Though we laughed out loud back in the day over the adventures of Tom and Jerry, the cartoon tomcat and house mouse, it is far from funny when your cat drops a mouse at your feet… especially if it came from inside your own house. Yikes!! The fact that your cat is showing you some love by delivering you its prize mouse is an experience that is sure to sap your spirits and made you shudder.
There are various ways to go about eradicating a house mouse situation. Baiting a snap trap with cheese or peanut butter will work – if there is only one such critter at large. But, if there are a contingent of mice in the house, you’d better consider hiring an exterminator to tame that problem ASAP.
How to Prevent Mice
If the idea of hiring a pest control expert in NJ to get rid of your petite rodent problem doesn’t make you happy, you could try a few easy tricks and then do a few preventative measures to ensure no more of these furry little critters get into your house. But first, catch the one you spied running underneath your refrigerator.
Proactive Mouse control
- Seal up any entryway to your home – Do a close inspection around the perimeter of your home and ensure you have filled any cracks or crevices in the façade of the house or around windows and doors where mice can access your home. Remember, how quick and small that little mouse is? He can get into your home in the space as small as one-quarter of an inch.
- Food source – First, ensure you don’t have any pantry items that do not have secure lids or are left unopened as mice will seek and find them in a heartbeat.
- Garbage cans – Be sure that garbage cans are kept far from the house and their lids securely fastened at all times.
- Peppermint oil or mint plants – Dabbing cotton balls with pure peppermint oil or growing mint plants and keeping them stationed near each doorway in the home, will deter mice as well. They detest the smell of peppermint.
- Cat – As mentioned above, a house cat might be a good way to get rid of the occasional mouse, but you also have to worry if the mouse is diseased and your cat plays with it or bites it. Some cats like to investigate, chase and play with a mouse then kill it; still others are interested for only a few minutes in the novelty, grow bored quickly and abandon the cat-chasing-mouse routine. If you have a cat, then you have cat litter and the cat urine in the litter will also deter mice.
- Traps – As mentioned above, the good, old-fashioned mousetrap will work just fine, but only one mouse at a time, and then you have to deal with the mouse whose life ended with the trap that has snapped down onto his head. You don’t like mice, but, if you are an animal lover in the least, this is not a very humane way to kill a mouse. If you have pets in the house, you need to worry that they do not hurt themselves on the snap trap. Likewise, the glue traps you can purchase at the hardware store, are not humane either as they trap the bottom half of the mouse in the sticky glue leaving it to die a slow and cruel death. It is also problematic if an inquisitive pet starts nosing around in the glue. A more-humane means of using a trap to kill a mouse is the “one-way in and no-exit” trap which captures the mouse, but you have to open and empty the trap, preferably as far away as possible from your home. This is a task definitely not for the faint of heart.
If these tips fail, and mice continue to roam your home, you need to go the professional exterminator route.
Seek to destroy
A trained exterminator will find telltale signs of mice in the house, according to their gnaw marks or often their droppings, or even from telltale sounds coming from the ceiling or walls. Mice are not only dangerous to humans, like when they make a mad dash in front of your feet and you might have a conniption fit, but on a more serious note, they are full of viruses and bacteria that are very harmful to your health. Mice will feed off your food sources and they are not only greedy for the food but they will use the cartons or boxes that contained that food to shred and make a nest. The urine, saliva and feces of some mice contain viruses and bacteria, harmful to man, such as salmonella. It is important to stop the mouse population in its tracks because breeding is fast and furious and colonies will grow very quickly.
A professional exterminator will control and end the breeding cycle as quickly as possible based on an extensive view of the situation, the damage and your home, and he or she will decide the best method of extermination and preventative maintenance going forward for your home.