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  • Cathy Hertler

Preventing and Removing Mice from Your Home

Homeowners have a strange relationship with mice. Some of us welcome them into our home as pets, while others try to keep them out or kill them off with traps and poisons.

As the nights get colder mice get braver and attempt to take refuge in your warm home. Unfortunately, the relationship isn’t always mutually beneficial. Mice can get into your food, chew through wires, and leave their droppings in all corners of your home.

There are really two steps to taking care of a mouse problem. The first is preventative, and the next is removing any mice that have found their way in.

Preventative steps

Without taking preventative action, you’ll have to repeatedly deal with mice entering the home year after year. What are preventative actions? Mice enter your home through small holes in the exterior of your home. That can mean cracks beneath doors, in windows, or holes in floors, foundations, and walls.

To stop mice from taking advantage of these vulnerabilities, make sure the bottom of your doors seal tightly. Taking time to inspect your home isn’t only useful for keeping mice out, it could also help you save on heat and prevent water damage.

A good way to keep the mice out of your home is to take away what’s bringing them there in the first place: food. If you find that mice are getting into your pantry items or bread basket, use jars or plastic containers those mice won’t be able to penetrate.

Another option for preventing mice is to use a deterrent. Mint plants and bay leaves are both natural mice deterrents. Moth balls also work but are poisonous to pets and humans, so if you have kids or pets this isn’t the best option for you.

One final way would be to employ a feline companion. Mice are less likely to stick around if the house has a cat that will constantly be stalking them.

Removing mice

The only way to remove mice from your home is to trap them, one way or another. First off, avoid using glue traps at all costs. Mice will try to escape by any means, including gnawing at their own limbs, and the glue injures their eyes. The most humane way of removing mice is a live trap. Live traps are reusable and easy to set up. Once you’ve set a live trap, be sure to check it frequently, as mice can easily starve or dehydrate if the trap is forgotten.

Once you’ve caught a mouse, you can place a towel or blanket over the top to calm them down as you transport them. Be sure to follow local regulations about trapping and  releasing wild animals.

Afterwards, just clean out your trap and store it in case you ever need it again.

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