How to deal with mice in the walls



What to do when you hear mice in the walls

Photo: istockphoto.com

Q: For the first time in my life I have mice. I had thought I was dreaming of the scratching and rattling noises I heard from the walls and ceiling, but then I finally found the quarter-inch poop. So far these critters seem to be out of reach – I’ve only seen one scurrying around the kitchen – so what’s the best way to deal with mice in the walls?

A: No wonder you haven’t seen much of these pests: mice that settle in your walls often stay in their nests during the day. You have already done a good job using the clues available to identify the exact type of pest you are harboring – mice as opposed to raccoons or squirrels – and this knowledge will guide you in choosing the most appropriate remedies for Support the elimination of these pests. If you’re not sure, look for other signs of a mouse problem, such as:

Curl them out.

Mice will pop out of your walls in search of food, and this is your best chance to catch them. Bait multiple traps with peanut butter or cheese and place them anywhere you’ve found mouse droppings, especially under sinks, in drawers, and behind furniture. (Whether you prefer to catch and release with a live trap or solve your problem with multiple snap traps is a personal preference.) Then check the traps daily – twice a day, even if you are using a live trap, in turn around it to release as soon as possible.

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If you find a mouse in your trap, put on a pair of gloves and do the following:

  • Traps with live mice should be put in a heavy plastic bag (cage and everything) and carried into a forest or park at least 150 meters from the house so that they cannot find their way back.
  • Dead mice can be put in a plastic bag to take away with the trash or directly in the outdoor trash can. If you’re too squeamish about undoing a snap trap to free the dead mouse, you can also ditch the entire snap trap at once. Fortunately, the wooden spring traps are affordable enough to be disposable.

Of course, it won’t often be one thing: stay vigilant and check any remaining traps for a few weeks after your first catch.

Use rodenticides with caution.

Toxic pellets only sometimes solve a mouse problem – some mice can actually be resistant to arsenic or anticoagulant toxins like warfarin – and they have a number of consequences. At best, a mice or two will carry your strategically placed pellets back to the nest and one or more will die in your walls. You won’t have to worry about mice anymore, but you may feel a hint of something uncomfortable in your home a few days after the act. Worst case scenario? The deadly chemicals for rodents are found and ingested by children or four-legged friends.

If you decide to proceed with poison, put pellets in a tamper-evident bait station (usually a large black box with an entrance and the poison deep inside) to prevent accidents. Find the station that is closest to the potential sources of food for the mice and that is still out of reach for pets and children.

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Photo: istockphoto.com

Remove all distractions from your bait traps.

To attract the mice in the walls to your trap, remove all other possible sources of food. Keep trash can lids tightly closed, clean up spills in the kitchen and dining room immediately, and make sure all food is kept in airtight containers. Of course, stop leaving fruit, candy, and all boxed snacks on your countertop, but think about your pantry too. It’s best to follow the same practices behind these doors, or – at least – inspect the cabinets to make sure they’re completely inaccessible.

Seal all holes.

Mice are sneaky little creatures that can fit through holes that are less than a quarter smaller. So take the time to search the entire perimeter of your home – floors, baseboards, corners, and more – and plug any cracks or openings you a. find larger piece of steel wool. Although they can try to dig into it, steel wool with a reinforcement of caulking compound creates a strong barrier. (If you fill holes before you are sure you’ve caught or poisoned all of the pests, you run the risk of trapping mice with their nests in the walls, leaving them to die and rot out of reach.) By the same inspection it is Also a good idea to repair damaged seals on windows and doors and cover your outer vents with hardware cloth so you don’t invite additional pests.

Keep them away.

Reinforce your defenses against future infestations in your walls by incorporating rodent repellants. Your local hardware store should have a number of options designed to scurry mice away rather than kill them. If you’d rather make your own to ward off unwanted intruders, simply combine three cups of warm water with one teaspoon of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle. Use this DIY mouse repellant spray or leave cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil away anywhere you suspect mice are sniffing (sealed doorways are a good place to start). A touch of peppermint and these rodents will quickly turn away and find another place to roam. As a bonus, your home will smell fresh like mint – a little bit of aromatherapy in return for your effort.

You can use smells outside the house too: if you have a cat, sprinkle some of Fluffy’s used cat litter on the outside edges of your house about once a month to scare away mice with the smell of a predator.

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