How To Deal With A Persistent Mouse Infestation
Mice are an unwelcome sight in any home, and even more so when they just won't go away. If you've cleaned your house and placed your traps and mice are still showing up, the problem is a little more serious. While an infestation that's a little more entrenched is more difficult to get rid of, you can make the permanent removal of your mouse problem a little easier by taking a few offensive and defensive measures.
Block Off Entrance Points
One reason mice may come into your home is that they have easy access to a place they feel safe. Even if your home doesn't offer much in terms of food, it may provide warmth, shelter, and protection from predators. The reason they may choose your house over another more natural shelter is ease of access, so the best way to try to keep mice out is to make it more difficult for them to get in.
Unfortunately, this can be a tedious task. Mice are able to fit into very small spaces -- and if they can't quite fit, they'll gnaw their own opening -- so patching up possible entrance points requires some diligence. Some common areas to look for holes or gaps are:
- Around the base of your home
- The connection points of ducts or chimneys or pipes
- Attic or air vents
- Where utility lines meet your house
- Windows and window frames
It's unlikely that you'll patch up every possible entrance point, but you can definitely make an effort at dissuading them, and in some cases that may be all you have to do. If you're having trouble looking for gaps, a good time to look is during the night. From outside, use a flashlight and wave it slowly over your house while someone on the inside looks for any signs of light. These gaps can be sealed in a variety of ways, from caulk to mesh fencing.
Search For Nests
A persistent problem with mice can often mean that the mice in your house have made themselves at home and are now reproducing or are somewhere close by. In these cases, they will have made themselves a home of their own, usually in a dark, warm, and secluded place. When your mice just won't go away, it's time to go nest hunting.
Mice make their nests out of just about any spare material they can find, from wood chips and bits of insulation to twigs and lint, so keep an eye out for clumps of debris that might at first seem like a pile of trash. Some common spots for mouse nests are up in the attic, in or near your HVAC's ductwork, and in dark corners of garages. You may need to move some things around to make sure you're being thorough, but the search is usually worth it either way. If you don't make any headway finding a nest, but mice still keep showing up, it's time to call an exterminator.
Clean Up Inside And Out
Like most pests, mice are focused primarily on survival, which means access to shelter and food. If this is gained any easier in your house than elsewhere, they will pick your house. The best way to keep mice away from your house is to make it and the surrounding area unappealing. If you have any piles of wood or debris near your house, this is a possible shelter, as is heavy plant growth or brush near the base of your home. Another possibility is your air conditioning condenser, so keep that and the area around it clean and dry.
For any garbage stored outdoors, make sure any food goes into a sealed bag and then into a closed bin if possible. You can also move your bins farther away from your house, so mice don't make the "jump" from the garbage bins to your home. Indoors, make sure you have no leaks that might provide a source of water for mice, check all of your food to make sure it's properly sealed and stores, and don't leave trash sitting anywhere too long.
If this still doesn't work, call for an inspection from a company like Environmental Pest Control. They can advise you on what step to take next, and then get rid of your mouse problem for good.