Sharing your home with a nest of mice means putting up with chewed personal items, dirty footprints across your kitchen counters, and the risk of catching a disease carried by the mice. Their populations can grow quickly, so you need to address the rodent problem with the first sign of mouse activity. Here is how to get rid of these pests before they become a health problem.
Understanding the Scope of a Mouse Problem
A female mouse can give birth every three weeks. Each litter can yield up to six pups. This means that a single female can add up to three dozen mice to the colony every year. Multiply that by the number of females in the colony and you can see how an initial mouse problem can become overwhelming in just a few weeks.
If you begin your assault on a mouse colony at the first signs of mice, you can get rid of them before a large colony becomes established. If you delay, you'll need the help of a rodent control specialist to take care of the problem.
Trapping Mice in the Home
You can deal with your mouse problem with inexpensive spring traps. The traditional mousetrap is still effective when you know how to use them. Here are some tips to using these traps to get rid of your mouse problem.
- Look for signs of the paths that the mice typically take through your house. Urine stains, dirty paw prints and mouse droppings that look like small brown grains of rice indicate a mouse presence.
- Set the mousetraps along these favorite routes. Place several traps along the path, a few inches apart.
- Place a few traps off to the side of the path to catch those mice that try to avoid the traps directly in their way.
- Soft cheese and peanut butter are effective bait in these traps.
- Use gloves when setting a trap so you don't place your scent on the trap.
- Remove any dead mice quickly as the other mice will avoid that area as long as the body is present.
- Use gloves whenever handling a dead mouse. They can pass on parasites to you.
- Continue setting out traps for a couple of weeks after you no longer see any signs of mice. The colony may be slowly re-establishing itself so there may be a short break in the activity.
When the Problem Becomes Too large
If you are still catching mice in your traps after a couple of weeks, then the colony has likely grown faster than your ability to keep up with them. You'll need a pest control service to take over. They will find the nesting areas of the mice and remove entire colonies. They will also place traps in the likely areas for a few weeks after a nest has been removed to catch individuals that may come back to rebuild the nest.
For more information, contact a company like Sentinel Pest Control.