Even the cleanest, best maintained house can be invaded by mice. These furry, four-footed visitors need only to find an entryway with a source of food on the other side to make your home their home.

If you’re hearing furtive scampering sounds in the middle of the night, if food looks a little nibbled in the morning or collections of small dark droppings are beginning to turn up at the back of cupboards, chances are you’ve got a few non-paying guests staying with you. It’s time to learn how to get rid of mice!

First Steps

Before actually trying to catch the mice in your home you should take a couple of steps towards making your home less attractive to these diminutive rodents.

Mice want food. By ensuring you always store food in the fridge or in airtight containers you’re going a long way towards creating an environment that will send mice packing.

Blocking holes and cracks and any other entry points that mice can exploit to gain access to your home will prevent a mouse infestation taking hold in the first place.

Note: blocking holes with material like rags and newspapers is pointless, mice will just gnaw through them. Use steel wool instead.

Different Mouse Measures

There are a number of different approaches to getting rid of mice once they’ve settled in your home. You could call in a professional exterminator, of course, but if you want to have a go yourself, consider the methods outlined below.

Cats

A cat can be useful for preventing a mouse infestation from taking hold. If there are already significant numbers of mice in your home, though, a cat alone will not be able to control them.

Using a cat as an anti-mouse measure also has its disadvantages. Cats kill for pleasure and may spend hours torturing a mouse before putting it out of its misery – not a pleasant sight for the kiddies. If a cat does eventually eat part of the mouse, it may ingest parasites and mouse poison.

Poison

Poison can be an effective way to get rid of mice, but it too has disadvantages. It is a slow and painful death and mice may either stagger out of their nests into plain sight, convulsing before horrified children, or they may die beneath floorboards or behind walls and create an appalling smell.

If you do choose t use poison, set it out in “bait stations”. These enclosed plastic containers will reduce the risk that the poison will be eaten by children or pets. Place bait stations against walls, near entrances to nests, near food sources, along mouse “pathways” and in any other place that shows signs of mouse activity. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Ultrasonic Devices

One of the more humane methods of chasing mice away from your home is to use an ultrasonic generator. These devices emit very high frequency sound waves that mice can’t stand – don’t worry about your pets, the frequencies are so high even dogs can’t hear them.

Ultrasonic devices work best in single rooms as the sound waves they generate can’t readily penetrate walls and doors.

Traditional Mousetraps

A tried and trusted favourite since their invention at the end of the 1800s, spring-loaded mousetraps are cheap and effective.

Note: if you use one of these traps, peanut butter or chocolate are more effective baits than cheese.

Unfortunately, traditional mousetraps often only maim the poor mouse and cause it to suffer through the night until you check the trap in the morning. And of course then you have to face the unpleasant task of finishing off the job yourself. Ugh!

Glue Mats

Basically a sheet of adhesive onto which the unsuspecting mouse steps, whereupon it finds itself stuck fast and spends the night hours in a futile struggle to free itself before collapsing of exhaustion. An unnecessarily cruel means of eliminating mice, glue mats, like traditional mousetraps, often require the services of the householder to send the rodent to its final resting place.

Humane Mousetraps

For a more humane and painless method of dealing with mice, try a humane mouse trap. Like tiny prisons, these devices simply entrap the mouse without injuring it. All you have to do then is carry the closed trap away from your house and release the mouse.

Note: don’t just release the mouse in your garden as it will inevitably find its way back into your home.

Your Choice

The method you use to get rid of mice is up to you, but it is worth remembering that, while our first reaction to the sight of a mouse or its droppings may be one of horror and disgust, mice, in small numbers, are relatively innocuous pests and should, perhaps, be given the opportunity to relocate before being sentenced to a summary (and painful) execution.

To see one type of humane mousetrap in action have a look at this video.

How to Get Rid of Mice, 2.8 out of 5 based on 13 ratings

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Comments

  1. Thank you for informative article. I would, however, like to add a few additional points.
    If you have mice in your house it is pointless to start sealing up entry points until the mice have been removed; even using wire wool. The mice would simply find or create another way. So the first step should be to eliminate the current infestation.

    Cats? Having a cat can certainly help deter mice, but cats can also be the cause of infestations. My mother’s well fed cats regularly bring mice into the house as a ‘gift’ and then let them go to play with them. If the mice get away, and they frequently do, they start an infestation which yours truly is called to sort out.

    Poison baits are the most efficient and effective way to deal with a mouse infestation. Mice rarely “stagger out of their nests into plain sight” due to poisoning. In almost all cases they become lethargic and curl up in their nest.

    Bad odours from dead mice are also rare and only happen where mice die in warm and unventilated conditions. it is better to get rid of the mice as they will die of natural causes and are as likely or indeed more likely to cause bad smells because they will breed to larger numbers and for be present for longer.

    I would agree that bait should be placed in bait stations if bait is to be placed anywhere that could be accessed by pets, children or non-target animals. However, stations can be lengths of pipe, boxes and other suitable containers.
    Ultra-sonic, electro-magnetic and other such devices are rarely effective against existing infestations. They may keep the mice ‘quiet’ for a couple of weeks as the mice are wary of this new affect in their environment. But, in the same way that you would be difficult to scare out of your home the mice will similarly be reluctant to leave. I have all too often been called to houses with several such units to find mouse dropping on to of the units. Rodent become used to such repellents within about two weeks.
    Where such units have some value is as a repellent to new mice entering the house. Faced with two similar houses, one with repellent units and one without, the mouse is more likely to choose the one without.

    Mouse traps are an effective and usually humanely rapid method of killing a mouse. They are an excellent supplemental control method but are only likely to deal with small infestation on their own. A well set pressure trap, i.e. against and perpendicular to a vertical surface where mice travel, is just as effective when set without any bait.

    Glue boards are banned in many countries but they can effective in catching a mouse trapped in a room where the mouse can be despatched humanely as soon as it is caught.
    Live capture traps can be effective, however the mice should be released at least 2km away. I have personally tracked mice released over 1km away finding their way back into a house. One thing that should be noted is that live capture traps are even more prone to causing trap shyness that snap traps. Once a mouse has encountered a trap and set it off without being caught, it is unlikely to ever go near such a trap again.

    Once the infestation is removed; then it is well worth the effort to spend some time examining how mice might have entered the house. Mice can flatten their bodies to squeeze through gaps as narrow as the width of a pencil. Check gaps under doors, around pipe work and cables, check for broken or damaged wall vents, check and cut back climbing plants and trees that might allow mice or rats access to roofs and eaves.
    Once the infestation is removed it is not necessary to use wire wool. Mice and rats do not gnaw their way into a house unless they have travelled that way before.

    You can find more information on how to get rid of mice at Kiwicare you can also call our helpful customer services reps for free advice.

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