The house mouse is amongst the top five pests affecting homes and businesses in most parts of the United States. Controlling this pest can be very challenging at times. To successfully eliminate this pest from structures, four crucial questions have to be addressed.
1) How did the mice gain entry into the home?
To answer this question, a thorough inspection of the building interior and exterior must be conducted. All doors and windows should be checked to make sure there are no openings greater than 1/4 inch wide from the floor. Attention should be paid to vents and utility lines that enter the building through the wall. All openings should be properly sealed. Since this is the most crucial phase of the process, seeking the services of a pest management professional is recommended.
2) What is sustaining the mouse population indoors?
For the most part, a mouse will take up residence next to food, warmth, and water sources. Take away the food, a mouse will not make it for long. Therefore, every effort should be directed at keeping food away from the mouse. Pet food, grass seed, bird seed, etc should be placed in tight-fitting containers. Also clean up any food spills.
3) How can the population be safely and effectively eliminated?
Currently, there are two widely used approaches to getting rid of mice from buildings: chemical and non-chemical. The chemical approach requires the use of poison baits and the non chemical approach involves using traps (glue traps, live traps, snap traps.) A combination of tactics can be used. When using poison baits, they should be enclosed in tamper-proof containers. All bait stations and traps should be placed in out-of-sight areas of the home.
4) How can future infestations be minimized or prevented?
In theory, the best preventative method is to rodent-proof the home. This is easier said than done. It is hard to find and seal all potential openings. Besides, a mouse can get in through open doors, windows or inadvertently brought into the home with merchandise. In any case, every effort should be directed at rodent-proofing the home. On the exterior, maintain a weed-free surrounding. Keep items off the ground and away from the building. Keep a keen eye on any new signs of activity and act swiftly to suppress any new infestation.