You don't the permission to view this video
You walked in the kitchen in search for your favorite midnight snack. As the lightswitch flipped on your eyes immediately home in on the mouse scurrying behind the refrigerator. It’s hard to tell who was more startled; you or the mouse. Just the thought of it still makes you cringe.
Whether you live in a new or old residence, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a mouse at some point in time. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a professional exterminator, first take a trip to your local independent home improvement retailer, where you’ll find an array of pest control products and some helpful advice to serve up an eviction notice of your own.
It’s a moment you won’t soon forget ... when you walked in the kitchen and saw the mouse scurrying behind the refrigerator. It’s hard to tell who was more startled-you or the mouse. Just the thought of it still makes you cringe.
Whether you live in a brand new house or an older apartment like this one, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a mouse at some point in time. And when you do, you won’t be able to rest soundly until you get the situation under control. But instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a professional exterminator, first take a trip to your local independent home improvement retailer, where you’ll find an array of pest control products and some helpful advice to serve up an eviction notice of your own.
Today we’re going to learn about some of the ways to rid your home of mice. We’ll look at some of the old tried-and-true methods, as well as some new products that make it less of a daunting task. So let’s get started.
Mice think of your home very much the same way you do ... a place to come in out of the cold, find some food and create a comfortable and safe environment for themselves and their offspring. And fall is the time they start migrating indoors, as temperatures outside start to drop. But along with spreading disease, if left alone, a pair of mice can infest a home or an apartment in short order, producing between 50 and 100 offspring over the course of a year.
One of the best deterrents and the place to start is cleanliness, making sure they don’t have an easy place to nest, and making sure that all food is put away in sealed containers made of thick plastic and glass instead of plastic and paper bags that are easily eaten through, such as bags of pet food. Also keep the floor and counters clean, and keep the trash can sealed. If mice don’t have a food source, they can’t survive for long. Even things like grass seed and bird seed should be kept in metal containers that can be sealed to keep the mice out. Another deterrent is seeking out and sealing the places where they can gain access to the inside of your home or apartment.
What may be surprising is just how small of an opening they can get through. The average mouse can pass through holes as small as a dime due to the cartilage in their bodies. While you can use spray foam insulation to seal the air leaks, also be sure these holes are sealed properly with substances mice can’t chew through, like this bronze wool.
Check out our "Winterizing Your Home" video series for more information. Under the kitchen sink, through plumbing access holes, is another common entry point to check where mice may be gaining access to your home or apartment. This is usually one of the most direct routes to your kitchen. See our list of frequently asked questions for more information on how mice typically enter a home.
There are basically three types of mouse traps available. First, the common "snap" traps come in all shapes and sizes. Looking at these, you can see how the phrase, "Building a Better Mousetrap," was coined. From this classic type that has been around for decades, to these newer models with enhanced features, it’s basically the same premise with the same end result. The mouse goes for the bait (usually bread or peanut butter) which then trips a spring-loaded bar that snaps back, usually killing the mouse on contact. Some models are covered so you don’t have to see the captured mouse.
Another type of trap is the glue trap, where the mouse gets stuck on some type of adhesive strip when trying to take the bait and eventually dies of starvation or dehydration.
Poison is another effective way of getting rid of mice. However, it must be used with extreme caution, especially when there are pets or children living in the home. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using these traps.
For those who don’t want to harm the animal, many manufacturers have developed live traps where the mouse isn’t harmed when trapped. After the mouse is trapped you simply take them outside and let them go, away from the premises. Aside from the various traps we just looked at, ultrasonic devices like this one are designed to emit waves that are disturbing to rodents, which eventually drives them away from the home. Just plug it in and let the high frequency sound do its job. No matter what type of trap you use, place them where you suspect mouse activity, in tight spaces ... behind the refrigerator, in cabinets and pantries and in garages and attics.
So what’s the best way to dispose of a dead mouse? To prevent the spread of virus and other disease, before you touch the trap or the dead mouse, start by airing out the room for a while by opening a window. Then disinfect the immediate are, including the dead mouse and trap, with a disinfectant. With gloves on and while wearing a dust mask, wrap the dead mouse and trap in paper towels and dispose of it in a plastic trash bag outside the home.
There you have it. Not only have you learned how to get rid of mice in your home using some different methods, you also learned a few preventive measures to keep those furry little creatures out from now on.
Prevention is key. Be sure to always keep your house clean and organized. One idea is to place food in thick, secure containers. This also includes pet food, bird seed, anything a rodent would consider eating.
Purchase a trashcan that has a lid.
Seal an holes that could allow rodents access into your home. The average mouse can fit through holes as small as a dime.
Common snap traps come in many different varieties. Fill them with bait and the mouse will activate the trap when stepped on.
Glue traps do exactly as the name implies. Place bait on the inside and the mouse will get stuck on the sticky material when it attempts to enter.
Poison is another option, but must be used with extreme caution especially in homes with pets or children.
There are also non-killing mouse-traps you can purchase. Once trapped, take the mouse outside.
You can also deter mice away with audio devices. They emit ultrasonic waves that are disturbing to rodents which eventually drives them away from the home.
Place traps in tight spaces and dark places such as in between big appliances and inside cabinets.
Before picking up a dead mouse, open a window and put on rubber gloves. Place the trap in a bag. Disinfect the area where the mouse trap was sitting.
Throw the sponge and rubber gloves in the bag with the mouse and dispose of outside.