- MICE BIOLOGY
- MICE PROBLEMS
- MICE PROBLEMS AND PETS
- MICE CONTROL OPTIONS
- WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER USE MICE POISON
- MICE ODOR
- MICE SCENT TRAILS
- MICE CLEANUP
- MICE POISON
- MICE BAIT BLOCKS
- MICE PLACE PACKS PELLETS
- MICE BAIT STATIONS
- MICE GLUE TRAPS
- MICE KILL TRAPS
- MICE LIVE TRAPS
- WHERE TO PLACE MOUSE LIVE TRAPS
- LIVE TRAPS IN THE ATTIC
- MICE LIVE TRAP LURE
- WHY LIVE TRAPS ARE THE BEST OPTION FOR MICE
- WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON’T KNOW IF YOU HAVE MICE OR RATS
- WHAT TO DO WITH TRAPPED MICE
- HOW TO REPEL MICE FROM ENTERING YOUR HOME
- MICE PROOF YOUR HOUSE
- MICE REPELLENT GRANULE
- MICE ULTRA SOUND REPELLER
Fall is the time of year when mother nature tells animals that winter is coming. This prompts animals to prepare for colder weather. This preparation includes eating more food, hoarding food and finding appropriate shelter. Animals can become a nuisance when they use our homes and apartments for their nesting. And throughout North America, there are many animals who will move in with us if we give them the chance. Among the more common to do this mice!
Mice are small rodents which can multiply rapidly. They feed on stored products, bathroom accessories and all kinds of seeds including bird and lawn seed. We have a few species in America and all will invade our properties. Once inside, you will find their droppings where they are foraging for food. Their droppings are small, black, oval shaped and about the size of a grain of rice. Large roach droppings look the same so be careful not to confuse the two. Mice love kitchens, pantries, bathrooms, furniture and cabinets. They will nest in dresser drawers, closets and garages. Attics provide adequate nest sites, but mice prefer living close to their food. Attic’s and crawl spaces may have mice living there unnoticed for long periods of time. This can lead to odor problems, damage and mess so any workers or owners entering these areas should be on the lookout for telltale evidence of an infestation
Controlling mice is ongoing. Successful programs start before you have a problem. Know your property. Look for problem areas outside your buildings. These areas may include dumpsters, standing water, creeks, streams, neighboring businesses, and drainage systems. The most common attractant around the average home in America include either pet food or bird seed. The smells from these items is so strong it will attract several types of animals to your yard. Once they get a taste of these nutritious foods they will try to feed there daily. If you suspect you have mouse activity around pet food or bird seed, DO NOT REMOVE the food until the animal has been successfully trapped, relocated or destroyed using any of the options which this article will detail.
Simply put, mice are creatures of habit. If you remove their food source thinking they will go away YOU ARE WRONG. All you will do is force them to adapt. This adaptation will generally lead them to where the food is stored, where the food came from or where food similar to it is kept. The bottom line is that removing the outside food source will more than likely cause the mice to come inside your home seeking more food. If you leave the attractive food supply outside and in tact, you will have the upper hand in dealing with this animal because you will know it’s behavioral patterns which are centered around the pursuit of food
MICE PROBLEMS AND PETS
Don’t waste your time hoping your dog or cat will ultimately chase the mice away. Over 80% of our customers who have pets have mice problems. This percentage is significantly higher than homes without pets which leads us to conclude that homes with pets ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET A MOUSE PROBLEM than homes without pets. You may not get any for a year, five years or even more but at some point, local neighborhood mice will find your home and offerings due to the smell of nutritious pet food. Pet food is packed with more nutrition now than ever as is bird seed and mice are able to detect these food supplies like flares in the night sky. Once found, they will not easily give up and go away from any feeding patterns. Use this to your advantage. After the mice are successfully removed, you can alter the outside food supplies to help reduce future problems but only at such a time that you are certain there is no activity
Remember, it is always easier to keep mice out. Once they get in, controlling them requires more work, more cost and more aggravation.
Another word of advice
If you know the route of entry to your building….
DO NOT CLOSE OR SEAL THE HOLE UNTIL YOU KNOW THERE IS NO ACTIVITY.
This is another critical part of mice control. All too many times people will unknowingly close or seal holes thinking the mice will simply go away. Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, these are creatures of habit which will stop of nothing short of death to reclaim their home. Think of it like this: If you came home and found all your doors and windows boarded over for no reason would you simply walk away never to return? Of course not. You would do all you could to get inside, claim your personal belongings and find out what is happening. The same is true with mice. When closed out of their home, they will chew through wood, plastic, metal and cement to get back inside. Remember, they are creatures of habit and knowing their route of entry makes trapping them or using one of our methods listed below all that much easier
MICE CONTROL OPTIONS
To control existing populations, first consider the options. Methods of control include poisons, snap traps, glueboards, electrocution and live traps. Rodenticide is a poison bait which mice eat. Most rodenticides are anticoagulants which mean they prevent the clotting of blood. The material works by affecting different components of the animals body. In effect, the mice to loose it’s ability to have it’s blood clot. Once an artery or vein ruptures, the animal dies. This can happen from a cut or when the animal sustains an internal hemorrhage. Either way, it has the potential to lead to a mess. Be prepared to find mice randomly. Make sure to keep them away from children and pets. There are risks using any rodenticide and you should be aware of them.
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER USE MICE POISON
Most importantly, no rodenticide causes the animal to seek water or to die without smelling. No product has ever had this capability nor has any manufacturer claimed such a feature. Though we may never know for sure where this old wives tale originated from, it appears that pest control companies started telling customers this would happen when mouse poisons were first introduced. Customers were not likely to let poison be used if it was commonly known that death would be random; telling people mice would either seek water outside and die or dry up and not smell when they deceased was readily accepted by consumers. Regardless of it’s origins, countless mice have died in attics, crawl spaces and behind walls. Once dead, their bodies were left to decay. Odors would permeate into living areas and persist for weeks.
If you have such an odor problem, use NNZ to remove it. This enzymal compound works two ways. First, it readily “eats” the odor molecule which is a gaseous by product emitted by the decaying organic matter – in this case the body of the mouse. It also attaches itself to other odor causing molecules created in the breakdown of the body and causes them to get heavy and simply fall from the air. This dual action will help eliminate the odor. You will get the best results if you are able to apply the product directly where the animal died. If you do not have access to this area, you can spray NNZ in crawl spaces, attics and into wall voids where you think the animal died. NNZ has no odor so you won’t know it’s been applied which means the bad odor may still be detectable for a short while. If you prefer the product applied to leave a slight “masking” agent or smell, use the N7C. This is the same material as the NNZ but N7C also has a slight fresh fragrance that’s to help let you know you’ve applied it to a certain area and to help cover any offensive odors that were present. This will help minimize the unpleasant smell during the time N7C is working to remove the odor
MICE SCENT TRAILS
Many times odors will develop where mice have been active for long periods of time. This commonly happens in attics and crawl spaces. If you are not quite sure where they have been traveling use one of our PORTABLE BLACKLIGHTS. They are invaluable at locating exact locations where mice have been traveling. Simply turn down all the lighting and turn on the Blacklight. Don’t be frightened at how many places you are able to see where urine and feces have been distributed. Along with excrement, there will be other bad things. Mice carry disease and there are all types of virus and bacteria commonly found where mice are active. (This is the main reason why we don’t want them in our home). If you have had activity for a short while, there is probably no reason for alarm. However, established infestations and any room or part of the home where odor is detected needs to be cleaned.
To insure you don’t inhale virus or bacteria during cleanup, wear a DISPOSABLE RESPIRATOR. This will filter out any possible contaminate. To help minimize this risk some more, lightly mist water over the area to be cleaned using a vapor created by a spray bottle or humidifier. The moisture will help keep dust and contaminates from getting airborne. Since bacteria and virus will thrive in mice droppings, you will need to remove as much of it that you can find. The best product for this cleanup is ROUGH’N READY. It is used by commercial processing plants, hospitals, etc and is very fast acting and complete. It can be diluted though you using it at full strength is generally preferred. It comes in liquid form and can be sprayed or wiped over areas you need to clean.
If you have a lot of non-porous surfaces like counter tops, ceramic tile or any hard surface where activity has been noted, get the HOSPITAL DISINFECTANT SPRAY. This is a ready to use aerosol which works well at killing any type of bacteria or virus and will quickly sterilize without hurting finishes or making a mess. Once you start the cleanup, be sure to place all rags, towels, droppings and other contaminants in a plastic bag for disposal. Wear rubber gloves during cleanup and be sure to wash your hands, clothing and shoes following the job.
Once cleaned, use our ODOR DESTROYER to eliminate foul smells. Though the Rough’n Ready and the Hospital Disinfectant spray has a clean smell which will last for awhile, droppings, feces and other animal fluids have odors which require a special mix of enzymes to eliminate. That’s what Odor Destroyer is designed to do. This product works like Odor Killer but it also eliminates the smells from their urine and feces. Treat attics, insulation, floor boards, crawl spaces, dirt floors, floor joists, rafters and any where activity is noted. The more surfaces that are carrying the odor which are treated will enable the product to work both quicker and better. In other words, Odor Destroyer won’t affect areas where it isn’t applied like Odor Killer can.
If you insist on using a poison for control, understand that non target animals such as children and pets are also vulnerable to these products. For this reason you must be extra careful when using any mice bait and the use of protective tamperproof bait stations is strongly recommended to help prevent accidental poisoning. In fact, it’s most likely all rodent bait will one day soon only be sold in protective bait stations. This measure is being done mostly to prevent the misuse currently happening with mice bait that so many times affect non-targeted animals. With that being said, there are OK locations where the use of bait presents minimal danger or risk to non-target animals. Vacation homes, sheds, abandoned lots and commercial buildings are such places and clearly better suited for these products. In general, placements made away from people and pets are OK and when done properly, the use of mice bait can be an effective tool for mice control.
MICE BAIT BLOCKS
The original bait, EATONS AWBB, are still being manufactured and are a kind of parrafinized block that’s formulated with strong attractants so they are readily found by most any foraging mice. Their waxy base enables them to stand up well in moist or even wet conditions and still be accepted by mice. But they’ve been around a long time and use an active which isn’t the best anymore. They take a long time to kill targeted animals and even after a lethal dose has been consumed, targeted mice will continue to feed which leads to a lot of bait being used. To help curb consumption of bait during mice control programs, newer formulations have a more acute response time and most all are now what we call “single feeds”. BOOT HILL BLOCKS are one of these newer bait’s which work much faster compared to the Eatons and in general, a lot less is needed since it’s a single feed compared to the multi feed active in the Eatons AWBB.
MICE PLACE PACKS PELLETS
And one of the best actives we’ve found is Bromethalin because it uses a “stop feed” active. This means once a lethal dose has been consumed, the targeted mice will stop feeding. This also ensures there won’t be any risk of bait shyness. Bromethalin comes in two forms. TOP GUN BLOCKS are blocks which ready to be set out and placed in burrows or hard to reach places. They are weather resistant and designed to be used in moist areas like crawl spaces and water retention ditches. They will work well for mice. TOP GUN PELLETS are place packs and more suited for inside applications. The semi-porous package enables odor to release so mice will find them. Use them when mice are the suspected mice.
MICE BAIT STATIONS
To keep the bait out of sight and protected, use MOUSE TAMPERPROOF BAIT STATIONS. These plastic boxes are designed to keep the bait fresh and protected. These heavy plastic boxes can be attached to stakes in the ground. Their tops lock on and can only be taken off with a special key. These bait stations are designed to keep pets from accessing the bait. Small children may be able to slide their hands inside, but the bait is tucked away in chambers which will be out of their small hands reach.
Snap traps may offer some help, but have inherent problems too. Don’t waste your time with the original design that has a small metal trigger. Instead, try using a EXPANDED TRIGGER TRAP FOR MICE. Mice will easily clean the bait off the old metal trigger traps but doing so is harder with the expanded version. Another advantage is that these traps do not need bait. Just place them alongside the wall where the mouse is foraging. Be sure to locate the trigger closest to the wall.
Although baiting is not necessary when using these traps, you should definitely add some TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN for mice. These strong smelling attractants will guarantee that the trap will be found. However, don’t expect to catch a lot of mice on this type of trap. Once the population sees others dead, they will avoid the traps at all costs.
MICE GLUE TRAPS
Glueboards are another device which may have seen better days. These “traps” rely on the use of non-drying glue to catch and hold unsuspecting mice. The traps vary in size and are placed alongside walls, around cabinets, under furniture or refrigerators. In general, place where mice activity is known to exist. When the animal steps onto the glue they get stuck and cannot pull free. They usually will not quit, however, and many times will pull a leg, tail or section of their body apart in an effort to escape. Again, this can cause a mess so be careful to use these devices where young children are not likely to stumble upon such a mess. The author has encountered several mice caught on these traps which were screaming! It is a loud, almost human scream and anyone who has this happen in their home will never allow such a device to be used again. Don’t be alarmed if this happens when these traps are being used. MOUSE GLUEBOARDS need to be small enough so that many can be placed in all the small runways they will establish. Use a lot to insure a quick catch and prevent glueboard shyness. Use a PLASTIC GLUEBOARD if you have a wet area where intend on setting them out. The paper design will quickly fall apart; the plastic tray glueboard will work for mice and will last well in wet conditions.
MICE KILL TRAPS
Electrocution is another method which may help in your mice control management program. This method of control uses electricity to shock the mouse to death. You will need to know where the animals are feeding or active. This will be where you are finding droppings, pathways or nest sights. Install MOUSE ZAPPERS where such locations exist. Zappers are easy to use, work off inexpensive batteries and are able to deliver a powerful shot of electricity which will prove fatal to any mouse. Bait them with whatever it is around in your home they want. This is usually pet food, grass seed or bird seed. You should also add some of our Trappers Choice paste as well for added attraction.
MICE LIVE TRAPS
The last option (and best) is to use any of the live catch traps available. Because these devices do not kill or harm the mice, they will not become afraid of it. Live trapping mice is easy, inexpensive and without risk or danger to non-target animals. The latest design of traps will last a long time, catch many mice and be able to catch even the most experienced and wary mice.
There are many models available for mice. The Tin Cat, Mouse Master and Kwik Katch offer multiple catch capability for mice. The author has used both TIN CATS and MICE MASTERS and several times caught over 20 in them with one setting.
The KWIK KATCH is smaller and will not hold as many, yet it does an OK job. The advantage of the Kwik Katch is that because it’s made of plastic, it’s ideal for use in wet environments.
One of the more unique designs which enables a multitude of sets is the LIVE MOUSE TRAP MULTI CATCH. It can be set out to conform to all kinds of environments and because it’s plastic, it does fine in wet environments as well. It’s the only trap that can “bend” around corners effectively.
Lastly, the LT3310 is another good option because it can catch larger animals like rats and even chipmunks yet it’s solid design allows it to work well for mice too.
WHERE TO PLACE MOUSE LIVE TRAPS
Use the Kwik Katch or Multi Catch where you have moisture since the plastic design is more resistant to breakdown. If moisture or shape is not an issue, go with both Mouse Master and Tin Cats for the best results. The general rule to follow if trying to decide which trap to get is to use a Mouse Master if you have room to fit it. This trap sets the highest off the ground and is about the size of two cigar boxes set on top of one another. If you have enough room for the dimensions of the Mouse Master but need to put the trap under a piece of furniture, use the lower sitting Tin Cat. It will work just about as well as the Mouse Master but it’s flat profile enables you to set it where you might not be able to set the Mouse Master. Use the Kwik Katch where you know you have a moisture problem. It is built from plastic and lasts well in humid, wet environments.
LIVE TRAPS IN THE ATTIC
Since mice will regularly infest attics, you might find activity in some remote section of the attic which is hard to reach. Before committing to setting traps to any hard to reach location, see if you can “train” the mice to come closer. Do this by setting out feed in a few places besides the place where you found the mouse sign. So you might place 5-10 sunflower seeds or pieces of pet food right by the attic entrance. And you might place some 5-10 feet inside the attic as well. After making these placements, check them once every day and if you find the food disappearing, you’ll then be able to use this “easier to access” location for making a live trap set.
MICE LIVE TRAP LURE
To set, place a strong attractant like TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN in the holding area of the device along with any other food stuff they may be eating. This includes pet food or bird seed. The Trappers Choice will lure them close and when they see and smell some of the food they are used to eating, you will quickly catch them.
WHY LIVE TRAPS ARE THE BEST OPTION FOR MICE
The great thing about live traps is that they don’t kill the mice so others do not become wary or afraid. In fact, I have observed a trap with several mice in it seemingly lure new ones to it. The untrapped mouse would come and circle the holding area interested with the activity going on inside. The smell of food is so powerful that even after being trapped the mice do not become upset or frightened. However, if they are left there for any length of time and the food supply runs out, they will become frantic and distressed. Be sure to place plenty of bait inside to insure they will be comfortable and quiet once trapped.
Now if you are inspecting the device every day or two, this will not be a problem. If you are using this device in a vacation home or some part of the house where it is difficult to inspect it daily, you may have some of them dying before you are able to empty it. If the animals are left to die, they will certainly smell and decay. Try to stop this from happening. Although other mice will avoid traps with dead animals, once they are removed and fresh bait is installed, you will be able to catch more. To prevent any type of trap shyness from happening, however, try to prevent any from dying because you left them in the trap unattended too long.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON’T KNOW IF YOU HAVE MICE OR RATS
Now if you are unsure if you have mice or young rats, you may try getting our single catch live trap which is universal and will work on both species well. It is very small and generally designed for mice but it will work for small rats as well. The LT3310 has vented sides and a rear opening door which makes it easy to bait and to release trapped animals. This trap is perfect for catching family pets (like gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.) which get out of their cage and into the home since it is the safest live trap of all with no risk of injury to targeted animals. It will only catch one at a time but it has many other benefits which make this the trap of choice for many applications.
WHAT TO DO WITH TRAPPED MICE
We are constantly asked how to destroy mice and though we don’t recommend one method over the other, here are some methods which customers have used to discard trapped mice.
Drowning. This is done by placing the animal in a bucket of water while still in the trap. You can also use a stream or pond if one is close by. It usually only takes 15 minutes and any mouse will be dead. Freezing. Placing the trap in a bag and then in a freezer will cause it to go to sleep and then to die. This is painless but does take awhile. Plan on keeping the animal in the freezer overnight. Suffocating. Though this sounds humane, it can get difficult to do since it is hard to devise a way that removes all air available. mice will prove to be persistent so expect them to hang on quite awhile. Electrocution. The Zappers detailed above have proven to provide a very humane way to destroy unwanted mice
HOW TO REPEL MICE FROM ENTERING YOUR HOME
To stop new mice from entering structures, you have some treatment options. The first is try and seal any holes which they can use to get inside your home. This might seem easy to do, but in fact its almost a never ending job.
Every house the author has inspected and done closure on had so many entrance ways that it would cost over a thousand dollars to seal tightly with a warranty. Since mice are good climbers, you must look high as well as low. Some holes can be sealed with wood but metal seems to work best.
Still, taking the time to locate and seal these entrance ways is well worth effort if you want to keep them out for good.
MICE PROOF YOUR HOUSE
Don’t use regular steel wool for this job since it will quickly rust out. Get some COPPER WOOL. This product cannot be chewed through and will not rust. It is both easy to cut and easy to stick into access holes. Be sure to get every point you see and even those you don’t think any mice could use to enter. Follow up with PUR BLACK. This unique expanding material is durable, strong and will pretty much permanently seal any gaps through which nuisance animals can enter. For large jobs where you will be needing to apply several cans, consider getting the PUR SHOOTER GUN. This tool is similar to a caulking gun but a lot better. There are several reasons.
First, it has a tip shut off. In other words, the Foam you pump through it comes out a thin tip which is part of the gun. This tip has an internal cut off which will both make for clean starts and finishes when applying the foam. Second, it preserves the foam inside the tube so it won’t dry or harden even though you have released it from the refill can. If you have hard to reach cracks and crevices, the PUR 24″ GUN may suit your needs better. Either gun will require the PUR BLACK CANNISTER sized can. It’s designed to fit these guns and will prove more economical and efficient to use for large jobs. For extra protection, the PUR FOAM W/REPELLENT may be your best bet – especially when dealing with stubborn mice that just won’t quick trying to get inside the target structure. This Foam has a repellent animals don’t like already mixed in and may provide that extra bit of protection you’ll need to keep them out. You’ll need some GUN CLEANER to keep either Gun Applicator clean when storing it for any length of time. Watch this video to see how to install the Copper Wool and then add some Foam Sealent.
MICE REPELLENT GRANULE
The second option is to repel unwanted mice from entering. And in order to accomplish this goal, treatments should start on the outside.
So against the foundation, sprinkle out PEST RID GRANULES at the rate of 1 lb for every 250 linear feet. Pest Rid uses food grade actives and won’t present a hazard to people or pets but nuisance animals like mice and rats don’t like it. Treatments will last a month and it’s important to keep a fresh application in place if you want to make sure foraging mice stay away from your house.
Next, spray over the top with PEST RID SPRAY. Be sure to make a good 2-3 wide band as you spray and make sure you cover the Pest Rid Granules in the process. The two formulations work best when used simultaneously
And for the inside, apply a pouch of EVAC REPELLENT where you don’t want mice active. Locations include closets, attics, basements, wall voids, under cabinets and basically any small area you’ve found mice like to nest in. It has a faint odor which people cannot detect but mice don’t like. They will not cross over the pouches and therefore it creates an invisible barrier where applied.
Evac can be used to repel mice from specific areas and if you focus placements close to or directly at routes of known entry, you can effectively reduce the amount coming inside. Applications will last 1-2 months and should be renewed as needed.
MICE ULTRA SOUND REPELLER
Another type of repellent to try is the use of ultrasonics. These devices have been out for several years and most make claims beyond their capabilities. The TRANSONIC ULTRA SOUND was created for commercial food processing plants. They can work for many animals like mice. There is no doubt that mice cannot tolerate the sound emitted from these devices. I have not been able to observe similar results when they are used on insects. And most importantly, it is not likely that you will be able to “chase away” existing populations from your home. When ultra sound is used for existing infestations, the mice simply relocate to sections of the home or building where the sound is not reaching. Since there is an unlimited amount of such areas, they will inevitably find a new nesting void away from the sounds annoying range. Therefore, you still must trap out the ones currently living there. Once no activity is noted for a period of two weeks, you can install our ultrasonic units or use the repellent granules to keep new ones out. Try to position one at one end of the area so it’s sending a signal out over the area providing wide coverage.
Since ultrasound cannot penetrate solid objects, you will lose any protection in areas which are not wide open. This means foundation walls, storage and basic insulation can all serve to prevent ultrasound from getting maximum coverage. Wide open attics and crawl spaces will provide the best results; cluttered areas will require extra units to insure no “dead spots” exist in which mice will readily move. Most homes will get great protection by installing these where the activity was most noted. This is usually in the attic or crawl space. However, it could be in the garage or living area. Our Ultrasound Device will not hurt people or pets so it can be used in these areas if needed. It is important to realize that you will be best served installing them at the routes of entry first and then having extra units for back up if needed.
Mice have been on the earth longer than mankind. In fact, the more we thrive, the more they prosper. We cannot hope to rid the world of these creatures; like most, they, too, have a place in nature. However, we can do many things around the home to help minimize their intrusions. Once inside, we have several options to first remove and then keep new ones from entering. Which ever method you choose to employ, remember that we as a species are much more advanced and intelligent than any mouse. If you learn to observe and use a method of control which works with the current pattern of behavior you will get great results. Combining two or three of the options listed above along with the use of repellents should not only solve your problem but keep new ones away. In the end, you will be able to reclaim your home mice free!