Mice enter into homes in search of available food, water, shelter, and a place to birth their young. Females can produce as many as ten litters (around fifty pups) a year, so a simple mouse problem could turn into a huge mice infestation in just a short amount of time.
Why Mice Are a Nuisance Pest
In addition to breeding year round, mice also cause many other issues for homeowners. Some of those problems include:
- Chewing through walls, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring (which can cause fires)
- Gnawing at, tunneling through, and nesting in attic insulation
- Leaving mice droppings everywhere, causing allergic reactions for some
- Transporting bacteria on their bodies, contaminating food sources and kitchen surfaces
- Carrying in other pests such as ticks, fleas, and lice
- Creating an unpleasant, musky odor in your home
- Scratching noises inside the walls or from the ceiling
How to Deter Mice from Your Home
You can help to avoid having a mice infestation in your home by doing the following:
- Eliminating their access to food, water, hiding areas, and nesting materials, both inside and outside of the home
- Repairing any holes that would allow the mice to enter
- Keeping opened food in glass or metal containers
- Using stainless steel trashcans that have lids
- Keeping your counters and stove clean, floors swept, sink free of dirty dishes, and garbage taken out
How to Get Rid of Mice
If you do end up with a mice infestation, follow these step-by-step instructions to get rid of them successfully:
- The Inspection – This is the hardest part. To be able to eliminate your mice problem, you have to know precisely where the mice are getting in. This means you’ll have to inspect every part of the house, from the ground up to the roof, including all vents, dormers, soffits, roof lines, loose siding, gaps underneath doors and windows, pipes, etc.
- Seal the Openings – As you find what could be an opening, seal the hole shut using steel mesh or metal flashing. You can also use a sealant such as silicone caulk or polyurethane. It’ll block off the air flow and keep mice from smelling a previous entry hole.
- Trap the Mice – Once you have completely sealed the house, the mice will have nowhere to go. You can begin trapping the mice. Place snap traps baited with peanut butter in areas that show signs of a mice infestation. These can include where you find droppings, beneath holes, and near pathways and wiring where mice may travel.
- Clean the Waste – After all the mice have been trapped, you can begin vacuuming up all of the droppings and decontaminating the areas they lived in. It’s imperative that you disinfect your home properly to kill all of the pathogens and prevent mold from forming on the feces and urine. To keep any new mice from being attracted to the smell of the mice you have trapped, fog the area with a special atomizer and enzyme-based cleaner.
While the steps may seem simple, it’s a lot of work to get rid of a mice infestation correctly. Before attempting to tackle a rodent problem on your own, contact Critter Control® of Tampa. We are on call and are ready to assist you with your wildlife needs. For a free estimate, call us today at 813.359.1996.