One of the most common pests in Mississauga that homeowners often have issues with is house mice. They roam around your house at night looking for easy food sources, contaminating countertops and food along the way. Mice are known for carrying bacteria and viruses on meaning that you should take any type of rodent infestation very seriously. Rodent infestations in Mississauga are quite common among residential and commercial properties. In the case of small infestations on a residential property you should be able to get rid of them yourself; however, for large mouse infestations you should seek the expertise of a qualified mouse control company in Mississauga, like Pestend Pest Control Mississauga.
To control mice in your home you must first understand their habits to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. If prevention is not successful, you should know the signs that you have a mouse infestation and how to get rid of them. If you want to live in a rodent free home, keep on reading to learn tried and tested mouse control tips and advice.
Preventing a Mouse Infestation in Mississauga
Pest infestations are best handled by reducing your chance of an infestation to begin with, and this is no different for mice. Preventative measures should be taken by anyone who wants to avoid mice inhabiting their home. A good mice prevention program should include two important aspects;
- keeping the house clean to eliminate any attractive food sources and hiding spots
- denying mice access into your home by sealing off any potential entry points
By understanding the habits of mice, you can easily accomplish both of these preventative measures in sync to greatly reduce your likelihood of having a mouse infestation.
Make your house unattractive to mice
The main reason that mice invade residential and commercial properties is to find safe places to live, preferably near easily accessible food sources. If you can get rid of these two things, you’re halfway there. Start off by identifying potential hiding places around the home and eliminating as many of them as possible. They usually tend to hide in hard to reach places such as inside wall voids, in attics and inside storage boxes to name a few. By figuring out how they enter these places and properly sealing any access points you find will significantly diminish their chance for survival in your home deterring them from nesting there.
Another very important step in making your home unattractive to mice is to keep good sanitation around the home. Some simple things you can do to deter mice from an easy meal are:
- store all food in tightly sealed containers
- keep your garbage and compost in tightly sealed bins and empty them into your external bin every day
- clean up food scraps, leftovers and dirty dishes shortly after your meal
By reducing the amount of hiding places and eliminating attractive odours, you are sure to significantly reduce your likelihood of seeing a mouse infestation in your home. To get even better results, however, you should also eliminate entrance points into your home.
Sealing potential entrance points
Even more important than making your house unattractive to mice is learning how to keep them out of your house in the first place. Mice can squeeze through holes as small as ¼ inch in diameter so eliminating every access point in your home is nearly impossible. The goal is to eliminate as many as you can find around the home. The first step is to look for any crack larger than ¼ inch in the foundation of your home and surrounding openings for vents, pipes and cables. Properly seal these cracks with a strong material like concrete or steel otherwise mice will be able gnaw right through it. Once all these cracks are sealed, look to your windows and doors, making sure that they all have a tight fit.
Signs that You Have a Mice Infestation
Even if you followed the steps above to make your home mouse proof, there is still a slight chance that mice can infest your home anyway, especially when the weather becomes colder. Once they come in they can reproduce very quickly making extermination efforts more difficult and costly.
Keep an eye out for these telltale signs of a mouse infestation so you can get rid of them in the early stages:
- Sound of mice in wall voids and ceilings This is often one of the first signs that you have a mouse infestation. The sound of scratching and gnawing in wall voids and ceilings during the night time when they are active is an almost sure sign that you have mice; however, some other pests also create these sounds so look for the other signs below as well.
- Mouse droppings around the home Mice have no discretion when it comes to their bathroom habits and will go just about anywhere. If you have a mouse infestation you will find tiny black pellets, which is their feces, in areas of your home they have been to, most commonly found near food sources and nesting areas.
- Food crumbs and debris in cupboards Seeing food debris in pantries and cupboards is another sign that you have mice in your home. They are known to gnaw through packaged foods, even including pet food bags. If you find small holes in the bottom of these packages with food debris around it, you most likely have a mouse infestation.
How to Exterminate Mice from Your Home
The three mouse infestation signs listed above are the most convincing evidence that you have mice living in your home. If you catch it early enough to handle on your own, the next step is knowing how to exterminate them from your home. There are several methods and mechanisms used to exterminate mice, but before laying down traps around your home, you should find out the size of your infestation and where they are living to make the most effective use of your resources.
Understanding your infestation
Knowing the size of your infestation is the first step in preparing an extermination plan. You should be able to determine the approximate size of the infestation by seeing how much damage and feces are left behind by these critters. The more amount of food debris and feces that you see in areas with food and potential hiding spots, the larger your infestation is. If you feel the infestation is too large for you to handle, call in a professional mouse exterminator in Mississauga to get the job done right. By taking note of where the highest concentration of feces and rubbish is found, you should also be able to determine some of their hiding spots. There will be higher concentrations near their home so when you notice this try to focus in on exactly where they are living and where the access points are, this will be important for an effective extermination strategy to work.
How to get rid of mice
Once you know the size of your infestation and where they are living you will be able to determine your extermination method and the most effective locations to place traps. You should always place traps and baits in the direct pathways that mice take from their nests to feeding areas. Since they are tactile creatures with bad eyesight, mice usually travel alongside the wall, meaning that all of your traps should be placed alongside the walls between the nests and feeding areas. When placing traps, put two side by side, with the gates facing outward which will allow you to catch mice moving in both directions and reduce their chance of jumping over your trap. There are many devices and poisons that can be used to rid your house of mice, but for the sake of this article we will explore the three most popular mouse catching mechanisms.
- Snap Traps – These are inexpensive traps that have proven to be effective time and time again. Using food such as peanut butter placed on a trigger to lure mice in, a snap trap will cause a spring loaded metal piece to crush a mouse passing by once the trigger is hit killing the mouse almost instantly.
- Glue Traps – Similar to the snap trap, a glue trap lures mice in with attractive food that is placed on top of an adhesive surface. Once the mouse leans in to get a bite, they will get stuck to the surface until you find it and dispose of them how you wish. This is not as humane as snap traps because mice die slowly in this mechanism but is still a very effective mouse extermination tool.
- Live Traps – Live traps are essentially a miniature cage for mice that lures them in with a food sources placed atop a trigger, which when released causes a door to shut quickly, trapping the unsuspecting mice inside. This is by far the most humane way to capture mice as you can later release them into the wild unharmed.
Cleaning Up After a Mouse Infestation
Since mice are known to carry different types of bacteria, viruses and diseases, cleaning up after an infestation has been taken care of is extremely important for your health. You should carefully clean up any feces and nesting sites that you find, followed by scrubbing any surfaces with antibacterial soap. When cleaning up mouse droppings and nesting sites try to refrain from using methods like sweeping and vacuuming as this can cause some airborne bacteria and viruses to get released into the air.