The Recipe for keeping mice

Out of your kitchen!

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Have you ever had this experience? It’s late at night. You’re thirsty. You go to your kitchen to get a glass of water, and out of the corner of your eye you see a tiny fur ball with a tail abscond with a scrap of food as they scurry across the floor.

That’s right. You’ve got a mice problem.

Or maybe you’ve just noticed the handiwork of your uninvited house guests. Nibbled cereal and oatmeal boxes, shreds of cardboard and half-masticated food everywhere. It will leave you feeling as though you need to disinfect your cupboards and throw away all of your food.

Before you go through with the nuclear option, there are some common sense steps you can take to keep the beedy-eyed breakfast snatchers out of your home for good.

To begin with, you need to take a deep breath and realize why they’re there to begin with. Kitchens are IDEAL habitats for mice. They have everything a mouse needs – food, water, and places to nest or hide. The fact that they have access to food and water says more about your own kitchen habits than it does of the mice.

We’re not out to shame anyone – crumbs are inevitable. Spills happen. And food has a way of dropping between cracks to the ninth dimension. But regularly cleaning out cupboards, refrigerators and ovens (yes, mice love ovens) will ensure there’s nothing enticing them inside to begin with.

The trick with any mouse infestation is to get them out of your house, and give them no cause for returning. That said, here are some tried and true techniques for maintaining a mouse free kitchen.

Tips and tricks

Perhaps the biggest issue at play is the fact that mice can fit into incredibly small spaces (think pipes, communication cables, etc.) and survive on a surprisingly small amount of food. For that reason, they often go undetected until there are more than one. And once detected, they’re great at hiding (and can live in one impossible to reach corner of your home for a long time on a little bit of cheese or cracker crumb). For these reasons, it’s important to be proactive.

It’s not enough to simply clean your floors and seal the insides of your cabinets. You need to remove them before they cause actual damage to your house (through feces, urine, chewing and loss of food).

If left alone, they’ll establish a viable population.

Although we recommend giving your local pest control company a call, there are immediate steps you can take to get rid of these vermin. If it seems as though there are only one or two mice in your home (maximum), you can set up individual traps. Spring loaded mouse traps are incredibly cheap, and easy to set up. By placing some bait on the trap (such as peanut butter), you should be able to lure them in close enough to trigger the trap.

Glue boards are another way of capturing unwanted mice. These get a lot of negative attention as people find them to be cruel. The mice that get stuck on them will need to be euthanized, or they’ll die from thirst and starvation. That said, they are effective when properly placed.

Poison baits are often used by homeowners, but we do not recommend them. The unfortunate reality about poison baits is that death is not immediate, and so mice will typically retreat to a space impossible to reach to die. Once dead, they will create an oftentimes horrendous odor in your home that can last weeks as the decomposition process takes place.

What should I do next?

Give us a call at (269) 424-3458. We’d be happy to walk you through both the removal AND prevention process. Once we’ve eliminated the pest problem, you’ll want to make sure you eliminate any of the tasty treats that brought them there in the first place. Things like wood piles next to the house, open trashcans near access points, any mounds of damp soil, etc. This will obviously vary depending upon the building and particular landscape, but the idea is to a) cut off access points and b) remove open access to discarded food items that might lure them in to begin with.

We’re here to assist! Give us a call at (269) 424-3458!