You hear noises in the kitchen at night. You see little brown droppings in the corner of the pantry. There’s a mysterious hole in the bread bag. You see something dart across the floor when you turn on the light. All signs point to a dreaded mouse infestation. So, how do you know when to tackle the problem yourself, or when it’s time to call in an exterminator?
What You Can Do
The first step is to confirm you have mice. If you see a mouse or droppings, it’s time to tackle the problem head on. First, find any entryways, like cracks between the floor and molding and holes in the drywall around pipes under the sink, and seal them with copper mesh.
Then, seal all food in airtight containers. Mice can and will chew through plastic bags, and love chowing down on that loaf of bread on your counter or the dog food in the pantry. You’ll also want to wipe down counters with an all-purpose cleaner and sweep up crumbs daily.
Before you ever set a trap, the goal is to make your home the least hospitable place for mice. Removing food and blocking entryways can make your home look much less appealing.
Of course, if you already have mice in the house, you’ll need to lay down traps. Snap traps kill mice quickly, unlike glue traps where you may have to finish the job. Place the snap trap directly against the wall, and bait it with a small amount of peanut butter.
If mice take the bait, and you stop hearing and seeing mice over the next few weeks, you may be in the clear.
When to Call a Pro
If you hear mice scratching inside the walls, you’re unable to trap mice, or you continue to see droppings after DIY extermination methods, it may be time to call a professional.
An exterminator can help you identify how the mice are entering your home, and can tackle serious infestations more effectively than DIY methods. They can also use extermination methods that are safe for children and pets.