PROFESSIONAL MOUSE AND RODENT CONTROL
A mouse can fit into the tiniest of entry points. They can squeeze into even the smallest of openings (from one-quarter of an inch and up). A general rule of thumb is that if a pencil can fit into a crack or opening in your home, apartment or place of business, a mouse can get through it. It is imperative to seal cracks in the foundation to get rid of mice and prevent them from entering. This also applies to openings in the walls, even where utility pipes, plumbing and vents are situated. Caulking and everyday steel wool are very effective deterrents against mice. Sealants or caulking materials which are not effective in getting rid of mice are ones that contain or utilize rubber, plastic, and wood because these can all be easily chewed through by mice.
The rodent most homeowners or apartment dwellers are most likely familiar with and to encounter is the “house mouse”. This type of mice is one of the most common rodents found in the home. A house mouse can produce anywhere between 30 and 100 droppings a day! House mice have a very pointed nose, big ears, and short hair. Their feet are broad, and they have a tail that appears to be very scaly. Their body structure makes them excellent jumpers and climbers.
Mice can rapidly spread diseases, such as:
- Rat-Bite Fever
- Bubonic Plague
Mice and rodents have been known to have spread up to more than 30 different diseases. This is done through their droppings, urine, saliva, and nesting materials. These diseases can be lethal. If you have a major infestation of mice in your home, the risk of catching one of these diseases increases significantly.
How to Get Rid of Mice
It’s one thing to see a little field mouse scurry through your backyard, but it’s entirely another issue when they’re running through your kitchen and leaving droppings in their wake! Mice are carriers of many diseases, so it’s a health hazard when they leave a trail of urine or feces. While their size may cause people to think they can’t be all that bad, mice are very clever, resourceful, and difficult to get rid of.
Mice breed often and rapidly. The only way to prevent breeding is to exterminate them. Female mice can birth a liter of pups in as quickly as three weeks! Each birth can have a liter from three to twelve pups or more! A house mouse can typically live between 5 months to 2 years depending on external factors. The average mouse nest in a home can be very active. A typical nest can house anywhere between one dozen to two dozen or more mice! Unfortunately, as the saying goes, if you see one mouse, there are usually more to follow.
Mice, rats and rodents in general can be some of the toughest pest to keep out of your home or office! Once they get inside the walls and set up their new homes, they can put up a fight. However, with our help, you can rest easy! While difficult, it is not impossible to get rid of mice in your home, restaurant or place of business.
Over the centuries, mice and other rodents have learned to co-exist with humans and closely associate themselves as parasites with human habitats for food, water, and shelter. If living conditions for mice are right (access to food, water, and shelter), they can multiply quickly and will become more difficult and expensive to remove.
Any good rodent control program has 3 steps, the essential first step is to eliminate their potential food, water sources.
- 1st: The essential first step is to eliminate food and water sources. Clean up food laying around or unsanitary conditions, especially in the kitchen.
- 2nd: Patch any holes along the baseboards and/or seal doors and windows where a small animal or mouse might get in.
- 3rd: Use several different methods depending on the situation. Proven steps usually include trapping or baiting to get rid of the rodent population over the course of subsequent weeks. The use of a good exterminator will be essential in effectively getting rid of mice.
The information below will go into more depth on how mice may have gotten into your home and how you can and will get rid of them and keep them out for good!
Home-Made Remedies That Will Get Rid of Mice
There are some very basic ways to win the war against mice infiltrating your home, restaurant or place of business. One is simply using peppermint oil to get rid of mice. While the fresh scent of the peppermint may smell wonderful to you, it will send mice fleeing in the opposite direction. Simply place a small amount of the oil on cotton balls, and strategically place them in points of entry and anywhere else where you have seen mice activity.
Onions are another strong smell that mice despise. However, this remedy comes with a caveat. Onions are toxic to some animals, such as cats and dogs, so they must be placed where a household pet does not have access to them to avoid accidental ingestion. Onions also tend to rot after being left out for several days. Trust us, this will not smell like peppermint oil!
Another natural way to combat mice is with ammonia. Simply put, ammonia smells like the urine of a possible predator to mice. Homeowners can fill a cap from a bottle with ammonia and leave it out anywhere mice could have an access point. This includes under the sink, or inside the pantry. With the use of ammonia, caution is advised. Ammonia must be out of reach of small children or household pets.
There are also some lesser known home-made remedies listed below that will take some time and effort to setup but will have the ability to kill mice dead in their tracks. One involves store-bought, instant-mashed dried potatoes. Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons where the mice are known to go. They will eat the instant dried potatoes (you can mix with peanut butter as well), but the flakes will soon expand in their stomachs and kill them before they’re fully digested. Another more drastic measure is using a bucket that is filled with water and dish soap. Fill a bucket halfway with water. Place a piece of wood, acting as a ramp, placed at an angle on the outside of the bucket. Then cover the surface of the water with leaves and place some peanut butter on one of or all of the leaves. The mice may be tricked into thinking there is ‘free food’ available to them when they try to access the peanut butter, but they will slide under the surface and drown in the water.
The basic mousetrap, which is spring-loaded, is still the most popular and effective means of capturing and getting rid of unwelcomed mice. Many homeowners find adding a small amount of peanut butter to their traps are more effective in getting rid of mice than traps without peanut butter. Despite numerous cartoons over the years, mice generally eat seeds or nuts. Mice enjoy the scent and flavor of nuts and peanuts. They will be attracted to the scent of peanut butter. There are ‘glue-board’ traps in which peanut butter can be placed in the middle, and when a mouse, or mice, venture onto the board, they effectively have their legs stuck to it. You could also use mouse poison pellets to get rid of mice.
You can find mouse poison pellets at your local store or in our online store located here.
There are other types of traps on the market that prevent the ‘hunter’ from seeing the ‘hunted,’ to efficiently get rid of mice. There are ‘no-view, no-touch’ traps that allow any trapped mice to simply be disposed of. Cats are also very effective in reducing and eliminating potential mice threats to your home.
For those who want a more humane route for removing and getting rid of rodents and mice, they can buy reusable traps in which the mouse is not killed, but rather detained, and can be released at some point outdoors and away from your home.
Mice are looking for three main things when they infiltrate your house:
Your home provides all of these things not only for you, but also for mice. Good nesting materials are also very inviting to mice and are probably in abundance in your home. This includes materials with cotton or feathers, cardboard boxes, old newspapers, and even dental floss. Keeping these materials in an unkempt manner will reduce your ability to get rid of mice effectively and efficiently.
How to Get Rid of Mice in a Home and Apartment
- All it takes is one pregnant rodent or a male and female to start an infestation. Most people will not see a mouse or rat unless they have an infestation because these creatures like to hide, only coming out at night. The most common sign of rodents is the appearance of droppings in an around your home or apartment. The following steps can help homeowners to get rid of these unwanted pests and mice in your home and apartment.
- One of the first steps homeowners need to take is to eliminate all entry points in your home or apartment. Mice can squeeze through an opening that is slightly smaller than a dime. Sealing all cracks, crevices, and holes in and around walls and entry points is essential. Doing this to get rid of mice in your apartment will be easier than in a single-family house do the square footage.
- To catch a mouse, using the right baited mouse trapscan help to get rid of mice. It is important to use a bait that will entice the rodents and stay in place. Despite many cartoons and tv shows, surprisingly, peanut butter is a better choice than cheese. Using mouse poison pellets are also an option.
- To catch or kill a mouse, mouse poison pellets and pesticides can and should be used when there is a large population of rodents. However, caution must be taken regarding the use of mouse poison pellets and pesticides. When the pets ingest the pesticide, they can sometimes die behind walls and under flooring, creating a terrible smell for days or weeks. Hiring a professional pest exterminator can be useful to avoid these unpleasant situations.
- Proper sanitation is vital when it comes to making a home less attractive for rodents. Mice can live on 3 to 4 grams of food a day, so even a few crumbs will keep them alive. While proper sanitation will not eliminate a current rodent problem, it can prevent a new one from occurring. Keeping your apartment or house free from debris and unsanitary conditions will go a long way in your pest management program and ultimately help to aid your efforts in getting rid of mice.
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When Is It Time to Hire an Exterminator?
One of the most unsettling sounds a homeowner can hear while lying in bed at night is the sound of mice scurrying through the walls. Their presence is made painfully obvious by the gnawing and clawing sounds emanating from behind the walls. This is the point where it is probably best to hire an experienced professional exterminator.
The first thing an experienced pest control service will do is thoroughly examine your house for any signs of mice and an infestation. This includes inspecting all entryways and openings and identifying the exact type of rodent you have. They will then seal off all the possible entry points. Next, they will set traps or use mouse poison. The amount of poison needed will be dependent on the scale of infestation.
Poison pellets exterminators use tend to be commercial grade and are comprised of more concentrated and effective poisons. Mouse poison and pellets do not instantly kill on contact. Most mice poison pellets are effective but can take up to a week to finally kill mice. A reputable exterminator will always do a follow-up visit to make sure the poison has been effective in mitigating your mouse problem.
The average cost for mice pest control services is approximately $250. By hiring an exterminator to control pests, homeowners will likely spend between $250 and $400. The price of pest control can vary greatly upon the size of the home, place of business or restaurant. Just like with any purchase, such as when buying a car or a house, customers should shop around to see reviews and what others are saying before a purchase agreement is made.
Fumigation is a last resort for many exterminators since the procedure is expensive and dangerous. Families need to leave their homes for a couple of days during this process, as this will give the exterminator time to spray the poison designed to wipe out entire colonies of mice.
Upon reentry, residents will have to spend a good amount of time cleaning counters and surfaces to make sure that they are safe to use.
In regard to safety, it is imperative to follow all of the suggested directions, guidelines and advice of your chosen pest control professional at all times.
Not every person or business is reputable, so it’s wise to conduct proper due diligence when you’re in the market for an exterminator. Here are a few things you should avoid, courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
- A deal that appears too good to be true. Rely on your common sense to separate unrealistic deals from practical ones.
- A salesman who comes to your house unsolicited and offers a “free pest inspection” or puts undue pressure on you to purchase pest control treatments. That person could very well be a scam artist. It is within your right to contact your local police department to see if this person has registered with them as a solicitor, as many towns require.
- Be skeptical of any pest control business whose phone number isn’t listed or isn’t working.
- Also, be wary of any offer to combine pest control services in conjunction with other services. This could include home repair or tree trimming as part of a package deal. Look for individuals who focus on and have expertise in pest control services.
Alternative do it yourself methods to help get rid of pests inside your home.
Tips for using rodent traps
- Make sure to choose the correct size trap for a mouse or rat.
- Make sure to use the correct trap. i.e.: mouse = mouse trap, rat = rat trap.
- Place the traps where you have seen the most activity from the rodent.
Keep your home clean
- Remove excess trash build up.
- Vacuum/sweep up the crumbs left on the floor or counter tops.
- Do not leave food out overnight. If you do, make sure they are sealed properly in proper tamper proof containers.
- Have a tight sealing lid on top of your garbage to prevent the rodent from getting in.
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