Having a mice infestation can be every homeowner’s nightmare! But, before you call pest control, it’s worth trying some home remedies to see if they’re effective. Here’s how to get rid of mice, rats, and other rodents in your home.
There are two kinds of mice infestations a homeowner can expect to encounter. The first one would be relatively mild and can be handled on your own, while the other involves a runaway rodent problem that needs a professional exterminator. Luckily, there are easy ways to nip a mouse infestation in the bud using some home remedies.
What attracts mice to your house?
Mice – like all other rodents – are attracted to food and shelter. Our homes end up being havens for these little critters, who may find plenty of warm, sheltered spots to raise their young. They also thrive on scraps of food from our garbage and find a lot of things in our homes to be good nesting materials (like cotton, pet hair, insulation material, etc.).
Their population usually tends to grow during the winters, when our homes are well-heated, and their natural predators are hibernating.
Is it okay to live with mice in your house?
While house mice are harmless on their own, a mice infestation comes with a lot of side effects that can cause long-term damage to your house and loved ones.
For one, mice can damage your home appliances by chewing on wires, wood, furniture, and more. Exposed wires caused by mice chewing through them can even cause house fires if you don’t replace them in time. Besides, a large population of rodents can cause structural damage to your home. It can even result in your home becoming unliveable due to the odor and stench of their droppings/urine.
On the other hand, mice can also spread several diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and more. In addition, improper handling/cleaning of rat feces and urine can result in a pungent chemical odor in your house that can cause retching in children.
What are the signs that you have mice in your house?
- Rat or mouse urine can often leave an ammonia-like smell in the air, which can cause stuffiness.
- Look out for gnaw marks on wood, plastic, and other appliances. Mice will often gnaw things to keep their teeth short.
- Mice often make a grinding, scratching, or squeaking sound when they are most active.
- You can often see fur marks, smears, and trails on the floor.
- You’ll find tiny pellets of mouse droppings on the floor and in the corners.
How to get rid of mice naturally?
Use essential oils like peppermint/clove
Apple cider vinegar
Deter them using mothballs
When using mothballs, try to target locations you think are frequented by mice. Mothballs can be toxic to humans as well, so it’s best to place them in containers and then put them in strategic points around your home.
Place open ammonia bottles in spots
The smell of ammonia can trick mice into thinking it’s the urine of a predator. The only drawback to this is that you will have to stomach the smell for a while until you see results!
Use steel wool to pack spaces
Mice often end up gnawing off insulating materials and other fillers you place in between the walls of your home. Try putting steel wool instead, which is much harder to gnaw and can hinder the movement of mice.
Seal entry/exit points with tape or sealant
Look for entry/exit points along the corners of your room and seal them off using a good sealant. You can also use duct tape, but make sure you use multiple layers to prevent mice from gnawing through it.
Set up mouse traps
Snap traps are a time-tested way to kill or capture mice. The only issue is that for large infestations, you will have to set up multiple traps throughout the house for it to work.
Place kitty litter at strategic points
What better way to scare off mice than signs of their natural predator? Even if you don’t own a cat, you could probably ask your neighbor or anyone who owns one to help you out here. Even a whiff of their natural enemy can make mice turn tail and run.
Get a pet cat
Having a household cat is the most natural way to keep mice at bay. Not only can you avoid using pungent odors and chemicals, you also get a furry companion in return! Make sure no one in your family has cat allergies, though.
How long does it take to get rid of mice?
It depends on the severity of the mice infestation and the kind of method you use. If it’s a mild or moderate nuisance, you will be able to reduce your infestation in 1-2 weeks. However, if you have a large number of mice in the house, it could take much longer.
How long does it take an exterminator to get rid of mice?
Depending on the severity of the infestation, it may take between 1-3 months for a mouse exterminator to rid your house of mice.
It’s best to call pest control or an exterminator if you find that your mouse infestation is pretty severe. An exterminator will use a variety of mechanical traps and chemical baits to reduce the mouse population. They may even fumigate your house to flush out any remaining mice.
How much does it cost to have someone get rid of mice?
Hiring a professional exterminator can cost you $300-600 on average. However, depending on the size of your house, the number of rooms, the severity of the infestation, and the number of visits required, you may have to shell out more than $1000.
Are mouse or rat damages covered under home insurance?
No, standard insurance policies do not cover damages due to rodents like mice and rats. That’s because mice infestations are characterized as a ‘preventable loss’ – an issue that could be handled with regular maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What home remedies can kill mice instantly?
While most home remedies only incapacitate or deter mice from nesting in your home, some of them can kill them instantly. Snap traps are the most effective way to do that.
Another way is to mix boric acid with peanut butter into small circular balls and leave them around the home. The boric acid affects their nervous system and will kill them in a few hours. However, you may have to deal with the added task of scooping up rat corpses.
What is the best remedy to get rid of mice?
Having a household cat is a natural deterrent against mice infestations. However, if you don’t have one, you can use cotton balls soaked in aromatic oils like peppermint or clove around your house to drive them away.
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