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Tuesday, September 23, 2008
How To Identify a Mice Problem and Get Rid of Them, Too

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By Grace Chen

Unless you are in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, the idea of a mouse running around loose in your home is probably not a pleasant one. But just how can you tell for sure that you have company of the rodent variety, and if you do- how to get rid of them

Identifying a Mouse Problem

There are seven distinct signs that can tip you off to having a mouse problem. Here is a look at what you might find:

  1. Droppings - Long before you see the mouse, you might see the droppings. Mouse droppings are generally black and about the size of a grain of rice. You will find them along the walls, pipes, and beams. Harder to find are urine stains, though a black light will sometimes pick them up.

  2. Teeth Marks - Mice love to chew, so teeth marks and wood shavings near doors, baseboards, cabinets, or on food containers can be a sign of mouse activity.

  3. Smears - Mice sometimes leave greasy marks along walls and beams where the oils and dirt from their fur rubs.

  4. Footprints - Mouse tracks and tail marks are another sign of activity. A light sprinkling of baby powder in traffic areas can help them to show up more clearly if you suspect activity.

  5. Nests - Nests, with or without baby mice, look like small piles of shredded paper and debris and can be found in dark, enclosed areas.

  6. Noises -- Squeaks and rustlings at night when the rest of the house is quiet can be a sign of mouse activity.

  7. Seeing a Mouse - Every once in a while you might catch a rare glimpse of your furry rodent friend. If you see him, chances are he has been around for a while.

Solving the Problem

Getting rid of mice requires two stages. First is to take care of the current activity. This can be done by setting up mouse control devices designed to repel them via ultrasonic sound.Traps (either kill traps or live ones) or even investing in a good mouser cat can also take care of rodent problems. However, if you want to get rid of mice permanently, you have to go a step further and make your home less inviting to the rodents.

  • Clean - A disorganized home is a mouse haven. Piles of clothing, newspaper, and other chaos give a mouse an adequate variety of places to hide and sleep. Food crumbs on the floor give him plenty of sustenance.

  • Clean Your Kitchen (Again) - Kitchens are a particular lure to mice.  Food scraps, crumbs, and seeds are all mice food, and if you leave any lying around you are sure to tempt them in.

  • Make Food Inaccessible - Instead of storing food in paper bags and cardboard cartons, which can easily be chewed through, put them in plastic, sealable containers.

  • Make Your House Mouse Proof - A mouse needs only a tiny hole to squeeze into. Seal all doorways, windows, and other entrances into the home. Don’t forget to seal around areas where wires and pipes enter as these are commonly used by mice. Check the foundation as well. For larger areas, consider stuffing the hole with steel wool or putty to make it even more mouse proof.

By identifying a mouse problem and working quickly to stop it, you can prevent the spread of diseases and property damage caused by mice.

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