Did you know a mouse can get pregnant five to ten times a year? They then birth a litter of around six to eight young. So how do you prevent them from infesting your house?
These creatures are hardy, and it can take a lot more work than simply laying a trap. Read on as we give an essential guide on how to catch a mouse.
Signs of a Mouse
Mice are extremely hard to spot. Nocturnal creatures, they often only come out at night. Therefore, you are most likely to see them when you suddenly turn on a light and catch them unaware.
They will however leave a lot of signs that they have been in the home. Droppings are one of the most obvious. Tiny brown or black balls of feces, you will find them along trails the mice travel along in your home.
Other signs are damage to your home, furniture, and belongings. Holes and gnaw marks are the most common. You may find the intruders have bitten their way into cardboard containers and boxes.
Once you notice these signs, it is important to work quickly. A mass infestation will not be far behind if unchecked. This ultimate guide tells you how to prevent this unwanted situation.
One surefire sign of mouse activity is a trail. These paths follow mice about wherever they go.
They will contain droppings, urine, and an oily substance called sebum. Its purpose is to show other mice where food and nests are.
Trails can linger for up to a year, so they should be scrubbed with strong disinfectant. Luckily, they are also great for showing where mice have entered your property or room. Follow the trails so you know where to block or set traps.
Before you begin laying mouse traps, you need to secure your property. There is no point in getting rid of mice, either by killing or humane methods if they still have access to the property. More will just take their place or they will return.
Start by checking any gaps that lead from the outside of the house to the inside. This could include places with cabling, plumbing, and wiring. It is possible for mice to get through gaps as small as a dime.
When you find these areas, fill them with copper mesh and caulk. Foam can be used to nest in, so avoid this altogether.
Cheese is an old favorite for mousetraps, but there are many other foods you can use when you are wondering how to catch a mouse. Anything that is high in protein and sugar will attract them. People often use peanut butter, as nuts and seeds are their main food source in the wild.
It pays to mix up your bait, as mice have a natural curiosity. By providing them with a more varied menu, they are more likely to fall into traps. Chocolate is a big favorite for them.
You do not even have to use food. In winter, female mice will be attracted to threads and yarns that they can make nests from. These can prove just as attractive as a food source.
Catch a Mouse Humanely
Many people prefer the humane methods of catching mice. While there are a number of traps on the market for this, you can catch mice humanely yourself. All you need is a tube, box, or bucket, and a ramp or the edge of a table.
Squeeze your toilet paper tube flat, so it no longer has the shape of a cylinder. This is to prevent it from rolling when the mouse is inside. Add your chosen bait to one end of the tube.
Take your box or bucket. It needs to be tall, as mice are capable of jumping quite high. At least 20cm in height, it should be made of a material the mouse can not chew through.
The tube should be balanced over your homemade ramp or the edge of a table. Under it, place your container and make sure the bait hangs over the edge. The mouse will rush towards the snack and fall off, into the bucket.
If you don’t want to use a humane method, then you can go the way of classic traps. Buy only ones that aim to kill the mouse outright, not ones that will cause it pain or suffering. If you opt for snap traps, make sure they are high quality and will terminate the mouse when it is caught.
You will need more than one mousetrap in the house. If you have seen one mouse, others will be around. Set them in laundry rooms, kitchens, and garages.
Even when you believe your house is clear, carry on with the traps. Mice may decide to return, or they may just have evaded your notice. After a week or two, you can gradually lower the number of traps until only a few remain on your property permanently.
Now you have got the mice out, it is time to prevent them from coming back. That is done by cutting off the food supply. If you don’t, everything else you do will be fruitless and they will return.
Make sure you buy sealed plastic or glass tubs to keep any food that lives outside of the refrigerator closed. Clean your kitchen regularly, sweeping away crumbs and countertop waste as soon as it appears. If you have bird feeders in your yard, make sure they are off the ground and hung in a way that prevents mice from reaching them.
Where Do You Release the Mouse?
Releasing the mouse is actually much better than letting it die and rot in a wall cavity. However, the danger is that the mouse will find its way back into the property. To prevent this, the mouse should be set free one to three miles from your home.
When you still have trouble trying to catch a mouse, or the infestation does not reside, get help. Experts will know the places they hide and deploy the best traps for the job. They will also give advice on how to prevent future problems.
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