House mouse is a rodent well adapted to living in homes, farms commercial establishments or open fields and agriculture lands. They are not native to the United States but arrived with the early European settlers.
They are one of 19 species of rats, mice and voles that inhabit Arkansas. House mice are prolific. Females can produce as many as 13 litters in a year, averaging between four and seven young per litter.
House mice cause an inestimable amount of damage to foodstuffs and structures, particularly wall and attic insulation, electrical wiring and other building components. House mice contaminate food with their hair, urine and droppings.
Additionally, mice and their parasites transmit a number of diseases to humans, including salmonellosis (foodpoisoning), rickettsialpox, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, leptospirosis, ratbite fever, tapeworms and organisms that cause ringworm.
They can be differentiated from young rats. Young rats will have larger hind feet and head size proportionate to the body.
Habits and Feeding Behavior
Studies states a mouse can travels an area of diameter 10 to 30 feet (3 m to 9 m) in its daily activities. They seldom need to or normally go farther to obtain food. They can get water from the food itself that enable them to survive without freestanding water, and they drink when it’s available.
So a removing water source and food with moisture can help in inhibiting their numbers. Because of their limited movement and feeding behavior, house mice can be difficult to control in some situations. House mice eat many types of food but prefer those high in fat, protein or sugar. They relish bacon, chocolate, butter, peanut butter and nutmeats.
House mice readily eat new foods. A single mouse eats only about 3 grams of food per day (2.4 pounds per year) but destroys considerably more food than it consumes. Mice have a habit of nibbling on many foods and discarding partially eaten items.
If the problem you’re having really is mice the first thing you’ve probably noticed is their droppings. These can be anywhere from 1/8″ to 1″ in length and are dark with pointed ends.
The next thing you might detect is the smell of their urine — which has a very distinct odor. You’ll also probably hear them gnawing, running around or making squeaking sounds. These sounds could be very faint and you might have trouble determining their location.
You’ll also see evidence they’ve been around in the form of small holes gnawed in the sides of boxes or bags. Of course, you know without a doubt you have mice when you see them scurrying about.
They are constructed of shredded fibrous materials, such as paper or burlap, and appear as a ball of loosely woven material usually 4 to 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 cm) in diameter.
9 Ways to Get Rid Of Mice Fast!
- Clean your home
- Please don’t misquote me. I am not saying your house isn’t clean. It’s only that mice will come to places where they can find shelter, food and safety.
- I therefore mean that if you can make your home unsafe for them and deny them food, they won’t be able to stay.
- Apart from keeping the kitchen clean 24/7, always wash the plates immediately after meals and for the food leftovers, dispose them off into a dustbin and cover it. The idea is to deny them access to any trace of food and in that way, their chances of staying around is minimized.
- Keep trash cans at a distance
Mice love the smell that comes out of trash cans and they’ll trace it. The best thing to do therefore is to keep it as far away from your home as possible so that they won’t find a reason to visit your house.
- Block all their holes
If mice have taken residence in your house, there must be holes – both interior and exterior – that must be blocked immediately. It’s advisable that you start blocking the interior holes in order to give them a chance to live through the exterior exits.
I have mentioned that they love to feel safe and therefore if you start blocking their holes, they’ll feel that their safety is compromised. Be sure not to trap them inside by blocking all interior and exterior holes at ones. They’re experts at chewing holes and within no time, you’ll see them using new holes again.
When on a mission to block the holes, start by identifying them and clean them thoroughly before sealing them with an appropriate material. The most recommended materials are kitchen pads, copper scouring pads or steel wool. If you asked me, I would not recommend steel wool because it would soon rust and hence leaving the holes open again.
Ensure the pads are scouring and what’s more, cover them with a strong material from outside or else mice will pull them out and get their way in again.
You need to be on the lookout after the exercise to be sure that there are no mice activities around the house. If they persist, it means you dint seal all the holes or they have dug new ones. Repeat the process as you keep on checking if the already sealed holes remain so.
Sometimes, the holes might be too big to seal using the pads. In that case, repair the wall or floor, which is another way of blocking the holes.
To prevent rodent entry, their capabilities need to be understood. Their physical abilities are impressive. Mice can:
- Enter openings larger than 1/4 inch (0.6 cm).
- Easily run along or climb wires, ropes, vines trees etc to entre into a building.
- Climb almost any rough vertical surface of metal, plastic or wood products.
- Crawl along or through underground pipes or utilities, augers, conveyors, conduit and or communications lines.
- Gnaw through lead, aluminum sheeting, plastic , vinyl, fiberglass, rubber, wood, or weak concrete.
- Jump on to an nto an elevated surface as high as 18 inches (46 cm) from a floor.
- Travel considerable distances crawling upside down along screen wire.
- Survive and reproduce at temperatures of 24 degrees F (-4 degrees C) if adequate food and nesting material are available.
- Look for dried snake poo
You can get rid of mice by simply scaring them away using a dry snake poo. As you know, mice and snakes are not bed fellows and whenever mice sees or smell any sign of snake, it will disappear from that area as fast as its ability can allow. Get a dried snake poo from a nearby zoo or reptile center and place it strategically in the areas frequented by mice or near the entrance of their holes.
- Keep a cat in your house
Cats are the best pets to take care of the mice. Even though you give them food, many of them enjoy hunting their own and mice are their favorite dish. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor cat, most of them love hunting mice.
Mice as well, know that cats are enemies and the moment they spot them, they will hide until the cat is gone or will try to run away depending on what tactic they think is appropriate at the time. Sadly, they don’t have the ability to run faster than the cats, which might mark the end of its days in your house if not on earth.
Unfortunately, for some reasons, not all cats see it necessary to hunt mice and they might even make friend with them. Why would you have such a cat in your house anyway if it can’t help with animals like snake, mice and other pests?
- Have dogs in your home
Having dogs around is an effective way of getting rid of mice quickly. Even though cats are also good when it comes to getting rid of mice, they’re at risk of contracting diseases that either are spread or caused by their prey. Dogs are therefore the best pets to deal with mice because their immune system is on point and they’ll easily put up with any disease that their prey might cause them.
- Zap with beeps.
An ultrasonic sound emitting electronic device is a pest repellant that produces sounds intolerable for rodents, but normal for cats or dogs.
- Organic mice repellant
These are all natural 98% bio-based mice repellant but safe for children. They have pleasant smell and can also act as air-fresheners.
Glue boards. This mean of getting rid of mice is good because it allows catching many mice simultaneously, but is not so widely used due to humane reasons – mice are left to die of starvation and stress. You must also take care that your own pets do not get into such traps instead of mice. Glue boards can be easily bought in hardware stores or online.
- Poison. This method is considered to be even more effective than traps. However, it has some drawbacks. Mice poisons may be toxic for humans and make children and pets ill. Another disadvantage is that mice often die afterwards in inaccessible areas and produce bad smell. If you have decided to use poison anyway, stick with one in a tamper-proof station and do not put it anywhere where your children or pets can reach it.
- Mice repellent sprays. They are also designed to drive mice away from your home without killing them. Despite being safer than other methods, such as poisons, zappers or traps, this one also has disadvantages. As sprays do not kill rodents, mice infestation may still persist even after their using.
- Attract mice predators
If mice have decided that, you’re going to share your residence with them, find away to bring their predators into your home. The best one would be owls because they not only love to feed on mice, but also know how to hunt them. Make or buy a shelter box and place it on top of a tree.
In few days’ time, an owl will have come to stay there and hunting will have began. Be sure the shelter box doesn’t contain anything that can harm owls because if that happens, you’ll be on the bad side of the authorities and the fine to pay is hefty.
- Use a humane trap
You can find a trap that will allow the mice to enter inside but not come out. You can set a trap that catches them in a box so that you take them away without killing them. Ones they’re under your custody, take them far away from home so that they can find somewhere else to reside.
- Use peppermint oil
You can get rid of mice by using natural repellents like peppermint oil. Those little animals cannot tolerate the smell and they will leave. It’s readily available at the local health food stores and grocery stores.
Ones you’ve gotten peppermint oil, place 2 drops on a cotton ball and put it on entry points that mice are likely to use into your house. Place the cotton ball near the main door of your house, at the ventilations and near the windows. Again, you can as well place it near their holes.
For a permanent solution, grow peppermint plants in your compound especially near the entry points. Because of the smell, mice will never consider your home as a place for them.
What Isn’t Recommended
There are a number of commercial products that are ineffective at controlling house mice populations or are not recommended around homes because of their hazardous nature.
- Frightening devices producing ultrasonic sounds are commercially available, but their effectiveness is unsubstantiated by scientific research. Therefore, these are not recommended as a solution to rodent problems. Loud or unusual noises may temporarily frighten house mice, but mice soon become accustomed to new sounds heard repeatedly.
- Repellents, such as mothballs or household ammonia, may temporarily move mice from one location to another but do nothing to remove the mice. A product called Ro-pel is registered for use in repelling mice from gnawing on trees, poles, fences, garbage and other objects, but will do nothing to remove mice.
- Fumigants typically are not an option in homes. Some fumigants are registered for use in rodent burrows. House mice burrows are often small, difficult to find and cannot be fumigated efficiently or economically.
Tracking powders can be effective at mouse control but are not recommended around homes. When mice walk over a patch of toxic powder, they pick up some on their feet and fur and later ingest it while grooming.
Tracking powders are useful in situations where food is plentiful and good bait acceptance is difficult to achieve. The concentration of active ingredient in tracking powders is considerably higher than food baits using the same toxicant. Therefore powders are more hazardous. Many, if not all, are Restricted Use Pesticides.
How to get rid of mice in the walls
- First of all, you do not want any more mice to show up in the first place, do you? Then go on, and check your home for any possible entry points for mice. As soon as you find one, seal it with some steel wool. Mice will have hard time chewing on that! But no matter what you are sealing with, make sure it is not easy to chew on.
- You should place some snap traps and glue boards along the walls and possible entry points, and put some peanut butter as bait (mice love that stuff). Don’t forget to check your traps daily, or when you hear the “SNAP” sound!
- You can make a good use of repellent, such as…dried snake poo. Yes, you can ask for it in the zoo, reptile center or your local pet store (they sell “pet” snakes, don’t they). By placing it around problem areas, mice will be terrified.
- If you actually adore these little creatures, you can use a Humane Trap. It’s the kind of trap that catches the mice in the box without leaving a chance for it to get out. It’s alive and still good, and all you need to do is to take it for at least a mile away from your home and release it.
- Actually, don’t use poison under any circumstances, leave it to the professionals. Otherwise, you’ll end up filling up the house with stench of decomposing mice bodies inside the very walls you were trying to get them out of.
And, when handling dead mice, always use gloves. Wrap them in paper and place them in a plastic bag, then dispose of it by putting in a tightly sealed trash container.
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