How to prevent mice
Keep a Clean Home
Mice love clutter and food residue, so make sure you regularly clean your home.
- Get rid of clutter. This includes piles (laundry, old magazines, paper), cardboard boxes (of used cookware, etc.), old furniture, and old food containers.
- Clean crumbs and spills right away. Remember to disinfect.
- Sweep and dust. Mice like to make nests out of dust balls, hair, fur, etc.
Remove All Food Sources
In particular, take a good look at your kitchen. Any traces of food can attract mice.
- Store food properly. Don't store boxes of food on the floor or easy-to-access shelves. Store food in airtight containers, even if it's half a box of cereal.
- Get rid of trash promptly. Take out the trash frequently, and use a trash can with a lid.
- Look out for outdoor sources close to your home. Berries and fruit from trees on your property could also attract mice, especially if they have fallen to the ground and started rotting. Keep bird feeders away from the house, and clean up spilled birdseed regularly. Keep garbage bins away from the house, and make sure they have tight-fitting lids.
These things "discourage" mice from getting close.
- Cats and dogs. Whether your cat is actually a mouser doesn't change the fact that mice can smell the cat's scent. Some dogs can be as aggressive towards mice as cats, so their scents will also be disconcerting to mice.
- Certain aromatics. Some scents are repellent to mice - mint, for example. Sprinkle mint essential oil around your home, or keep mint plants around windows and other entrances. You can hide bay leaves at the back of cabinets, or crush them up to sprinkle on and around windowsills.
- Repellant chemicals. Mice don't like the smell of mothballs, but these are also dangerous if you have pets or small children. Ammonia works well both to clean mouse droppings and to repel mice, but make sure the area is well-ventilated for pets and humans. There are also commercial solutions, such as mouse repellent pellets, granules, and sprays; make sure you read the labels and keep them away from pets and children.
- Fabric softener sheets. These can be quite handy, as they can be folded and crammed into tight places.
Mouse traps have become more sophisticated than what we remember from cartoons, but they should also be used with care.
- Spring traps. Make sure they are deployed in areas that are hard for pets, children, and you, to reach. They can cause injury. Once a mouse is caught, dispose of it right away, lest the dead mouse attract other predators and vermin.
- Glue traps. These may "catch" other pests, or even larger animals if outside, so keep them in hard-to-reach places. Dispose of used traps right away.
- Other bait based traps. Bait boxes lure mice in with bait and then close, trapping mice inside. Take these live mice far from your home (and others' homes) to let them go. You can also buy poisonous bait and create various "bait stations" in and outside of your home. Make sure these stations are not accessible by children or pets, and dispose of dead, poisoned mice immediately. Pets or other animals that eat these mice will also be poisoned.
Mice can enter your home through many ways, so be vigilant about gaps in and around your house.
- Keep windows and doors closed. Install screens if you want to keep them open.
- Seal cracks and gaps. You can use caulk on most small cracks and gaps. For slightly larger spaces, stuff with cut up steel wool before caulking.
Call in the Professionals.
If you are dealing with a larger mouse population, your methods aren't working, or you have any questions at all, you should contact your local pest control professionals before the situation is out-of-control.
Call Dependable Pest Control in Sydney to deal with mice in your home.