The last thing anyone wants is to hear the pitter-patter of little mouse feet interrupting a quiet evening. Just like the rest of us, mice are looking for a comfortable spot to hunker down and stay warm. Now is the time to start working on keeping your home rodent-free this winter.
Store your food properly.
Mice are often attracted by the smell and accessibility of food. Store edibles such as grains and cereals in plastic or glass containers with airtight lids. Keeping things covered will reduce the chances of finding furry critters in your cupboards.
Catch the crumbs.
Cleanliness plays a big part in keeping rodents out of your home. Mice don’t need much more than a few grains of rice to decide that they will be your new roommates. Regularly sweep the floor, and wipe countertops and inside cupboards to get rid of these little particles and discourage mice from moving in.
Seal up the cracks.
Inspect the foundation and eaves for holes and cracks that could be an entry point for rodents. Fill any gaps you find with steel wool or cement, or cover them with wood panels. The less places you leave for mice to hide, the less likely they are to nest.
Keep doors closed. Mice are quick on their feet. If they see an opening, they will take it before anyone can spot them. Don’t leave your house doors open longer than necessary. That includes the door leading to your garage, where mice may be lurking.
Too late! They’ve arrived!
If you are already finding evidence of mouse activity in your home, such as droppings, don’t despair. There are a few things you can do to put an end to the problem before it gets any worse.
- Buy a better mousetrap. There are several different types of effective traps on the market, ranging from the basic mousetrap, to glue traps that trap a mouse on a very sticky surface, to “catch & release” mousetraps to electric traps. No matter what kind of trap you choose, start by setting no less than half a dozen. Target the areas where you see the most activity (droppings), as well as behind furniture and around baseboards. Check your traps twice a day and reset any that have been triggered. Remember that the more you have set, the more effective this method will be.
- Use the right bait. Mice have a sweet tooth – but they also like cheese and savoury items. To bait the trap, use a dollop of peanut butter with birdseed or nuts on it, bacon bits, chocolate, gum drops, strong-smelling cheese, or wet cat or dog food. (Only recommended if you do not have small children or pets in your home.)
- Try natural child-and-pet-friendly alternatives. Chemicals and traps may not be suitable in every household. Families with children and pets may want to explore alternative methods of repelling mice. By using everyday products, you can keep rodents away without worrying about where your kids and animals are playing.
- Use the power of peppermint. Many different kinds of critters, including mice, are deterred by the smell and taste of mint. Plant some around the outside of the house to prevent them from coming in or add peppermint oil it to your favourite household cleaner. The strong scent will discourage the mice from wandering into your home.
- Share your soda. Pour some pop into a shallow container or lid and set it out where you have noticed the presence of rodents. Mice lack the ability to burp so the gases from the carbonated drink have no escape.
- Stuff holes with dryer sheets. Insert them between the baseboards or gaps in the wall. Not only will mice run from the strong perfume scent, your pets won’t be tempted to eat it and your home will smell fresh.
- Ask the experts. If you are unsure about how to deal with a mouse problem, call an exterminator. They will not only help you through your current situation, they will also identify the weak points around your home and help you prevent future rodent infestations.
Don’t let your house become a mouse motel this winter. Put these tips into action and you can enjoy the winter season without unwanted guests.