As the old joke goes, what do house guests and fish have in common? They both start to stink after 3 days.
Uninvited guests are even worse. Have you experienced a home invasion by, let’s call him Jerry? Are you finding boxes in your pantry with holes chewed in them?
Does he leave little pellets of poop around? Have you unexpectedly come face-to-face with him at 6:00 a.m. in your pajamas, no makeup, and hair in a mess? This is rude and completely unacceptable.
Good news, many strategies have now proven successful in extracting these unwanted guests. Are you ready to find out the best way to get rid of mice? Investigating your home to find entry points for mice is an excellent first step.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice?
Once you’ve made the decision that Jerry must go, it’s time to make your plan. Several approaches need consideration as you prepare your attack.
One of the first choices is whether to use a live trap or bait station method to kill the mouse.
Snap Traps vs. Bait
There are two primary approaches to killing the mouse. Consider these factors in making your decision:
- Rodent bait can take several days to kill the mouse during which time the mouse continues contaminating the area with feces and urine
- A captured mouse is immediately contained and prevents further contamination
- When rodent baits remain out too long, they lose their attractions and may draw grain insects
- Rodent poisons rely on ingestion to kill the mouse which may result in a corpse that is difficult to remove
- Snap traps ensure that you can remove the mouse from the house
- Rodent poison presents a risk in your household if it spills as it is toxic
With a snap trap, the mouse gets into the trap and it snaps shut. This doesn’t always go as planned. There have been mice that only got a tail or foot caught and then dragged the trap off to another location.
This can be quite a cat and mouse game.
Some individuals do not believe in killing any creatures. There are options for live traps that allow you to catch and release the mouse in a new location.
It is important that you check your live trap at least every 6 hours. The Urban Wildlife Programs at the Humane Society warns that a live trap can be inhumane if the mouse stays in the trap too long and dies.
Once your have made your decision about live trap, snap trap, or toxic bait, you are ready to move to the next step.
Glue traps, non-toxic boards or trays, can help in capturing mice and insects. They are not usually as effective as other mouse traps especially in dusty or wet conditions. Extreme heat and cold may also decrease their stickiness.
Glue traps work best when placed in the path where the mice often run. Food lures, such as vanilla extract, chocolate, or peanut butter, can help attract them to the trap. You may also put glue traps inside traps to help prevent escape.
Be sure to avoid placing glue traps near children or pets as they can get stuck on them. If this happens, use vegetable oil to get the glue board off. You also need to understand that the glue board only traps the mouse and does not kill it.
You then must pick up the board and mouse and dispose of it. Be sure to check the trap daily. Mice can find ways to escape from the boards.
Snap traps come in wood, metal, or plastic and have a powerful snap hinge to kill the mouse. You usually use bait like peanut butter, candy, cheese, cotton balls or peppermint oil to draw the mouse into the trap.
Once the mouse triggers a lever, the spring snaps shut on the mouse and kills it. This is not foolproof. Most people have mice that steal bait, especially from the traditional wooden traps. Using a stickier bait, like peanut butter, can help slow their departure.
The following strategies can help you out maneuver those pesky mice.
- Place many traps (12 or more) close together in areas where the mice are active
- Secure the traps to the floor to avoid partly caught mice from moving them after triggering the trap.
- Use dental floss to tie down solid bait
- Place the trigger end next to a wall with several other traps to get those mice trying to jump over traps
- Some traps have a wind-up style mechanism that stuns and then flips the mouse into a holding chamber
- Low profile traps have a trap door to catch them
Curiosity traps work to catch several mice. They rely on the mouse’ propensity to investigate new holes. When one mouse enters, others follow, and thus more than one mouse becomes trapped.
The scent of another mouse acts as a lure to attract more. This style trap is often used in warehouses, food industry, and commercial buildings.
General Mouse Trapping Tips
Once you select the plan of attack, you may want to consider a few more ideas to make your campaign a success.
- Do not touch pets before handling mouse traps or bait as the smell can deter mice
- If parts of the trap need oil, use light pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil that is odorless
- Seal up and remove food sources from the area to make the lure more attractive
- Use gloves when handling rodents to avoid contact with viruses
- Clean area where mouse died to avoid contamination
- If you worry about the mouse sticking to the strap, try a little cooking spray in the bottom
Female mice can mate when they are 4 to 7 weeks old and give birth in 19 to 21 days. Her litter may range in size from 4 to 12 babies. This cycle can repeat every 3 weeks.
Be sure you finish the job. Continue setting the traps until you have no further signs of activity.
Is it Time for the Uninvited Guests to Leave?
Our family owned business provides cutting edge pest control for commercial and residential properties. You will find more great articles on our site like this one describing the best way to get rid of mice. Contact us today to discuss your uninvited guests. We will happily send them packing.
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