Rodent Issues Are Nothing New
People have feared rodents for thousands of years. Just the mention of a mouse sends some folks on top of the nearest chair! Mice are more common than you probably think and if you’re not thinking about them, your home is likely at risk. Mice aren’t just unsightly: they can carry disease, cause structural damage to your home, and set up shop within your walls in only a matter of weeks.
First and foremost, you need to determine if you’ve got rodents in or around your house. Some of the most common signs of mice include:
- Scratching noises under floors or in walls, particularly at night
- Grease smudges along baseboards, floors, or walls
- Small black droppings in cabinets, floors, and in drawers
- Strong ammonia smell which comes from rodent urine
- Nests made from scavenged, soft materials
If you’ve seen any of these signs in your home odds are good you’ve got a rodent problem.
How to Get Rid of Mice
So, how do you take care of a rodent issue once it’s taken root? There are lots of home remedies for mice you may want to try and, of course, most professional exterminators are specially trained to deal with rodent-related infestations.
The classic solution to a home mouse problem is purchasing a few inexpensive mouse traps. There are dozens of traps on the market – from wooden “snap traps” to sticky paper – some more effective than others. If you are squeamish, dealing with mice directly is probably a bad idea. You should also be aware of the increased risk of disease that comes from handling mice and the risks involved in setting traps. Traps only work if mice find them in the first place, and the bait used to lure them in may actually unwittingly attract bugs.
Ultrasonic devices are relatively new to the home market and they can be quite effective against mice. They work by emitting an unpleasant ultrasonic vibration throughout your home that rodents hate which can send them packing. Downsides include the upfront expensive of purchasing an ultrasonic system and the knowledge necessary to place it correctly in your home.
There are plenty of over-the-counter mice poisons available today. They vary in effectiveness and pose heightened risk to pets and children which is why it’s usually best to bring in professionals to ensure the safety of your family. Poisons work in one of two ways: instant kill methods that take effect within minutes and long-term poisons that mice carry back to their nests and share with each other.
Get a Cat
If you’ve been considering getting a feline companion, now’s the time! Rodents are actually attuned to the smell of cats and will often leave an area to avoid becoming lunch. People have been using cats as a natural form of mice prevention for hundreds of years and it’s actually pretty effective. Of course, you have to want a cat in order for this method to make sense.
Call an Exterminator
The easiest and most effective way to take care of mice in your home is to bring in a pest professional. Exterminators have experience dealing with and identifying all kinds of rodents as well as an arsenal of tools and compounds that are proven to take care of rodent issues head-on. You might be surprised how affordable professional mouse treatment actually is.
Preventing Rodents is Key
Easier than getting rid of mice is preventing them from getting in. Start by removing all food sources from lower cabinets and the floor of the pantry and always remember to keep food (particularly dry goods) sealed in air-tight containers. Never leave the doors or windows open without a screen and take care to seal up cracks in your eaves, siding, and crawlspaces. Preventing a rodent problem starts with awareness!