Make your mice elimination program more effective by following these easy yet effective tips.
There’s no doubt about it! Trapping is still the best method for addressing mice and rat infestation in your home. When mousetraps are used correctly, these can trap rodents of nearly all shapes and sizes before their release into the wild.
But while trapping will eliminate the mice problem, it isn’t effective in the long-term period if and when you haven’t taken the necessary measures to mouse-proof your home. The mice and rats will come back again and again because their entry points are still open and your home still have numerous food sources and shelter material. Think of your home as these pests’ 24/1 supermarket and you get the idea. There’s many resources online about how to get rid of mice, but in this article, we will go over some of the most effective ones.
So, what can you do to stop them from entering your home? Here are a few ideas plus tips on using mouse traps.
Sealing Off Entry Points
Keep in mind that mice only need a small hole about 1/4-inch to gain entry into your home. You should check every possible nook and cranny in your home and attached garage, if any, so that you don’t leave anything out. You will likely still have a mice infestation issue in your hand if you don’t cover every entry point.
The most common entry points for rodents are the following so you should start in these places.
- The gaps between the vinyl sidings, such as the corner posts and J-channels, are common entry points because these have hollow areas. Mice enter your home through these hollow areas, burrow behind the walls and then create holes using their sharp teeth and claws. Fill in these areas with steel wool pads, steel mesh and silicone caulk.
- The brick walls in your home may also have gaps between the bricks, known as weeping holes. These holes should be filled with mortar, both on the interior and exterior sides.
- The cracks in the foundation are easy targets for mice, too. Use silicone caulk in filling in the cracks, gaps and holes in your house’s foundation to bar entry against rodents.
- The attached garage is a free-for-all entry point for rodents so be sure to check its windows, doors and even floor for possible entry points. Uneven doors should be sealed with weather stripping at the bottom. Fill in cracks and holes in the sheetrock, too, with silicone caulk. Of course, don’t leave your garage door open for prolonged periods and keep your garage as clean as possible.
- The chimney can become the ladder, sort of, for mice and rats to climb up its exterior and then down its exterior and into your home. You can place metal sheeting around its base so rodents won’t have a foothold to climb up on it.
- The utility lines and HVAC units are entry points if you give mice a chance. Be sure to closely inspect them, both on the interior and exterior, and fill in the gaps and cracks with silicone caulk.
- The roof of your home may have holes and gaps where bees, birds and bats as well as rodents can make their home. Worse, these animals can enter your home through the attic and become pests that bring illnesses to your family. You should then address roof repair as soon as possible, perhaps hire a professional roofer for it, so these pests won’t make your home their home, too.
Other places where entry points are possible include weep vents, gaps between buildings and doors and frames. The job of sealing off entry points can be laborious, as expected, but the rewards are worth the effort. You can hire a professional pest exterminator if you can’t handle the job on your own.
As for trapping mice and rats, it’s easier than you think but you should have a strategy for it.
- Choose the best mouse traps according to the specific situation in your home. There are plenty of models to choose from, such as the traditional cage made of metal grills, wooden traps and thick plastic traps, among others. Keep in mind that these traps usually require the removal of the trapped rat, either by releasing them into the wild (live) or burying them (dead).
- Choose the right locations because it’s key to effective trapping. We suggest setting the traps near the walls and baseboards since mice like to scurry alongside them, as well as in areas with mice activity. Look for urine tracks, feces droppings and chewed items, which are sure signs that mice have been in these areas.
- Use the right baits, too, such as peanut butter and instant mashed potato flakes.
- Check the traps daily, if possible. You should then be able to determine whether the baits have worked or the rats have been caught in the traps.
There’s a reason we suggested sealing off the entry points first before setting the mousetraps. The rats and mice will still come back since they still have entry points. No matter the number of traps placed, these rodents will keep coming back because the numbers are on their side.