Nothing is worse than enjoying a quiet evening at home and then hearing the scratchy and scampering of an unwanted house guest. Mice can get into your home several different ways without you even knowing. These pests are one of the most common household pests in Louisville, KY. Although they only live about a year or so, they often carry dangerous transmissible diseases and are smart enough to dodge common traps. Many times, mice can enter, nest, multiply and spread before you notice they are there.
In this article, we are going to discuss the different signs of a mice problem and how to get rid of mice.
How To Know If You Have A Mice Problem
There are four sure signs that signal that you have mice in your house, we’ll break down each one to explain when, where and what to look for.
Mice Droppings: Even if you never see or hear a mouse, droppings are a strong sign they are there. Depending on the species of mouse or rat, the droppings will range in size from ¼-inch to over 1-inch in diameter. If you see droppings in multiple areas, this is a sign you have an infestation. Because mice multiply quickly, you’ll want to continue investigating as soon as you see droppings.
Unexplained holes in cloth, clothes, or insulation: Mice live in nests, that means they need to scour for materials to build their homes. If you notice holes in your clothing, cloth furniture, curtains, insulation, or any other similar material – you may have a mouse attempting to build a nest nearby. Usually, mice make their homes in dark corners and areas that are seldom accessed or used. An otherwise unnoticed pile of dust and fabric may actually be a mouse nest in the corner.
Scratching sounds in the walls or ceiling: Mice are nocturnal, so if you’re laying down at night and hear a scratching sound in the kitchen, it could be a mouse looking for food or gathering nesting materials.
Small holes in cabinets and furniture: A mouse only needs a hole the size of his head to squeeze his whole body through. He’s smart enough, and strong enough, to create this hole himself. If you notice a small opening at the bottom of a cabinet, dresser, or desk, it could be a mouse attempting to make a safe place to stay.
Different Ways To Get Rid Of Mice
If you experience any of the signs mentioned in the previous section, you have options when it comes to kicking out your unwanted house guest. Some of the best advice we give on how to get rid of mice is to prevent the little critters from ever entering your home in the first place.
Stop Them at the Door
Start by doing a walk through of your house and sealing holes and cracks with metal, steel wool, or an epoxy. This is easy to do when there’s a chill outside because you can easily identify where you feel cold air entering. If it’s enough of a gap to feel the chill, it’s big enough for a mouse to get inside. Always keep all food in sealed containers and put away anything a mouse might see as a nice nesting place. Keep your property free and clear of trash piles, cardboard, lightweight plastics, old rugs and blankets.
Natural Mouse Repellents
Many families in Louisville, KY with young children want the mice gone, but are concerned with the danger of poison and traps scattered around their home. There are ways on how to get rid of mice naturally and while these methods can be a hit or miss, they are worth a try.
- Peppermint or Cayenne: Try soaking cotton balls or bait food in peppermint or cayenne oil and leaving them near known entry points. Mice have been known to dislike these smells.
- Ammonia: Because of the odor, ammonia can also be used to deter mice, but it can be harmful to children and other pets, so use this option very carefully and only in areas where children will not find it like the top of the pantry or under the sink.
- Humane traps: These allow the mouse to get in, but not out. You’ll know you’ve caught a mouse when the trap starts to jump around and move a bit with a jittery mouse inside. Check the trap frequently and release the mouse at least one mile away from your home. This will most likely work if you have one or two mice. If you have several, your best bet is to call a professional.
- Electronic Beeps: There are machines that emit a beeping sound that mice are known to hate. However, this only works in the short run and wears off over time.
How To Catch Mice in Walls
If you hear a scratching sound in your wall, chances are it’s a mouse problem. Sometimes, mice can enter the home through the eaves, and get trapped inside the wall cavities. This can be difficult to detect without listening carefully because the droppings are hidden. Mice in walls can cause huge problems when they decide to chew through your wires, insulation or PVC.
If you’re sure you’ve got mice in the walls, here’s a simple method for how to get rid of mice in walls fast:
- Drill a nickel-size hold into the drywall. You’ll want this to be just a few inches above the floor. This is going to be an escape route for the mice.
- Next, find a sturdy cardboard box. Fill it with a food-scented trap. A few foods to try include raisins, dates, cheese, chocolate or peanut butter.
- Cover the top with cellophane to ensure there is no escape route through cracks or seams in the box.
- Put a corresponding nickel-size hold on the side of the cardboard box and secure it against the wall.
- Oftentimes, you’ll catch your mouse in within the first hour. Because there’s no delicious food sources in the wall, they’ll catch a whiff of what’s happening outside and make their way down.
- Check the box throughout the day to see if the critter has found the trap. If necessary, repeat until your walls are quiet.
Once you’re confident the mice are gone, patch the hole with sealant. To prevent this, it’s important to seal any small holes that may serve as entrance ways for mice. Look for slivers around door knobs, window frames and rafters as well.
How To Remove Mice From Attic
Sometimes attics in Louisville, KY are the easiest place to catch and kill mice because they are already in a confined space and you don’t have to worry about keeping the traps away from pets and children. Check the attic thoroughly for nests or scavenged foods and to identify entrance/exits. Place traps near these points, to make sure they are as effective as possible.
How To Catch Mice In Garage
The garage can be a tricky spot to know how to get rid of mice. With so many entrance and exit points, it can be hard to catch and eliminate mice. If possible, leave the garage door closed and ensure that any other doors are closed and sealed until you can trap and eliminate the mice. Once the garage is sealed, traditional traps are likely the most effective solutions. If you can’t prevent children or pets from entering the garage, use humane traps rather than snap traps to ensure the safety of tiny toes and paws.
Getting Rid of Mice From Air Ducts
Mice love air ducts. They are warm in winter, cool in the summer, and completely undisturbed. However, if you have a mouse die in your ducts, your entire home is suddenly filled with a rank odor. If you believe mice have invaded your duct system, here’s the best way to deliver an immediate eviction:
- Turn off your HVAC system. This may be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary and well worth it.
- When the grates are cool enough to touch, unscrew and remove them.
- At each vent, bait a trap with foods mice love (raisins, dates, cheese, chocolate or peanut butter).
- Reattach the vent grates and turn your HVAC system back on.
- Because mice are nocturnal, check the traps each morning. Remember to always remove mice with rubber gloves.
- Repeat with fresh traps until all mice have been eliminated.
How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Mice
One or two mice can be eliminated fairly easily. More than that often requires reinforcements. When it comes to proper mice extermination, your best option is going to be to call a pest control expert in Louisville, KY.
At IPM, we utilize trapping and baiting methods to remove mice from your home. We will come to your home and conduct an extensive inspection to find the source of the infestation, set our bait and traps, and put together a treatment plan that lays out how we plan to keep these unwanted guests from visiting again.
Get Rid of Mice FAQs
How do I use kitty litter to get rid of mice?
It’s pretty simple and can be an effective deterrent. Simply sprinkle used cat litter around the perimeter of your home, creating a little moat. If you don’t have a cat, add a little ammonia to the litter to help create the scent of urine to deter mice.
What scents do mice hate?
There are a few you can try:
- Peppermint oil
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili Oil or Powder
- Ammonia (Ammonia delivers an unpleasant smell and can be dangerous to use in the home, so it’s not advised to be used in high concentrations.
Should I get a cat to get rid of mice?
If you’re willing to add a cat to your home, they can definitely help keep mice away. Their natural instincts will often find the mice before you do. However, not all cats like to hunt, so trying getting cats that have spent time outside, like barn cats. And be prepared for dead “mice trophies” from your cat.
Your Local Mice Experts
A turf war with rodents isn’t a fun way to spend your weekend. Use this guide for experienced recommendations for how to get rid of mice quickly, safely, and naturally before they take over. If you find yourself with more than a 1-2 furry house guests, it’s best to call in the professionals. Call the mice exterminators at Integrated Pest Management Services in Louisville, KY today to reclaim your space.