We live in a very old house and periodically have had to deal with mice. How can we tell they are back indoors? They nibble holes in bread left on a counter, or bags of flour have clearly been invaded. We have tried old fashioned snap traps with peanut butter with some luck but the only way to get rid of mice for good is to prevent them from getting indoors – all holes, no matter how tiny (mice are smaller than you think – 1-2 inches, including the tail) – must be sealed. A friend told us they hate brushed wool or copper so sealing all holes with that (available at the hardware store) seemed to do the trick.
A few tips on dealing with mice (from www.doyourownpestcontrol.com):
- A house mouse is an excellent climber and can run up any rough vertical surface. It will run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up 13 inches from the floor onto a flat surface.
- A house mouse can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch across, eliminate all openings through which they can enter a structure Stuff It Copper Mesh.
- Seal any openings larger than 1/4 inch to exclude mice.
- House mice frequently find their way into homes in the fall of the year, when outdoor temperatures at night become colder.
- Place mice traps up against walls, behind objects, and in secluded areas where mouse droppings, gnawing and damage are evident.
- Snap traps should be oriented perpendicular to the wall, with the trigger end against the vertical surface.
- Multiple-catch traps should be placed with the entrance hole parallel to the wall.
- Traps and glue boards should be checked daily and dead mice disposed of in plastic bags. Gloves should be worn when handling mouse carcasses to prevent any chance of disease.
- Place mouse traps about 6 to 10 feet apart, since mice tend to travel very short distances.
- You may need more snap traps than you think is warranted. Check the mouse snap traps daily. If nothing happens in a couple of days, move the traps to a new location. Mice are not afraid of new things or bothered by the smell of humans or dead mice on traps.
- Eliminate all openings through which they can enter a structure.
Seal cracks and openings in building foundations and openings for water pipes, vents and utilities .
- In order for the mouse not to chew or pull out patching compounds, the patching materials need to be smooth on the surface.
- Doors, windows and screens should fit tightly.
- All food that is stored, processed or used should be made mouse-proof. Dried grain and meat products should be stored in glass jars, metal canisters or other resealable airtight containers.
- If there are good living conditions(food, water, and shelter), they can multiply rapidly. They sexually mature in two months, producing about 8 litters in a one year life time. Each litter has 4-7 pups. So you want to get rid of them quickly!