When you are at home with your family, maybe watching TV or eating dinner, you see something shoot across the floor out of the corner of your eye. You start to hear faint squeaks or soft scratching sounds behind your walls. You are looking at a mice or rat problem. Now you ask yourself, should I call an exterminator or handle this yourself?
The most surefire way to eliminate a mouse problem is to hire an exterminator to come to your home and rid you of your pest problems. Although your first thought might be to purchase traps, it will only work on some mice and rats. They are more clever than you think.
As you continue to read this article, it will go over a few signs to look out for when you think you have a mice or rat problem. Another thing we will discuss is going over a few things you can do before calling the exterminator. So, let us take a further look into this subject in more detail.
When To Call An Exterminator For Mice
There are a few signs to look for when you have mice in your home.
1. You See Droppings
A vast number of droppings scattered around your house is one of the most apparent symptoms of a mouse infestation. The droppings will be damp if they are fresh. However, as they mature, they grow dry and grey. Pay close attention to areas near food, inside drawers and cabinets, and under the sink. There will be a lot of droppings near the nest as well. If you see droppings, you can contact the authorities.
2. You Notice Tracks
Mice become more mobile as they become accustomed to a new environment. When they start moving, you might spot tracks or runways. If you see any mouse tracks, you can contact a mouse removal service as soon as possible.
3. You Start to See Nesting Materials
Mice are creatures who enjoy constructing dens. To make a nest, they typically collect shredded paper, silk, or dried plants. If you see clusters of any of these products, mainly if they are near droppings or trails, contact a company that provides quality mice removal to solve the problem before it worsens.
4. You Notice Gnawed Items
Mice have a habit of gnawing on food packets and furniture. If you see any bite marks in your house, you can contact a pest control company to determine if you have a mice issue. If you do, they will come and take care of the problem before it worsens.
If you notice any of these signs, you will have mice in and around your home. The more symptoms you see, the worse the problem is. The longer you wait to tackle the problem, the worse the infestation is. Mice, like most rodents, breed very quickly, and you can have a huge problem within a few months if you do not take care of the issue when you first notice it.
How Long Does It Take An Exterminator to Get Rid of Mice?
Exterminators use several techniques to eliminate rodents. Pest control professionals also begin by sealing any potential entry points, such as holes in windows and base cracks. They will then determine the kind of mouse you are working with, as different types can behave differently and necessitate other treatments. Following that, they will consider whether to use traps and mechanical equipment or not.
In terms of how long it takes for an exterminator to exterminate your pest issue depends on a few things. Some mice breeds are more stubborn than others making them more challenging to get rid of. On top of that, the worse your infestation, the longer it will take. Considering the typical amount of time an exterminator will take to rid you of your mouse problem should be around 1 to 3 months.
How To Take Care Of A Mouse Issue Yourself
If an exterminator is too expensive for you, you can try to tackle the issue yourself. However, while following this short guide, please call an exterminator if the problem persists over a month. Hiring an exterminator is the most surefire way of getting rid of your rodent infestation.
1. Identifying Entry Points
Firstly, if you decide to try and take care of the mice infestation yourself, identify and seal off entry points. Doing this will help reduce the chances of the infestation getting worse or even starting at all. This, however, can be difficult. Mice are microscopic animals, and they can squeeze into very tight spaces to invade your home. Without professional experience, you probably will not find all of the entry points to your home.
You can begin by sealing the cracks around the foundation of your home. Another thing to do is go along with the spots where vents and utility pipes come out of your home. Using caulk or steel wool is your best bet because plastic, rubber, wood, or pretty much anything else a mouse can chew its way through.
2. Setting Up and Choosing Traps
Now that you have sealed up most if not all of the entry points into your home, the next part is setting up traps. For light to moderate mouse populations, traditional wooden snap traps would do but bear in mind that most people underestimate mouse infestations. It is not unusual to set a dozen catches for a single mouse – or what you believe to be a single mouse. Use a lot of it.
It’s also a bright idea to set up a variety of traps. In addition to the wooden traps, use lure traps, multiple-capture live traps, and glue traps. This increases the chances of capturing any rodents, as others might be sensitive to certain kinds of traps and know how to escape them.
3. Baiting Your Traps
Once you have your traps, it is time to choose the bait for said traps. For bait, you can use any food the mice have been consuming in your house or mouse-approved favorites like chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, oatmeal, dried fruit, or hazelnut spread.
Once you’re ready to set the bait trap, use a fishing line or dental floss to secure the bait to the trigger. This ensures that the mice meet their timely end without making off with the bait of choice. You may also use a hot glue gun to protect the lure. Every two days, replace it with new bait. If the bait is not working, consider nesting material like cotton balls or feathers.
4. Choosing The Best Spots For Traps Around Your home
Set the traps parallel to the walls, with the control segment facing the baseboard. As a result, the mouse runs right towards the lure as it instinctively scurries around the walls, rather than stumbling over the trap from the wrong direction and releasing it prematurely.
Mice don’t move more than 10 to 20 feet from food sources and breeding sites, so set traps anywhere you see mice or evidence of mice, such as mouse droppings or rubbings on baseboards and walls. Change the location of the traps every two days or so. Mice are naturally curious, so they will not resist lures as rats will.
5. Bait Stations
Bait stations, also known as bait kits, are enclosed containers that carry meals or pellets. They are usually wrapped in cardboard, parchment, or cellophane, making it easy for mice to gnaw through and get at the preserved, fresh bait. The mice consume this bait and die as a result. Although these items can help you get rid of rodents, they can only be treated by qualified pest control experts to ensure the safety of you, your children, and your pets.
A Clean House Will Not Get Rid Of Mice, But A Dirty One Will Attract Them
Mice can live on 3 to 4 grams of food a day, so very few scraps here and there are all they need. Vacuum the surfaces and scrub down counters to remove all residue, crumbs, or access to food supplies. It would be wise for you to store food in glass jars or airtight containers. Don’t hesitate to lock up your trash. Mice have sharp incisor teeth that allow them to chew through almost everything, even concrete if the mood hits them, but plastic bags are no match for hungry rodents.
Remove any litter that may be a hiding place for mice. It would be best to keep weeds to a minimum, and you should destroy burrows and breeding areas as soon as they are discovered. Lining the base of your house with a strip of hard gravel is an effective way to avoid nesting and burrowing. The less litter and trash there is in your home and grounds, the easier it is to detect mouse activity and avoid rodents in their tracks.
Mice are pesky rodents that can be hard to get rid of entirely. You can choose to tackle the issue yourself with varying success. However, once you notice that you may have a rat or mouse problem in your home, call an exterminator immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation will become.
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