Finding a mouse in your home can be worrying since there may be more hiding nearby. Mice can get into your food and belongings and spread disease, so try to get them out of your home as soon as possible. Set traps or place bait to get rid of them fast, and then clean and seal any areas where mice may enter. Once you take preventative measures, you can say goodbye to mice for good!
[Edit]Looking for Signs of Mice
Look for droppings. Check for mouse droppings near common problem areas, such as kitchen cabinets or in your pantry. Inspect the area for dark droppings that look like grains of rice and are about long. Droppings that are wet and black are fresh while older ones are dry and have a lighter gray color.
The presence of droppings can also indicate that there’s a crack or hole in the room through which mice can enter.
Listen for scratching or squeaking near sunrise and sunset. Mice are the most active 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise since they’re nocturnal. Listen for light scratching or scampering sounds near your walls or in areas where you suspect mice. If you hear multiple squeaks or noises, you may have more than 1 mouse in your home.
Common areas where you may hear mice include basements, attics, and kitchens.
Look for dime-sized holes in your walls near the floor. If mice are living in your walls, they may have chewed through the drywall to get into your home. Inspect corners in your home or underneath cabinets to see if you there small holes with smooth edges. If you notice any holes, then mice can easily get in and out of your home.
Don’t forget to inspect outside your home as well since mice may be coming in from the wild.
Watch along interior walls or ledges for mouse pathways. Mice usually follow the same pathways while they run through your home, so you may be able to see common problem areas. Usually, the runs are along interior walls or on ledges surrounding your home. Look for oily rub marks on the wall to see if mice have been in the area.
You may also notice droppings or urine stains along the pathways as well.
Look for any small, sudden movements you notice in your home since they could be mice.
Look for signs of a nest in attics or basements. Mice will build nests when they breed so they have a comfortable space for their young. Check for round nests made of cardboard, fabric, and other scrap materials in your attic, basement, and underneath your cabinets. If you find a nest, contact a professional exterminator immediately so they can get rid of it properly.
Mice chew through cardboard boxes and items of clothing to use as materials for their nests. Look for tiny holes in the pile of clothes you’ve left sitting in the back of your closet.
A musty smell might also indicate the presence of a mouse nest.[Edit]Catching Mice
Get live traps if you want to catch mice humanely. Put the traps along any mouse pathways you found in your home or near problem areas along the wall. Place a bit of peanut butter or cheese inside the trap so mice are drawn to the scent. Each live trap is different, but you’ll be able to visually see if the trap is set or if it’s empty just by looking at it. Once a mouse has been caught, take the trap to a field about away so it doesn’t return to your home.
Wear gloves when baiting or handling traps so the mice can’t detect your scent.
Some live traps only catch 1 mouse while others can catch multiple. Choose the type of trap that works best for you.
Experiment with different types of bait, like marshmallows and jelly, to see if the mice like a different flavor.
Use snap traps to kill the mice immediately. Set the snap trap in an area along the wall or on a pathway you’ve found earlier. Place a bit of bait, such as peanut butter or jam, on the bait pad. Pull the U-shaped wire piece back and hold it down with one hand. Use your other hand to set the metal bar onto the latch with the bait. When the mouse steps on the trap to eat the bait, the wire will snap down on the mouse and kill it.
Make sure to throw out snap traps as soon as mice are caught, and sanitize the area afterward.
Be careful while setting the trap since the U-shaped piece is spring-loaded and will close quickly.
Don’t keep snap traps in areas where pets or small children could reach them since they could get hurt.
Move your traps every 2-3 days. Check your traps twice a day to see if you’ve captured any mice. If you haven’t caught any mice in the traps within a few days, move them to a different area of your home where you suspect mice have been. Since mice often use the same paths, they’re more likely to return to the area.
Mice travel from their nest every night. If you’ve found a nest in your home, keep the traps close by.
Use a baited poison as a last resort. Look for poisonous bait traps in the pest control section of your local store. Place the traps in areas where you notice activity, such as behind a cabinet or in your basement. When a mouse eats the bait, they will slowly die as the poison digests.
Some poison bait traps also capture the mice so they can’t run away after they eat it.
Keep poison traps away from pets or small children since they could get extremely sick if they eat it.
Don’t keep the poison near any food items since they could cross-contaminate one another.[Edit]Keeping Mice out of Your Home
Clean your house frequently. After you eat or prepare a meal, be sure to do your dishes immediately and clean up after yourself. Don’t leave any food scraps out overnight since mice may try to find food on your countertops. Go through your house daily to sweep or vacuum any dirty areas to help deter mice from coming in.
Cleaning your house won’t stop mice entirely, but it eliminates any food sources they may have had.
Declutter your home since mice are usually attracted to dark, unused spaces.
Keep any loose food in airtight containers. Make sure all grains, nuts, and other dry goods are stored in tightly sealed containers. If the container isn’t sealable, use plastic wrap to cover it instead. This will help block the scent so mice can’t smell it as well and protects your food.
Transfer open food from boxes or bags into a different container so mice can’t smell them.
Don’t leave bread or fruit sitting out on the counter for more than a day or two. Either put them in a container or in your refrigerator.
Clean your pantry and cabinets often. Make sure crumbs, dried juice, and other stray bits of food don’t sit on your kitchen floor. Remain vigilant and observe any signs of pantry raiding by the pesky critter, then provision to eliminate the opportunity for the mouse family to dine.
Seal any entryways into your home so mice can’t get in. Look for holes inside and outside your home where mice may enter from. Cover any cracks or holes you find in your walls with mesh so mice can’t get through it. Make sure entrances from your chimney or pipes leading outside are also covered with the mesh. You can also stuff any holes you find with steel wool since mice can’t chew through it.
Make sure the gap under your door isn’t providing a convenient entrance for mice.
Spray entrances and problem areas with peppermint oil to deter the mice. Mix of peppermint oil and of water in a spray bottle. Spray along the pathways and areas where you’ve noticed mice actively going. The strong scent of the peppermint will deter the mice away from the area. Reapply the spray every few days so it stays fresh.
You can also leave cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil along common mouse pathways for 1 week at a time.
Bring a cat in your home to scare the mice away. Cats are natural predators of mice, and just having one in your home can scare mice away. Let your house cat spend time in the room where mice are present so it can spread its scent. Mice will be able to sense a predator and avoid the area from now on.
You can borrow a friend’s cat for a few days to help scare the mice away.
Mice may still hide in areas where the cat can’t reach, such as an attic.[Edit]Warnings
Don’t place mousetraps or poison anywhere where children or pets could easily access it.
Always wear gloves while handling a trap to prevent the spread of bacteria.
If you’ve tried preventative measures and you still have mice in your home, contact an exterminator to get them professionally removed.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
Mouse bait[Edit]Keeping Mice out of Your Home
Sealable plastic containers
Spray bottle[Edit]Related wikiHows
Get a Mouse Out of the House
Get Rats and Mice out of Compost
Get Rid of House and Garden Pests[Edit]References
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