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How Do I Control an Infestation of Mice?

Blocks of mouse poison.
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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
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An infestation of mice usually requires a range of safeguards to help control and eventually eliminate the pests. You can use various types of traps, or you can contact an exterminator who specializes in rodents. Either of these methods may work temporarily, but to make sure the infestation does not become a recurring problem, you will have to improve the environment by eliminating access points the mice are using for entry and increase sanitation.

Mice are attracted indoors for a variety of reasons. They may be seeking shelter, a place to raise their young, or a food supply. You need to try to determine how they are getting inside, and take steps to block their entry. Mice often come in through cracks in baseboards or holes that surround water pipes. These cracks and holes should ideally be sealed with concrete, but anything that is gnaw proof and has a flat surface will usually suffice.

Sometimes an infestation of mice is caused by unsanitary conditions in or around a dwelling. If you are leaving garbage outdoors, make sure the garbage bags are well wrapped and free of holes or tears. In addition, garbage cans should have lids that seal; otherwise, the mice will be attracted by the odor from the garbage inside.

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If you already have mice inside your dwelling, do not make it easy for them to feed. Make sure any food items that must be left outside of cabinets are in sealed containers, preferably constructed of gnaw proof materials. If you have pet feeding bowls, you should dispose of any uneaten food, including small bits that might have spilled outside the bowls.

Another thing you can do to help control an infestation of mice is to eliminate any areas that might make good nesting places. Mice like to burrow down in papers and boxes, usually in areas that do not see a lot of traffic, such as closets or basements. If you have an infestation of mice, it might be a good time to do a complete cleaning, including closets and basements.

In most cases, controlling an infestation of mice will ultimately require that you set traps or put out poison. Both methods are usually inexpensive, and usually everything you need can be purchased at hardware stores. You can buy traps that kill the mice, or if you prefer, several types of live capture traps are also available. If you decide to use poison, remember that it can be dangerous to both people and pets, so be sure it is placed in an area that is only accessible to the rodents.

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Discuss this Article

Animandel
Post 3

I once lived in a house in the woods. During the winter, we would catch a mouse a night in the trap. Then we got the best rodent control out there -- cats. I never saw another mice. Well, I never saw another live one. The cats do like to show off their catches.

Sporkasia
Post 2

Drentel - I guess your chances of controlling mice does depend on where you live. I once lived in a house and I tried traps, poison and everything I could find to get rid of mice. Eventually, I called an exterminator.

For some reason, I thought the exterminator would have a better method of getting rid of the mice, but he ended up doing the same things I did with the traps and poison. I didn't see any mice for a while then they were back.

Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands again. I crawled under the house and found every crack and opening where a mouse might be able to enter the house. I closed them all off and that was the end of my mice problem.

Drentel
Post 1

When you live in the country or in an area with open fields keeping field mice out of your house is a year around job. Whenever the weather changes, the little animals find their way into the house.

My advice is always keep traps and poison out in places where the mice and rats are most likely to find them. If you can keep the traps and poison both inside and outside then you have a better chance of getting more mice. The problem many people make is that they wait until they see a mouse before they start trying to get rid of them. By the time you see one, you probably have a dozen of them running about.

The bad news is that in certain locations, the best you can hope to do is keep the mice population under control.

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