting, but using a company means you don’t have to do any of this.
If you have a problem with mice in your home, then don’t hesitate to call in professional help. At 000 Pest Control, we are experts in mice control and extermination. We can quickly and safely deal with your mouse problem. We service both residential and commercial properties and can offer 24/7 support. All of our technicians are fully licensed, insured and have been police checked, so you know you can trust them to deliver quality service at an affordable price. All our treatments are safe and the lowest toxicity treatments, so you, your family, and your pets will be safe. Just in case you’re not satisfied, all our work is 100% guaranteed. We will end your mouse problem. Contact us now for a free quote.