How to Control Household Mouse Infestations

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Mice can infest your home at any time. An excess of rain and flooding, as well as the late fall and winter seasons, will drive mice indoors looking for food and shelter.

Things You'll Need

  • Yard and garden tools
  • Work gloves
  • Trailer, trash bags, or Dumpster
  • Lawn mower
  • Weed eater
  • Clean up any trash or clutter in your yard. If you live in a more rural area, also clean up around chicken houses, barns and stables.

  • Remove any lumber, piping, old tires or other items you have stacked alongside a garage or shed.

  • If you have a basement, make sure old clothes, magazines, collectables and other items made from cloth or paper are stored in plastic or metal container with tight-fitting lids. Mice will shred newspaper and cloth to make a nest, especially if there is a pregnant female or the mouse has babies to feed and care for.

  • Organize your basement or other storage areas by stacking the containers or placing them on shelving to increase the open space. This helps ensure that mice won't have many areas to hide in.

  • Any formal clothes or coats that you do not want in plastic containers should be hung high on racks, hooks, etc., and encased in heavy plastic garment bags. If you hang items too close to the floor, mice can still get into the bags and wreak havoc.

  • Check the heating and air-conditioning leading in and out of the rooms in your house. Replace older-style vents with those that have smaller openings for controlling air flow. Mice can easily travel in and out of the basement, etc., through older vents.

  • Place crackers, chips, bread stuffs, and individually packaged drink mixes into plastic containers with lids to keep mice from getting into them.

  • If you see evidence of a mouse infestation or see a mouse (mice), either call an exterminator or purchase some kind of trap or bait. You can purchase these items at most discount, hardware, or grocery stores. Nonpoisonous mouse baits are also available. These are ideal if you have children.

  • If you trap a mouse, take the container to a park, large open field or out in the country. Otherwise, the mice will more than likely move back into your home.

  • Make sure any wiring is not openly exposed. Put up plasterboard, etc., to cover any areas where your wiring may not completely be hidden, especially if you have done any remodelling, added insulation to your walls, or live in an old home. Mice like to chew on wiring as it helps sharpen their teeth.

  • Inspect your house and yard regularly after heavy rains or during the fall and winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mice nest outdoors, often where there is clutter alongside or near garages, abandoned vehicles, storage sheds or anywhere they can protect themselves and their young from predators.
  • Mice can easily gnaw through cardboard and paper, or plastic bags, with their razor-sharp front teeth.
  • If putting out mouse bait or spring-type mouse traps, make sure your pet or children can't stumble upon them.
  • Carefully read the packaging on any mouse bait or poison, even those that are nonpoisonous.

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