If you’ve noticed that some stuff in your home has been gnawed on and you don’t have pets, then it’s very possible that you have unwanted mice in your home. It’s even likely that you’ve seen them scurrying around, or heard them while they’re moving around.
What should you do? For most households, here are some of the more popular options:
The Classic Spring Trap
This is the iconic mouse trap that every person has seen in movies, TV shows, and even cartoons. It’s generally a block of wood with a spring-metal bar that traps the mouse while they’re feeding on the bait. All you need is a good bait for mouse traps like peanut butter, and you’re set.
You just have to be careful when you’re setting the trap and placing the bait. While having the bar snap on your finger may seem funny in the movies, it’s not amusing in real life. You should also handle the bait and the trap while using gloves, as your human scent may scare off the wild mice. Just put the trap along a wall where you think the mice travel.
The spring metal bar doesn’t crush the head of the mouse, as you might think. Instead, it’s more common for the metal bar to catch the body or the neck of the mouse. That way, the mouse will die of suffocation eventually. This is why you should check your mouse traps regularly, as the smell of dead mice isn’t all that appealing.
In some cases, the metal bar may catch the leg or the tail of the mice. There have been some cases of mice reportedly chewing off their tail to escape. If they’re still trapped, you will have to deal with the live mice another way.
This is another popular way of catching small mice. It uses a very sticky surface on paper, and when mice walk or run through, they’re caught and can’t get off. There’s no spring metal bar to hurt you, but you should be careful getting caught in the glue substance. Also, it’s sometimes difficult to pry apart the 2 papers with glue in between.
Some people prefer the glue traps because they think it’s more humane than a metal bar crushing a mouse’s skull (although that never really happens). But the mouse can be left there for hours if you don’t check the trap regularly, and die more slowly. Again, some mice have reportedly chewed off even their paws just to escape.
If you do check the trap, then you have to kill the mouse anyway. It’s extremely unlikely to get a live mouse out of these glue traps, although you can always try.
These are designed to capture mice, not kill them. Often, the design involves a closed door that traps the mouse inside a chamber. The best ones are transparent or use screen mesh so you can easily check if it has caught a mouse.
Many of the homemade mouse traps use this sort of design. You have bait that lures mice in, and they can fall into a large bucket.
Many pro-animal organizations like PETA recommend this type of trap, but there’s still the problem of dealing with the live mice. PETA recommends that “if you find an animal, simply release him or her outside.”
That’s actually problematic. If you release the mouse “just outside”, then you risk the very real possibility that the mouse will get back into your home again. And if you release it farther away in an urban area, then you’re just foisting the mouse problem onto another household.
What about releasing it into the wild? Even if you go through all that trouble, then it will still likely end up as food for a predator.
This isn’t really recommended, especially if you have children or pets. It’s good to know that this is also an option, but it’s best if you leave the use of poisons to professionals.
Of course, there’s also the option of going with professional rodent control services. While their services cost more, they’re generally much more effective. They use several different methods of getting rid of mice, using the latest equipment. These professionals also have the experience of finding the nesting sites.
In addition, the pros can even make sure that mice can’t get into your home in the first place. They can find all the possible entryways into your home, and seal them off completely. They can be very thorough, searching from the basement and the foundation all up to the attic and roof.
They may offer guarantees of having no mice issues for at least a month. In some cases, they may offer regular inspections so that you’ll know for sure that there aren’t any mice in your home, and that all possible entryways are blocked.
These services can be a bit more expensive than mouse traps, but they may also prove more effective—and therefore more cost-effective in the long run.