Are you seeing mice in the basement? Is there a strange sound in the walls that you can’t figure out? Don’t worry. Mice are incredibly common pests that most people will have to deal with at some point in their lives.
Look for the following signs if you’re worried about mice. If you’re still not sure, reach out to your local exterminators for help.
One of the most common signs of an infestation is hearing scratching sounds in the walls at night. As rodents, mice are constantly chewing on their surroundings. They chew to build nests and file down their teeth, which are always growing. You may be able to hear them chew on wooden studs and other structures when they are awake at night.
Are you finding droppings on the ground with no explanation? Mice leave droppings behind them, everywhere they go. These look like dark brown grains of rice. Mouse droppings measure only one-quarter of an inch in length or less, with pointed ends.
Droppings help to indicate where the infestation is taking place. For example, you may find more droppings in your pantry because that is where the pests stop eating. Setting traps in this area would therefore be more effective than in a room where you find none.
The smell of stale urine
Mice leave trails of urine to let other mice know that a path is safe. Over time, the smell builds up to a point that it is noticeable. Basements, closets, cupboards, and baseboards are prone to smelling bad. If you are cleaning the house regularly but you continue to smell urine, there may be mice in your home.
Mice follow the same paths every night. This leaves greasy marks behind as they rub their bodies against walls and openings over and over again. Finding unexplained marks on the baseboards, bottoms of walls or other edges of the house may point to a mouse problem.
Mice are stealthy, skittish little creatures, but you might come across one if there is an infestation in your home. If you saw one, know that there are several more nearby. Mice are social creatures that live in groups. There is never just one mouse.
If you’re not sure what you saw, mice have small, slender bodies that measure between 2 and 4 inches long, with tails equal to their body length. They have round ears, bulging black eyes, and pointed snouts. Mice are usually spotted at night. You may find one either coming or going from its food source, like a kitchen cupboard.
Mice build nests out of soft materials like insulation, torn fabrics, and shredded paper. They build their nests in dark areas such as wall voids, drawers, storage boxes, closets, and under furniture. Nests are round, with one opening that lets the mice go in and out.
If you found what looks like a nest, it probably is. If the nest is empty, spray it with disinfectant, then handle it with a pair of gloves and throw it out in a sealed plastic bag.
How to Get Rid of Mice
If you have noticed any of the signs above, you should set up a mouse removal program immediately. Mice are carriers of disease, and they will continue to damage your home. The problem won’t go away on its own.
Here’s how you can get rid of mice permanently.
Clean up the house
First, clean up the house from top to bottom. This will get rid of crumbs and create space, making it easier for you to set traps. It might also reveal hiding spots and sources of food that you didn’t know were there.
Vacuum, mop, and move things off the floor. Then, clean up your kitchen cabinets and store food in sealed containers. Get in the habit of doing the dishes every day and taking out the garbage on a regular basis. The neater, the better.
Choose between snap traps, multi-catch traps, live traps, and electronic traps. The key is to set multiple traps so that you eliminate the mice faster than they reproduce.
Wearing a pair of disposable gloves, bait the traps with a pea-sized amount of jerky, peanut butter, or jelly candy. Then, set the traps along the walls of infested rooms and anywhere else you have found droppings, such as the backs of kitchen cupboards.
Check on the traps every day. Always wear gloves when handling dead mice and disinfect your traps before you reuse them. Continue to leave traps even after you suspect that the infestation is gone, just to be sure.
Seal entry points
The only way you can get rid of mice permanently is to get rid of their entry points. Using a flashlight, look for gaps and cracks in the outer walls of your home and seal them shut. Use weatherstripping on the bottoms of your doors and secure the windows with screens. Cover walls vents with mesh and make all the repairs you need so there is nowhere a mouse can slip through.
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