How to get rid of mice for good

Ned Browne

Not only can they be a health risk but if left to roam freely they can damage your house and belongings, here's how to deal with them once and for all

There is nothing mice like more than dry, warm conditions and a steady supply of food. No wonder so many of them take up residence in our homes. But that’s not good. Mice urinate very frequently and their wee has a strong ammonia-like smell. Their droppings are quite unpleasant too. Plus, they will happily gnaw through plastic wrapping and help themselves to your supplies.  

Even if you only see just one mouse, you should take action fast. Their gestation period is 19–21 days, and they give birth to an average of six to eight offspring. One female can have five to ten litters per year—that’s a lot of mice! 

Don’t just rely on seeing a mouse either, you’ll be able to tell if you have mice by their droppings, which resemble dark grains of rice, about a quarter-inch long. Here are some ultimate mice-ridding tips. 

According to Rentokil, young mice can squeeze through a five-millimetre gap. They are also able to jump almost two feet, which is remarkable given their diminutive size. The UK ageing housing stock provides mice with an ideal playground. They can scamper beneath floorboards and from terrace house to terrace house. They’re fond of attics too.  So, how do you get rid of them? 

 

1. Take away the food source 

The more food, the more mice.  So, make sure you only eat in one room and clear up thoroughly after each meal.  Also, make sure all dry food is stored in Tupperware or similar.  That includes any pet food and cereal. 

 

2. Fill the entry holes 

This is by far the most effective method to stop an infestation. There are three main products to use. First up is rodent proof mesh. This is a stainless-steel mesh with holes no larger than one millimetre. It can be cut to size and nailed/screwed into place. Stainless steel mesh is great for filling bigger holes. Next up is steel wool. Mice can even chew through low-gauge aluminium or fibreglass screening. But they can’t chew through steel. This is good for stuffing into holes that are hard to fill with mesh. Finally, use a hard-setting filler for gaps under skirting boards and between floorboards. There are specialist mouse-gap sealants which mice won’t be able to chomp through. You should also use door brushes if there are gaps under external doors. 

 

3. Traps and poison 

Some traps are designed to kill mice and others to trap them. If you choose the latter, you need to check them regularly. Place your traps near to where there’s evidence of mice. There are a huge variety of traps available so read the online reviews as the efficacy varies dramatically. Poison is another option—again, read reviews before buying anything. Also, be careful: you must make sure it’s placed in areas inaccessible to pets and children. 

 

4. Call in the professionals 

If you have tried everything else, and the infestation seems to be getting worse, you may have to call in a pest control service. They will swiftly deal with existing mice and offer mouse prevention advice. 

 

5. Work with your neighbours 

As mentioned above, mice can easily travel between properties. So, if you have a mice problem, chances are your neighbours may have one too meaning collective action may be required. 

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