Signs of Mice
Well, by the time you have actually seen one, it’s probably too late. They are in the house and it’s a sure bet they are happily breeding away. A good indication that you have mice is if you find small black droppings approximately 1/8" to 1/4" long. Small teeth mark around cardboard cereal boxes in your kitchen is also a sign of mice that have been looking for food; similarly if you see bits of shredded paper and cardboard lying around you can be sure mice have been searching for material for their nests. If you have heard any scratching from inside your walls or the ceiling above you, especially at night, then you need to know that your mouse and its friends are busy exploring. If you have an unexplained musty ammonia type smell in your house, this could also be a sign of mice occupancy.
To make your home less attractive and accessible to mice you should ideally try and block any obvious gaps which would allow entry points to your house from the outside and always ensure you do not have food stuffs lying around the house or near the entrance to the house.
How to Get Rid of Mice
You can ask the local authority if they offer a pest control service, but this is likely to be expensive. With the right products you can find effective and easy solutions to the problem yourself.
The best way to use traps is to put them where the evidence indicates the mouse has been looking for food. Put traps and poison close to walls as mice tend to travel near to walls as they have poor eyesight. Bait the traps with chocolate or peanut butter as they do have a very good sense of smell and taste. Some traps are disposable so you throw the whole thing away once the trap has worked. The advantage of traps is that you can see the mouse is dead and it is reassuring to know that there is at least one less in the house.
You can put the poison in various places in the house, but ensure it is out of the reach of pets and children. The poison is a form of anticoagulant which means the mouse dies due to internal bleeding over a period of two to four but the whole process of baiting, identifying best and safest location, the mice becoming comfortable in the surroundings before eating it, and then the time it can take effect, then this can perhaps be up to three weeks. The disadvantage of poison is that the mouse returns to its nest to die and this nest could be between your walls or somewhere else inaccessible. The smell of rotting mouse is not pleasant.
Humane Mouse Control
There are also devices available which detect and repel mice using ultrasound and electromagnetic devices. Rather than finding ways to kill them when they invade your premises these devices deter them from entering in the first place. There are also live traps available which entice the mouse into a ventilated trap using bait. You can trap several mice at once using these types of devices, and then release them a good distance away. It is however essential to check these types of trap regularly to prevent the animals any distress or suffering by being trapped.