8 Things You Need To Do To Get Rid Of Mice
Plus, how you can avoid them in the first place.
Did you know that a mouse can fit into a crevice as small as a dime? That's all they need. And if you think there's a mouse in your house, it's likely that there are mice in your house. This helpful — and slightly disturbing — information comes from John Jordan, service center manager for Arrow Exterminating. As an expert in all things rodent-related, John spoke with House Beautiful to share eight tips should Mickey come to visit.
1. Mice can make their way in through the tiniest holes.
It turns out that mice don't need much room to invade your home and life. In fact, John says that an entry way the size of a dime is all it takes. "Most of the time rodents, like insects, find construction deficiencies to gain entry. Some ares of entry are created by utility entries and other penetrations through the structure," John says. To fix this, you want to seal up any possible crevices in your home.
2. If you think there's a mouse in your house, look out for these four things: Droppings, grease marks, evidence of chewing, and possibly damage to insulation.
Since rodents are low to the ground they're dirty, so when there's an area they frequent you'll see a wear pattern. "That's what we call grease marks or rub marks, those are the areas they're constantly traveling on," John explains. If you see this, he recommends two things: First, identify all of the possibly entry points and seal them. Second, call an exterminator for a free inspection.
3. Repellents aren't the best solution for residential environments.
John says he warns people not to use repellents in their homes because, let's say you put some in a crawl space and forget about it, the result could be a decaying carcass in your attic that could go unnoticed until it starts to smell. Another downside to repellent is if you have a pet, you need to be extra cautious — since it's essentially poison, John suggests avoiding it overall
4. But, glue traps could be useful.
"Set out some monitoring devices like glue boards. Mice are very curious and are caught pretty easily," says John. His No. 1 recommendation of all is to call an expert who can tell you how to address the situation.
5. One speck of salt on the ground is enough to attract mice.
Since mice have poor eyesight, their other senses are heightened. John says that mice will eat anything, including their own droppings, to survive. The smallest crumb (or drop of salt) is enough for a mouse to feed on, so wherever you have food could turn into a nesting area. John says to keep all food items in a secure area that mice can't access.
6. In case you were wondering, a mouse could eat a Snickers bar.
No, really. John says if there's an opened Snickers bar on the counter a mouse will get it and take it to their nesting spot. And, if they can't move something — let's say it's a cake — they'll eat it right there.
7. Your backyard bird feeder could be attracting more mice then birds.
Yes, that food is for birds, but mice will also eat it. In addition to a bird feeder, John suggests being cautionary over dog or cat food you might be leaving out throughout the day while you're away and your pet is left at home.
8. If there's one mouse, there are probably mice.
John says in his experience he doesn't see that they travel alone, so seeing just one mouse and catching it could mean there's a larger mice issue you need to address.