Trust These Super-Simple Home Remedies To Keep Your Premises Completely Mice Free
Are you annoyed to wake up in your bedroom each night to the sounds of squeaking and scurrying? Do you enter the kitchen to make breakfast in the morning and find that there are holes in your cereal box? If you happen to be facing such issues, you could be experiencing a mouse infestation.
Mice are easily recognized by their tiny, furry body, rounded ears, and long tail. While some mice are kept as pets, some like to enter people’s homes to search for food and shelter, unaware that they are actually being pests to those living inside.
Such mice carry a range of diseases that are fatal. If an infestation is ignored or left unaddressed, you and your family could be facing major health issues and property damage in the long run.
There are ways to keep mice away from your home using inexpensive home remedies. You can spot mice infestation in the house by keeping a watch for certain signs. It also helps to know the types of mice that you might come across and their habits, the damage they can cause, the kinds of mice traps available to you. You’d also want to understand when it’s ok to try to catch mice on your own, and when you absolutely need to call the exterminator.
How Does a Mouse Infestation Begin?
Mice can come through any crack or hole in your house that has not been sealed up. They are always on the lookout for a place that can meet their basic needs of food, warmth, and shelter. The best place to meet these needs is – you guessed it – a house.
Some of the common places that you can expect mice to come through are gaps in the basement, unplugged holes near pipes, structural defects such as damaged flooring, air vents, and drain pipes. Rats can come in through the roofs due to their agility and can find lots of ways indoors via roofs. That’s why you sometimes hear mice in the attic scratching around, even though you’re not sure about how they got there in the first place.
They will feed off of any crumbs, spillage, or leaking water to survive. To build their nests, they just need the basic dust and debris that you vacuum regularly to keep your house clean. All these are an open invitation to mice who are looking for a great place to stay.
So to recap, if you have any unsealed cracks or holes in your house or do not regularly clean your house to get rid of crumbs, spilled food or drinks, leaks, and basic dust and debris, you can expect a mouse infestation to begin quite soon. Be sure to double-check your car, garage, apartment, and yard as well; these make for prime nesting grounds for rats and mice as well.
The Telltale Signs of Mice Infestations
When you spot any of these, you know there could be mice around!
Rodent droppings can reveal a lot of information, such as the type of mice or rats in the house, areas where they are active, and the size of the infestation. The different feces sizes can tell if adults and/or young ones are present. As for where to set your traps, just keep an eye out for the location of the droppings.
Mice can use almost anything to build their nests. Any pliable materials that you leave around such as paper or string, even hair, and dust, can be used to build nests. Most mice prefer to build their nests and burrows in areas that are close to or below the ground while rats are more comfortable in attics.
3. Rub Marks and Gnaw Marks
Rub marks can be seen in places where rodents travel along the walls. They are fresh if they smear. Gnaw marks on the woodwork in your house are also a huge sign of infestation. Scratch marks are usually left by mice while rats leave tooth marks that are about an eighth of an inch in length.
4. Urine Odor
The urine odor of rodents has a strong musky smell to it. If you can easily smell the odor that means that you have a large rat or mouse infestation.
5. Pet Behavior
Pets will act unusual if they detect rodents in the house. If you notice them pawing or barking at spaces beneath furniture, fridges, or stoves, or being unusually alert, it could mean a possible rodent infestation has occurred in your house.
6. Gnawed Holes
Gnawed holes are a great way to tell what kind of rodents are infesting your house. If the holes are large and around the size of a quarter, you have rats while mice leave gnaw marks that are small and clear-cut.
At night, you might hear some scratching noises coming from inside your walls and along your floors. These sounds are usually created by rodents and they mainly move about at night, making them nocturnal animals.
If you see ANY of these signs in your house, this means that you have a full-blown mice infestation and that you need to eliminate it immediately.
When Do Mice Come Out?
Mice are extremely active during the night. They are nocturnal animals and can be found searching for scraps of food at night. Provided you lay your traps in the right places, you just might be able to see them the next day after a long night of scurrying about.
Damage Mice Can Cause
According to most studies, the average lifespan of a mouse lies between 9 and 12 months. That may seem like an extremely short time on Earth but mice do a lot within their lifespan. After just six weeks of life, mice become sexually active and are ready to produce young mice. A typical mouse can produce around 5-6 young mice, and that too about 8 times in a year. That means about 40 to 48 mice, who will also go through the same life cycle.
Mice are extremely good climbers and can climb just about anywhere and everywhere. Finding mice in your pantry or in your wardrobe can be expected due to their proficiency at climbing.
Mice usually scatter their droppings all over the area. So, if you see mice droppings anywhere near your food, it would be wise of you to throw that food away immediately and get fresh food to avoid the risk of disease.
Mice also carry various diseases that are fatal to humans. House mice commonly carry LCM or Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis. Humans can contract LCM by inhaling the dust where rodents have dropped feces or urinated. LCM can lead to aseptic meningitis and can cause fetal abnormalities in pregnant women.
Mice can also cause huge damage to your property by gnawing or scratching through woodwork and scurrying through pipes and damaging them. There have been some cases where an entire property was broken down and reconstructed due to the amount of damage caused by the mice.
Identifying The Types of Rats
While it may seem hard to believe there different types of mice and rats that exist across the globe. However, gaining insight into what kind of species exist will help you understand how to catch them and eliminate them if necessary.
1. House Mouse
The House Mouse usually brings along a huge litter of mice along with it. These mice are either black or dusty gray in color with a small head and body. The House Mouse prefers to nibble on food such as grains, meat, or fish. It requires 1/10 oz. of food and 1/20 oz. of water on a daily basis.
House Mice have a lifespan ranging from 15-18 months. Their nests can be found within 10 to 30 ft. of food and water sources and are normally in dark, secluded areas. Their droppings are almost ¼ of an inch long and are like black rice grains.
2. Norway Rat (Common Sewer Rat)
Norway Rats can be found either in the sewers or invading homes. They are brown or brownish red in color and look stocky with a blunt head and have short ears. These rats can chew through lead pipes.
Norway Rats have a lifespan of 18 months and during that time, they can give birth to about 4-7 litters of young rats in a year. They eat just about anything and love to nibble on their food. You can find their nests in the sewers, beneath houses and buildings, and in ground burrows, all located within 100 ft. of food and water sources. Their droppings measure between ½ and ¾ of an inch long and are black with blunt ends.
3. Roof Rats
Roof Rats gain their name by their dwelling area; they love to nest in roofs. They are black or dark gray in color and are lanky and thin in structure, with a long tail, pointed nose, and large ears.
Their lifespan is 18 months and they eat just about anything. They nest in rooftops and attics and their droppings measure about ½ an inch long and are black with blunt ends.
How to Get Rid of Mice Yourself?
It’s possible. Let’s tell you 5 methods.
These are the main kinds:
A. Snap Trap
A snap trap is probably the most common method used to catch mice. This trap is activated by just the slightest amount of pressure and springs into action at an alarming speed that catches the pest off guard.
All you need to do is set the trap in areas where you believe mice or rats will be nesting. Then, you bait the trap. You can use a piece of cheese or any kind of food because mice are not picky about what they eat. Once the mouse goes for the bait by running across the trap, the trap snaps down on it.
The mouse does not always die or get too injured but it is secured in place without getting cut up. This trap cannot be used to release the animals back into the wild but can be reused as many times as needed.
B. Glue Traps
Glue traps are great for keeping your pests alive. Just place these traps where you believe mice run through and wait for a day or two. You’ll find a mouse stuck on the trap soon. Off late, there have been concerns around the morality of using glue traps because these subject the rodent to forced immobility, and damage its body.
C. Cage Traps
These traps are also commonly used to trap mice. This is just like a snap trap except the difference is that it will not cause any bodily harm to the mouse or snap down directly on top of it. While this trap is great for leaving the mice unharmed, the burden of killing them or releasing them away from your property will fall on you.
D. Electric Traps
Electric traps are very effective for killing mice. The only downside to electric traps is that they are a lot more expensive than snap traps or other no-kill traps due to battery replacements and electricity consumption. Electric traps also come with different features, depending on the manufacturer.
Most of these traps come with a removable chamber for easy cleaning, bait cups to place your bait, humane high voltage shock, and indicator lights for when a rodent is caught or for when the battery is low. The removable chamber is perfect for aiding in a “Don’t See-Don’t Touch” disposal of mice corpses. Another plus point about electric traps is that they are non-toxic and free of chemicals, which make them very ideal for the killing and disposing of mice.
2. Poison or Rodenticides
These are extremely effective in killing mice and rats. Some of the popular rodenticides are called anticoagulants, and these work by preventing the normal blood clotting action within rodents once they consume these chemicals.
Either leave them out in the open or mix it with bait and leave it for the mice. However, there are considerable drawbacks with this method.
One drawback is that in some cases, the poison takes a while to kick in. By then the mouse would have crawled into an area that is hard to reach. If the corpse is left in that particular area, the bad odor would be left behind and it would encourage other scavengers or predators to come into your home.
The other is that if there is still some poison left out in the open, there is a chance that other animals might consume it and get poisoned consequently.
Warning: Remember, rodents are mammals, just like cats and dogs, and humans. So, these rodenticides are as harmful to humans as they are for mice! Obviously, this calls for a lot of care while using them.
Which Precautions To Take While Using Rodenticides?
• If you do intend to use this method, please use it with safety as such materials can cause harm to you and those around you, not just the rats.
• Understand the toxicity classifications of these chemicals.
• Never risk keeping these chemicals within the reach of children or anybody who might not be able to understand their purpose and use inappropriately.
Exclusion means getting any and all entry points into your home sealed off and repaired. By using strong materials such as copper mesh or sheet metal, you can seal off any and all possible entry points that mice use to enter your home. Pay extra attention to the cracks and holes in the walls, woodwork, and in the pipes.
4. How to Use Ammonia To Ward Off Mice?
Ammonia does help get rid of mice. However, it is only a short-term solution to your problem. The reason ammonia works as a great mouse repellent is because it smells just like urine. Rats and mice confuse the smell of ammonia with that of the urine of a larger predatory animal such as a fox or a cat and they run from the area once they smell the ammonia for this reason.
The flipside is that ammonia goes away fast and you have to constantly keep spreading it around the property to ensure that your uninvited guests don’t come back. If you don’t have the patience for this and want a long-term solution, it would be best to go with traps and rodenticides.
5. What Smells Will Keep Mice Away?
Mice are not big on strong, overpowering smells. Here are some items with strong smells that will keep them away:
• Spicy pepper flakes
• Peppermint oil
• Chopped garlic mixed with water
• Plaster of Paris (POP) and cocoa powder mixture
While these smells are extremely good at keeping mice away, they should not be viewed as long-term solutions to your infestation problem. You can set them up to start with the initial clearing process but be sure to use traps and rodenticides for permanent relief.
Clean Up Your Home and Your Yard
Most mice are able to hide in hedges and burrows in the ground on your property. By trimming the hedges just enough to see if there are any signs of rodents living around or by keeping your trash far away from your property, you can save yourself from a possible mouse infestation.
Eliminate All Food Sources
As mentioned earlier, food crumbs and spillage of any kind are invitations to rats and mice. By keeping your house and your property free from any uneaten or spilled food, you can discourage rats from infesting in your house and nesting.
These are some of the ways to get rid of mice by yourself. Do as much research on what methods are feasible to you and implement them accordingly.
What Will Not Work?
None of your traps will work if you neglect the safety and up-keep of your house. You may have solved the problem temporarily but in order to solve the problem permanently, you literally need to start at the grassroots level. This means basic sanitation and routine inspections of your house and property for signs of burrowing, chewing, and gnawing.
Apart from basic sanitation and routine inspections, be sure to check the quality of the traps that you are getting. Some traps and poisons may turn out to be duds and your infestation may carry on as if nothing changed. After checking the quality of your traps and poisons, place them in areas that can easily be accessed by mice and by you as well so that you can remove the corpses or live animals after capture.
Using onions, pepper, baby powder, or other such items will not work as final solutions to infestations as these items have to be used continuously over a long period of time before even getting half of the mouse population in your property down. Use rodenticides mixed with proper bait such as chocolates to make your catch more successful to solve your problem faster.
If you know how to create your own trap, do so with caution. While it is a great way to save up on expenses, you also need to make sure it actually works. If it doesn’t, please use real traps.
Where to Place the Mouse Traps?
Finding the right places to keep the mouse traps is extremely important if you want to catch mice. Here are some places where finding mice is certain and are the best places to set up your traps.
Attics are one of the top places where most homeowners forget to set their rat and mouse traps. Attics are dark, musty, and secure, which make them the perfect place for rats to thrive. If they can nest underneath the insulation of the attic’s floor, it can result in a huge amount of damage. By setting your traps up in the attic, you can minimize the rate of rat infestation by a huge margin.
Dark Lines on Floors and Walls
If you find some discolored lines along the floor and walls of your home, you can definitely expect to find rats and mice nearby. The discoloration happens when the rats run along the paths against the walls.
This is due to oil on their fur, urine, or droppings being rubbed on the area as they run by. Do not just look in all the corners of your house but also keep an eye out for this type of unusual staining. The staining is a perfect sign of where to set up your traps and since mice and rats tend to run along the same routes, the chances of you catching them here are quite high.
If you have an unused cabinet full of bare drawers at home, you might be in for a shock if you find rat or rat droppings in them. Drawers are comfortable spaces for rats and mice to dwell in. Even if they do not dwell right in the drawers, they can still be found in the darker areas of your closets and wardrobes.
Set up traps in your drawers and in the corners of your closets and wardrobes. If you hear some squeaking and the sound of the trap being activated, it means that you need to rat-proof these areas immediately.
Utility and Pipe Lines
Pipes and utility lines are very common entry points for rats and mice. By keeping traps near drain pipes, sinks and toilets, you can safeguard these areas from any possible rat and mice infestations.
Holes and Cracks
Any sort of holes or cracks in your house can be as doorways for entry for rats and mice. Even if the hole is ¾ of an inch or even less than that, mice and rats can easily slip through and burrow into your house. Set up traps and bait near these areas and sure enough, you’ll have captured quite a few of them.
What Is the Best Bait for Mouse Traps?
These items make for really good mouse bait, making mice fall for them almost every time.
1. A small amount of maple syrup.
2. Peanut butter.
3. Pet food.
4. Bird seeds or nuts.
7. Crackers mixed with butter.
8. Soft cheese.
9. Bacon bits or grease.
10. Small hot dog slices.
Strong smelling bits of food usually make the best bait for rats and mice. Mice also love sweets so chocolates and candies would make for ideal bait as well. Try to use a mix of these various items of bait to catch your mice successfully.
Put a Tab On Mice Reproduction – It’s Possible
Firstly, eliminate the existing mice that infest your home.
Also, remember to do routine checks of your house and property to look for clear signs of invasion.
Once you’ve identified the signs of invasion, you’ll know where to put up your traps and where to set up your bait.
Calling in Professionals
It is advisable to call in professionals at any stage of an invasion. Professionals are a lot more equipped and have knowledge on the habits of rats and mice. This increases your success rate and guarantees an infestation-free home. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional at any time.