Many people are inordinately afraid of and repelled by the common house mouse (Mus musculus). A wild rodent, the house mouse is 4 to 7 inches long including the 3 to 4 inch tail. They have relatively large ears, beady eyes and gnawing, elongated teeth. House mice transmit disease in their parasites and feces. If mice have invaded your habitat, get rid of them quickly by incorporating these effective methods.
Things You'll Need
- Steel wool
- Screw driver
- Butter knife
- Baking soda
Prevent mice from entering your home by sealing all cracks and openings that allow access. Seeking warmth and shelter, mice are most likely to infest your home in autumn when the weather turns cooler. Tear off small wads of steel wool and force the wool into openings around plumbing pipes or where telephone or electric wiring enters the property. Use a butter knife or small screw driver to force the steel wool into the opening. Mice can not chew through the steel and gain entry. Make sure that doors and windows are snug and tight fitting. If required, install weatherproof stripping to seal cracks.
Cover air vents, chimneys or the attic fan opening with fine steel mesh screening. Keep garbage cans tightly sealed and located away from the house. Look for evidence of mice nesting. Mice may nest in furniture, boxes, walls, mattresses, under appliances or in any quiet space they can live undisturbed.
Inspect attics, basements, cabinets and crawl spaces for signs of mice infestation. Mice are nocturnal creatures with poor ice sight and are rarely seen. Droppings, up to an 1/8 of an inch long and pointed on both ends are the most obvious sign that mice are active. Sprinkle baking soda around vents and openings. Wait 24 hours and inspect the soda. If mice have been scurrying about, you will be able to see their tracks imprinted in the soda.
Place traps where activity is noted. Mice get the majority of their water from their food and need little extra water. Mice prefer foods high in fat content, especially grains, nuts and cereals. Bail the trap with a dab of peanut butter. Place traps next to walls and in dark corners. Set multiple traps in a location where mouse activity is noted. Set them close together, no farther than three inches apart. Inspect traps every 24 hours. Remove dead mice carefully, using rubber gloves.
Adopt a cat. Cats are quite effective in ridding a home or outbuildings of mice, however don't count on your dog or cat to catch them all. Mice breed rapidly, having 6 to 10 liters, or over 100 pups each year. (The average life span of a house mouse is about one year.)
Tips & Warnings
- Humane, catch and release traps are available at home and garden stores. Follow package instructions for safe handling of captured, live mice.
- Place poisonous baits only in areas without small children or pets. These are dangerous products and should be handled with care following package label directions. Always wear rubber gloves and wash hands after handling the product.
- Photo Credit little mouse image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com
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