When you have mice in your house, it's usually not hard to tell. Sometimes you can miss the signs at first, but eventually the evidence is impossible to ignore. But what can you do when you know you have rodents in your home? Instead of calling the exterminator as soon as you notice you have mice, why not try these easy--and affordable--tricks first. Not every technique works for all homes, but these are a great starting point for getting, and keeping, rodents out of your home.
Did you realize that mice can squeeze through a hole as small as 3/8 of an inch in diameter? And even smaller holes can grant rodents access, as their sharp teeth can enlarge openings in wood, drywall, and insulation. One of the first things you should do when you discover your property has a rodent problem is plug up any holes! See if you can identify where the mice are getting in, and block those holes first. Caulk is a great solution for plugging small holes, but for larger spaces, steel wool can do the trick. That's because it's very difficult for rodents to chew through this material, effectively keeping them from using that hole as an entry into your home. Make sure you're thorough when it comes to stopping up mice holes, though, because eliminating ALL the ways into your home is really the only guaranteed way to keep the critters out. Specifically, you'll want to check around the foundation, doors (including garage doors), windows, and even often-overlooked spots like eaves and gables (mice can climb).
Rodents come into your home for two reasons: food and warmth. While turning your home into an icebox to dissuade mice from entering probably doesn't make sense (because it will make your life miserable), it is relatively easy to remove the enticement of food. Store all food, including pet food, in sealed containers, and thoroughly clean up after meals to eliminate crumbs and scraps. Make sure that Fido and Fluffy eat their entire dinner, or put up all pet food after mealtimes. And don't forget your trash cans: make sure the lid fits securely and that your refuse containers don't have any holes, or you might be creating the equivalent of an all-you-can-eat rodent buffet.
Once you've restricted access to your home and removed the availability of food, the mice shouldn't be back. If they are, you can try a few other easy rodent pest removal techniques such as planting peppermint around your home (its pungent odor is too intense for rodents) or even getting a cat.
Of course, hiring a pest control company is always an option for making sure the mice won't return. If you prefer not to tackle your rodent problem on your own, or nothing you've tried seems to work, it may be time to call in the professionals. Most pest control companies have a diverse arsenal of tools from traps to chemicals and beyond that can be utilized to eliminate rodents in your property. Some even offer natural solutions if you're looking for a chemical-free, humane way to address the mice inside your home. Just make certain you check your pest control service's qualifications and ask about specific rodent removal techniques to ensure you get the quality you deserve.
Whether you decide to get rid of the rodents on your own or you bring in the big guns in the form of a local mice and insect exterminator, eliminating the mice in your home doesn't have to be a major hassle. All it takes is a little due diligence and a few tricks and you should be on the road to living in a rodent-free home! Maria Allen is a homeowner and an Internet marketing specialist for Prospect Genius, connecting local businesses with area customers through effective SEO.
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