Mice are colonizers…so it is very unlikely that you have only one mouse!
If you give a lonely mouse the opportunity, through breeding, you will very soon have 100 mice. Controlling this problem begins with recognizing how you discovered this furry creature.
Did you see it? Then place a peanut butter baited trap alongside the wall where you saw the mouse. Alongside the wall is important, because mice do not voluntarily come out into open spaces. Another more aggressive food is poison bait. These baits are very effective because mice usually carry them back to the colony. You must however be very careful and certain that you are placing the baits in a place where they will not be picked up by humans or animal pets. If you have children or pets, you would be well advised not to use poison baits.
Did you hear it scratching in the walls? If you heard scratching in the wall, remove the base trim at the point of the scratching, drill a hole just above the base plate (that is the horizontal board on which the wall is built) and pour poison bait, containing warfarin, into the cavity. Using warfarin based bait is important; otherwise you will have the smell of decomposition after the mice have died. Close the hole with a rubber stopper, don’t use cork, because mice consider cork a tasty meal. Replace the base trim and the mice will soon be gone.
Did it chew through a food package in the pantry? Do not remove damaged food packages immediately. Place a trap, baited with peanut butter, right alongside the hole in the package. You may not like leaving the damaged food package in place because of the hygienic implications. But think about it for a moment; if the package is moved mice will be scampering over all your other food while they are looking for their supper. Leave the trap for two days and then cleanup and sterilize the area.
Did you see droppings? Mouse droppings are a sign of a social meeting place. So, set a peanut butter baited trap in among the droppings and you will catch you a mouse. Don’t bother setting another trap in the same place because mice are smart, they will get the message.
Right now mice are looking for a warm spot to live and start a family.
It is no accident when a mouse gets into the house! To keep mice out of your house, you must seal up every possible entry point. These may be hard to find because they can be as small as a ¼” crack or a hole in the wall the size of a dime. Sometimes missing window and door weather-stripping or caulking is the culprit. More often, look where air conditioner, clothes dryer, plumbing and electrical pipes come through the wall.
Mice are crafty contortionists, so be patient, finding these entry points can be challenging!
MN Home Inspector, Minneapolis & St. Paul
ASHI Certified Inspector, ACI
Kaplan University, Home Inspection Lead Instructor
‘Pops’ Rob Leslie
Kaplan Professionals, Retired
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