“Because the nature of mice is to live in family groups, we knew that one mouse meant more mice.”
If there is one thing that can freak me out and turn me into an obsessive, over paranoid germophobe its mice. Unfortunately, being in the pest control business doesn’t guarantee our home will be pest free 100% of the time. Mice happen.
My husband and I were sitting on the couch in a house we were renting, too tired from our long day of work, school and parenting to look at the modest mess in the kitchen. That’s when we heard it. The little scampering and scratches of a furry invader.
I didn’t jump and scream like the first time these little rodents paid us a visit. This time I went straight for the broom and supply tote and began my feverish cleaning.
Because the nature of mice is to live in family groups (click here for more info), we knew that one mouse meant more mice (insert shudder) and that the faster we tackle trapping and cleaning the faster we solve the problem of our unwanted guests.
Here are 5 easy steps to help you get rid of mice:
1. Eliminate the Food Source
Mice look for food and when they find food, they tell their friends and then you get to clean up after a midnight mouse party which results in lots of poop. Not cool and really gross. So clean up crumbs, contain open food (like peanut butter and bread) and look behind appliances for food sources you may be unaware of.
2. Clean up and Find the Little Mouse Door
Get out that spray bottle and paper towels and get to work cleaning the nooks and crannies of your kitchen, or wherever they popped up, and keep a sharp eye open for the bulk of mouse evidence (a.k.a. tiny chocolate sprinkle shaped poop) as that may be a hint as to where they got in. If you can find the location the mice are entering from, cover it and seal it off! The most effective materials to use are steel wool or screen mesh. Caulk or spray foam will work but these materials break down over time and rodents can chew through them.
3. Call a Pest Control Expert
You can set up traps and stuff foam into holes to your heart’s content, but to eliminate a rodent problem you’ll need to call someone who can set out bait stations designed to kill the whole party of mice. Most of the time that requires a crawl space inspection. If they find activity in your crawl space you’ll need to get it cleaned out and disinfected.
4. Maintain Cleanliness
Keep up on your sweeping and cleaning! Because mice are nocturnal give your kitchen a good cleaning at the end of each day, focusing on places that collect food (stoves, toasters etc). One great trick I learned over the years is to keep your butter in a butter crock. Toast crumbs and butter act as a mouse restaurant road sign.
5. Enjoy and Pest Free Home Again
Since mice and other rodents carry viruses and diseases, we encourage people to get onto a regular home inspection program to check for signs of rodent activity. Be proactive in your pest deterring. And get a cat.