How to catch a mouse: The 10 Commandments

Kamla Villanueva Kamla Villanueva
Casa Imbassaí, Jamile Lima Arquitetura Jamile Lima Arquitetura Tropical style balcony, porch & terrace
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When we find a mouse at home, we often get startled from the unsightly critter. How did they get in? Where are they hiding? How many there are? Will they bite? Will they infect us with an illness? And the big question: How can I get rid of them?

Let's try to answer the most important one, here, we'll be giving you some helpful tips on how you'll be able to catch and get rid of them. Discarding vermin is an urgent matter, since among the many problems that come along with inaction is that rodents can easily breed and become a plague.

Buy mouse traps

As soon as you see traces of the mouse (excrement, fingerprints, bites,… ) or as soon as you actually see them, then you have to buy mouse traps. Moreover, there are certain places prone to the appearance of these rodents, especially in rustic houses and homes built on the countryside, also, those with underground spaces and warehouses. Sometimes, even if they are not seen, it is better to think ahead and prevent an infestation by arranging the traps beforehand in order to avoid their presence. And here we dare to mention another interesting method to avoid having mice problems, the answer is, to own a cat. In fact, the felines are often domesticated exclusively for this reason—that is their ability to hunt such vermin.

A good bait

Basically when we talk about mouse traps, there are two types. Some work with a bait that the critters try to eat until then they are imprisoned. And another type—the sticky traps, which are placed along their passageway, so that the rodent will be immobilized once they adhere to the trap. 

As for the bait, there are several foods that are effective in luring them, these are: peanut butter, chocolate and, of course, cheese. We would also recommend that if you are going to put mouse traps and once you have decided to the aforementioned products as bait, we suggest that you buy them exclusively for that use. 

Follow their tracks

Mice are remarkably agile mammals. Therefore, although we are much larger, we are unable to follow and capture them. It is much more practical to follow their tracks and see where they leave their excrement.

You'd be surprised at how they could even infiltrate high spaces, as they have no trouble jumping high and climbing. However, they usually follow the same routes, with few improvisations. So if we trace their tracks we will know where to place the traps, as they are sure to pass by.

Under the cupboards

If they love to take refuge in the high part of the furniture, the same can be said for the low areas. In fact, they are passionate about being at the bottom, where we do not have easy access. And even more if we have rugs that give them a feeling of greater comfort. It is there, where you should place traps, and regularly check if they are still effective.

Find holes in the wall

Mice enter homes for two reasons. For food and for warmth. And one of the places where they can enter as they look for warmth is by finding or creating holes on the wall. These can occur in certain plaster or wooden walls, which are sometimes in the ceiling, and in the cooling ducts.

To hunt a mouse, you have to think like one of them. Where does it fit and where will it take refuge? Looking for hole in our walls will be how we can answer these questions.

Your dining areas

Other than finding holes where they find shelter and heat. Of course they are attracted by food, so you are most likely to spot them in the kitchen or in the dining area. They have several sources of food, for example, the trash can, the bowl of your pet's food, the crumbs that fall to the floor, the pantry and certain shelves.

Before hunting the mouse, once we know of its presence we must ensure that it does not have access to our food. So everything is stored inaccessible to it, both in watertight closets and in containers that can not be opened by the vermin. Then we have to place traps where we suppose that it comes to feed. And if it is possible to change locations of garbage or our dog's food tray so that you can generate uncertainty, making it move and change its usual routes that help lead them to your trap.

Prevent their entry into the house

The truth is that houses with a garden or those who live along the countryside is certainly going to have difficulty in preventing the entrance of some mice especially during the rainy season.

If so, you have a problem and two tasks to do. First, identify where they entered, second is to close their path, with traps or if necessary with some small work to plug in the holes or cracks.

Always place traps near the walls

Mice are prey in the wild and they know it. They are fearful and their instincts are always look for protections at all times. That's why they always move around places in which they sense are going to be less risky. If they can, they will sneak under the furniture such as the couch, under boxes and clutter. And if they have to do it in the open, they will always go as close to the wall, in order to find a bit of cover. Therefore, the traps should always be placed close to the walls, cabinets or bookcases.

No need for poison

So far we have been talking about traps and preventive measures, such as the presence of a cat. However, there are those who choose to use rat poison to eliminate these rodents from their home. It can not be denied that it is effective. But this does have a couple of drawbacks. For example, if we have small children at home it is completely forbidden to use them, because they can get them. The same thing happens if we have pets, and we do not just talk about dogs. Do not forget that there are people who live with small mammals such as guinea pigs, hamsters and other small rodents.

And finally, another reason not to use poisons is the kind of death they give the animal. A cruel death from severe dehydration or coagulation of blood flow. There is no guarantee where they will die and this could leave a foul stench in places that are hard to reach.

It is impossible to live with mice

This call to non-cruelty to mice does not mean that we think it is possible to coexist (except in the case of pets we have cited). Mice are a focus of virtually certain infection. And we do not have to be bitten for them. Their excrement on the tables, the kitchen or other places in the house are already harmful.

As long as there is only one, it is always possible to throw it out of the house or kill it. But if after practicing these tips you have failed, you have to take the next step and prevent it from becoming a small plague. Then it's time to call an exterminator.

Would you have other tips in getting rid of mice problems?

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