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Mouse Infestation

Summary: When you find evidence of a mouse infestation it's time to take action. Here's some information that will help you catch these rodent pests in no time.

It's fairly natural to think your entire house has a mouse infrestation when you discover your first mouse hiding in your pantry. When that little fellow jumps off the shelf and runs across your foot you feel totally violated. What nerve that mouse has fouling your fresh, clean shelves. Sort of makes you want to clear out the entire house and start over fresh.

Before you back up the dump truck to your back door however, let's understand how a mouse is likely to


operate should one gain entry to your fortress. We know mice have poor eyesight and are somewhat timid in new surroundings.

First, check the outside for possible entry points. Seal up all the holes including the tiny ones where you think "No way can a mouse get in there!" Just so happens, a mouse can negotiate a hole no larger than a dime. I like sealing holes with a product called Xcluder. It's cheap and easy to use.

'So, let's assume it has not gained the confidence to travel much more than fifteen to twenty-five feet from its nest. That small radius is about all that mouse really needs to satisfy its need to explore during its entire lifetime.

Armed with that information you need to discover where that mouse might be nesting. So, what does a mouse nest look like? Look for a tight little pile of torn up paper and cellophane, string, cotton and other miscellaneous bits and pieces of stuff. It should also have lots of little mouse droppings mixed in, a sure sign of a mouse home. Once you locate the nesting materials you will know exactly where to lay out your mouse traps and how many traps to put out.

We suggest purchasing a couple dozen small mouse snap traps or a multi-catch trap and placing the traps out all along the walls of the entire room where the nest or fresh droppings were found. Be sure to place the traps directly flush against the baseboards. Mice normally like to travel along walls to “feel” their way around a room.

There is no reason to place traps in every room when you understand the size of the roaming territory of the average mouse. This little bit of information will most like result in a fast catch and problem resolution.


09 Jul 2011, 05:03
I have had mice for since the fall. I thought they would move out for the summer, but I am still finding droppings. I live in the country, so am I doomed to keep having mice issues? I am not sure how they are getting in, but I have heard them in the attic through the winter. I am wondering if it is possible to get ill from droppings in places I can't clean such as behind walls? I have caught probably 6 or 7 so far over the winter and still have signs of more. I keep my food in containers and can't understand why my house is attracting them as there seems to me to be no accessibly food available to them. Is it time to call an exterminator? Also when I clean my attic space out should I be wearing a respirator? Help!
Ask the Exterminator
11 Jul 2011, 12:06
Mice don't "move out" once they have established a nest. So, fix the exterior holes that allow them inside and then set traps. Make sure to keep grass and weeds trimmed low and remove any piles of things that are against the exterior foundation walls. If you allow the mice to continue you will smell their urine for years to come. You'll need a respirator and goggles, depending upon how many droppings have collected.
22 Aug 2011, 09:53
Please Please Please help. My elderly mother and I just found what we think is a mouse infestation. We went into our pantry and found a candy bar gnawed on. Upon inspection of the house it made a hole in a bag of dog food and our basement area with a lot of clothes had droppings all over. I checked our living and dinning room and it seems their droppings are around the parameter of the room. Not a lot in a specific area, but around the rooms. Since it is in our basement and living/dining room areas we are not sure who to treat it. Why do they like to go through clothes? Besides traps and poison, how do we handle clean up...throw out food in fridge and freezer?? Is the air in the house contaminated? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Ask the Exterminator
31 Aug 2011, 16:55
The house air is not contaminated. They will chew on clothing in order to obtain nesting materials. Clutter provides ample nesting areas for mice. Get things organized and sweep up all the droppings with a broom and discard.

Mice urinate as they move about, so you'll need to clean up where they have traveled. Any detergent will do the trick. You can buy an inexpensive black-light flashlight to shine on surfaces to determine where the mice have been. Their urine glows under the shine of black light.

Mice stay fairly close to where they nest. Usually within 15 to 25 feet. Set up lots of snap traps along walls as described in the article above. You'll need no less than a dozen traps or more.
mary dietz
04 Oct 2011, 09:20
have had the exterminator in to set traps, but I have three air vents that smell like urine and not sure what else. What should I do? Get a duct cleaner in?
Ask the Exterminator
05 Oct 2011, 12:57
The collected urine needs to be cleaned out of the air vents. The smell will, otherwise, last a long time.
01 Nov 2011, 05:19
HELP US!!!!! We have a HORRRRRIBLE infestation. A school across d street is being torn down and now our house is infested. I have 3 kids all 3 or less and 1 is now crawling. They are in EVERY room and even in my kids beds. We can't afford an exterminator and the walls where they are the most, I believe, or being insulated tomorrow so im scared they will roam our house more. We've spent hundreds on glue traps. We can't take much more our sanity and pockets wont allow it. What can we do to keep our family safe. Please HELP! Also it's winter so im freaking out
Ask the Exterminator
17 Nov 2011, 13:21
You need to work on sealing up the entry points where the mice are getting inside. If you don't you will just be inviting them in. You cannot begin to control the problem until you have closed all the entryways.
24 May 2012, 18:25
We are in a newly built house. So far have seen two mice. Put spring back wooden traps around where I've heard & seen them. Tried peanut butter and pumpkin seeds & caught nothing. Do not know where they're coming in. The builders sealed up everywhere pretty good. Only place is a gap between side of garage door and brick but they'd need to get up a foot to get in where the crack starts. Would putting a draft stopper infront of the door that leads from garage into house stop them coming in? I'm also thinking of getting the wax blocks instead because traps aren't working.
Ask the Exterminator
25 May 2012, 12:39
It only takes a hole the size of a dime to let mice inside. Mice a great climbers, too. A good door threshold will help keep them out. For the mice already on the inside, read my articles on how to pre-bait and position traps.
Henry T
17 Dec 2012, 09:50
Just purchased a home in North Buffalo, and had repair work done to our stove. Mouse droppings were found under the stove and cleaned up. Second repair was done a short time later and additional mouse droppings were found. I set a trap in the kitchen behind the refrigerator, nothing happened. Then I lowered the trap (Ortho Home Defense Max) behind the stove and have caught four so far. Also saw signs of one in a cabinet next to the stove that has a vent fan. I will close that off and look for additional places for infestation. Question is - am I using the best trap for ridding these creatures? Thanks.
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