​Catching a mouse: 10 things you need to know

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Jamile Lima Arquitetura Tropical style balcony, veranda & terrace
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Realising that there is a mouse (or mice) in your house is not a great thing, as you immediately start worrying about your health, your kids’ safety, your food in the pantry…  

Yes, you do have the right to be concerned, for mice are classified as rodents and pests, even though some people prefer to keep them as pets. Mice can wreak quite a lot of havoc in a home. Aside from chewing valuables (including your electric cables), they also carry and spread diseases because of their unsanitary nature.  

With that being said, we have decided to take a look at 10 things you need to know about mice in general, but also how to effectively rid your home of them.

1. How to find their pathways

Did you know that a mouse can climb up vertical surfaces, move very fast, and also jump up to 20 cm? 

Start looking for signs of mouse droppings. If you discover them in high places, look low to search for their pathways. Mice usually use a pathway that is familiar to them, so once you identify that, you have already taken your first step to a mice-free house.

2. Setting up those traps

After buying lots of traps, set them up wherever you see mouse droppings. Remember that the more you set, the more your chances increase of catching them. 

Although we don’t approve of sharing your home with an unwanted mouse, it would still be better to look for the most humane way to get rid of one. There are various types of traps to set for mice. The traditional catch-and-release ones are a bit trickier to set up, but they allow you to release the mice afterwards, alive and well, although far from your house. Glue traps are also an option, and easier to set up.

3. A nutty treat

Peanut butter is the best option for mouse bait, but we would recommend buying an extra jar for yourself or your family (and marking which is which), just to avoid the risk of spreading disease to your family members.  

Aside from peanut butter, the most popular and effective bait options for a mouse are usually sweet things such as chocolate, small seeds and grains, and cheese.

4. Under the cabinets

Now, where to set those traps and snacks? Those tiny spaces under cabinets are a hotspot for mice. Chances are that if you were to pull out your bottom drawers, you would certainly discover some droppings. Set your traps down on the floor, replace your drawers, and check them every morning. 

While your traps are set, mouse-proof the rest of your house, such as your pantry. Place all your food stuff in containers that the mice won’t be able to access. This cutting off of their (which was once your) food source will also help in them considering relocating elsewhere.

5. Check for holes in walls

It’s quite safe and warm inside walls, which makes it a very nice living spot for mice. Search for openings where plumbing or other elements penetrate your walls and place the traps directly below them. This is most definitely where they’ll be coming in at night to feed. 

To aid you in your mouse-free quest, clear out any unnecessary things from your home. An uncluttered space will help you spot them much easier.

6. Look for feeding areas

Where in your house would those mice get their food from? Your kitchen cabinets? Your pets’ food bowls? They could also snatch up the crumbs from your kitchen floor or dirty stovetop. Once you have identified these feeding areas, place some traps there as well.

The bottom line is that your house should stop providing food for these little critters. In addition, it should be kept clean at all times, and all food must be put away immediately. Wash all dishes as soon as you’re done eating and sweep all areas where eating / food preparation took place.

7. No entry

As soon as it starts getting cold, the mice will look for a warm, dry place to nest. Even if you are depriving them of food, they will still seek the warmth and shelter of your home. Therefore, to keep them out for good, make sure you identify their pathways that they use to gain access to your house, and set up more traps there.

8. Focus on vertical surfaces

Mice know that they are at the bottom of the food chain, which is why they’re born scared. For this reason, they are pretty terrified to be out in open spaces and prefer to travel close to walls where they won’t be seen as easily. 

This means that your traps also need to be placed next to walls and other vertical surfaces, such as cabinets and closets.

9. Please be kind

Nobody will blame you for chasing mice out of your house. Depriving them of food and shelter will force them to go live somewhere else. This is definitely a more humane way to get rid of them than using rat poison. Most rat poisons are ingested and cause severe dehydration or blood clotting, which is cruel and very painful. 

In your approach to a mouse-free house, please have some compassion for these little creatures.

10. Living with mice

Mice leave a trail of waste behind them wherever they go (across your floor, in-between your pot plants, on your kitchen countertops where food gets prepared), which can cause diseases for you, your family and your pets. So, if you definitely don’t want to deal with mice on your own, then rather call a pest exterminator for help. 

Hopefully your beautiful home doesn't have to deal with an unwanted mouse. However, should you find yourself a surprised landlord to these creatures, simply refer to our tips above for effective ways to rid you of your problem.

Is your home 'best friend' proof? Find out now…

What other tips do you have to ensure a mouse-free house?

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