Do you have a problem with mice in your home? If you do, you need to sort it out. Not only are they a bit frightening and off-putting for your family and your guests, they’re also a danger to your health. Mice can pass germs from their feet to the surfaces they scurry across, and they can also pass diseases in the urine and droppings they leave all over your home… But, don’t worry – the infestation can be quickly and easily rectified. All you need to do is follow these five steps to be rid of those pesky little rodents…
- Identify and address the source of the problem
First you need to figure out why they’re coming into your home, and how. Mice don’t have very good eyesight, but they do have an exceptionally good sense of smell. They’ll also be looking for shelter (particularly over the winter months), so the chances are, if you have mice in your house it’s because they’re looking for food and somewhere to live.
If you have food left lying around somewhere that’s easily accessible, have crumbs on the floor or on the counter tops, or have piles of newspaper, plastic bags or laundry in various rooms, you’ll be attracting mice.
Mice will seize any opportunity to enter your home, too. They’ll burrow through even the tiniest holes, through drain openings, around pipes and they’ll even find their way inside via the holes where your cables are feeding through the walls. So, fill holes with caulk, cover them with stainless steel and check your foundations for cracks.
- Lay down traps
Next, to deal with the infestation of mice, you’ll need to lay down some traps. There are lots of styles of traps on the market to help you catch and kill the mice in your home, so it entirely depends on the style you want to go for and what your needs are. For instance, if you just want a basic trap that’s affordable and guaranteed to kill the mice quickly, opt for a traditional trap like this one.
On the other hand, if you want to get rid of mice but you don’t feel comfortable killing them, you can buy ‘live traps’ which catch many mice at a time. These traps keep mice safely inside, allowing you to release them back into the wild. If you opt for a live trap design, just make sure you release the mice a long way away from your home – or else they may come back!
- Educate children and keep pets safely away
If you have an infestation of mice, it’s really important that you consider the safety of your family. So, if you’re determined to use powerful snap traps, you’ll need to make sure your children aren’t going to put their fingers in the traps. Educate your children about the dangers of getting too close, and keep pets out of the rooms where you’ve laid your traps down.
However, pest-control companies would never recommend using a spring-loaded trap around children in the first place, so you could opt for another trap design if you think little fingers or curious snouts are going to get too close. For example, a clean kill mousetrap (a tunnel-like device that contains a trap) could be the perfect option if you have children and pets to consider as it puts a barrier between pets and children and the mice.
- Dispose of caught mice
Once you’ve chosen your method, you’ll be onto the stage where you have to start disposing of dead mice:
- First, put on a pair of gloves and spray the dead mouse and the area surrounding it with a cleaning product containing bleach.
- Then, place the dead mouse in a plastic bag (including anything else like droppings or nesting material) and seal the bag. Try not to push the air out of the bag to save space in the bin: doing so can push germs and bacteria from the mouse into the air you’re breathing in.
- Then, place this sealed bag into another sealed bag and place it in the outdoor landfill bin.
- Go back inside and wash the gloves in soap and hot water, and then put the gloves in the bin too (note that you may need someone to open doors and turn on the taps for you until you’ve removed the gloves).
- Wash your hands once you’ve removed the gloves.
- Think about preventative measures
Finally, you need to think about how you’re going to stop another infestation from occurring in the future. The best way to do this is to think about how mice have found their way inside in the first place – for example, don’t leave food debris in your kitchen, seal food in plastic tubs with tightly fitted lids, and keep anything in a cardboard box a long way off the floor.
Don’t leave piles of clothing lying around for too long, and try not to keep piles of newspapers either: mice will shred them for their nests. Seal off the holes, cracks and any form of opening into your home (checking the foundations and roof tiles), and trim back greenery near entrances that mice might hide in.
Finally, consider getting a cat – cats are natural predators and will help to keep the mice population in your home under control!