Pent house: modern Living room by Dutta Kannan architects

10 golden rules to get rid of rats and mice at home

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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Finding a mouse at home is shocking to say the least! Several questions come to your mind. Where did it come from? Where is it hiding? How many are there? Will it bite my children? Will it infect us with disease? And, the biggest question of them all—How can I catch it?

To answer your questions, we give you a few tips on how to catch a mouse at home. It is something worth knowing, since among the many problems presented by mice is the fact that they can multiply quickly and cause a plague in houses.

1. Buy mouse traps

As soon as you see any traces of the mouse such as excrement, footprints, teeth marks, etc., or you see the creature in the flesh, you should buy some mouse traps. Certain places are more prone to the appearance of these rodents, for instance, rustic houses surrounded by countryside or homes with underground spaces, basements or warehouses. In such places, even if mice are not seen, it is better to prepare for them by arranging traps. Of course, we would also like to mention another interesting method – get a cat. These felines were domesticated exclusively for this reason, and are born knowing how to hunt mice.

2. Use the right bait

When you are wondering how to hunt a mouse, basically, there are two types of mouse traps you can use. The first one uses bait that attracts the rodents to eat, and then imprisons them. The second type is the sticky trap that is placed in the passages that rodents frequent to immobilize them as they get stuck to the surface. The first type is more commonly used.  

And, what should one use as bait? There are certain foods that mice love – peanut butter, chocolate and, of course, cheese. A recommendation – if you are going to use mouse traps and have decided on a specific product to use as bait, it is better to buy it exclusively for that purpose and mark the container, so that the butter, chocolate or cheese you eat doesn’t get mixed up with the mouse bait.

3. Follow their tracks

Prakash Arrthy residence:  Corridor & hallway by montimers
montimers

Prakash Arrthy residence

montimers

Mice are remarkably agile creatures, and although we are much larger, we can’t always chase and capture them. It is more practical to follow their tracks by noting areas with their droppings.

Some of the areas where mice live may be at a height, as they are nimble and can easily jump or climb up to these places. However, they usually follow the same route. So, if we track their movement, we will know how to hunt small mice by placing traps in areas where they are sure to pass by.

4. Look under the cupboards

Just as they love to take refuge in higher areas of the home, mice also like low areas, especially places under furniture where we do not have easy access. More so if we have rugs in these areas that give them a feeling of greater warmth and comfort. You should not miss setting up traps in these areas, and must regularly check to see if they are effective.

5. Find holes in the walls

Mice enter homes for two reasons – food and warmth. One of the places where they can find warmth is in holes in the walls, which are often present in plaster walls, bathrooms and cooling ducts.

When you are learning how to catch a mouse, you need to think like one. Where can it fit? Where will it take refuge? Looking for holes in the walls might help to answer these questions.

6. Areas with food

While holes provide shelter, mice also need food, and like us, they can find it in the kitchen. Food can come from several sources, including the trash can, the pet’s food bowl, crumbs that have fallen on the floor or open shelves. 

Before learning how to hunt a mouse, once its presence is confirmed, we must ensure that it does not have access to our food. This can be done by storing everything in airtight closets and containers that cannot be opened by the rodent. After this, we should place traps in areas where we think they come to look for food. And, if possible, you can regularly change the location of the garbage or the pet’s food bowl to confuse the mouse and make it change its usual route.

See this ideabook for tips on keeping your kitchen neat and clean.

7. Prevent entry into the house

In  houses with a garden, or in the countryside, it can be difficult to prevent mice from entering the home. Usually, mice enter to find food, unless it's winter, and they are looking for shelter from the cold or want safety in a high place.

The answer to how to catch a mouse – identify where the mouse entered the home and block its path with traps, or if necessary, by plugging holes or openings in the walls.

8. Always place traps near walls

 Walls by homify
homify

Stone cladding design

homify

Don’t forget that mice are preyed upon in the wild. They know it, are fearful and always look for protection. That's why they move around and try to find places that they think are less risky. If they can settle under the furniture, they will do so. If they can hide behind boxes or chairs, they will. And, even if they live in the open, they will go as close as possible to the wall or vertical surfaces, so that their flank is covered. Therefore, traps should always be placed near walls, cabinets or bookshelves.

9. Avoid poison

country Living room by homify
homify

Balmoral large sofa in Rich Chocolate faux leather

homify

So far, we have been talked about traps and preventive measures, including the presence of a cat. However, some people choose to use rat poison to eliminate rodents from their home. While we cannot deny its effectiveness, it comes with certain contraindications. For example, if there are small children at home, it is advisable not to use poison, because it might harm them. The same applies to pets, not only dogs, but also smaller mammals such as guinea pigs and hamsters. Of course, another reason not to use poisons is the cruel death that the rodent will suffer due to severe dehydration or coagulation of blood.

10. Living with mice is not recommended

Just because you don’t want to be cruel, doesn’t mean that you can coexist with mice. They can spread infection, and none of us want to be bitten by them or to have their excrement on the tables, kitchen counters or other places in the house where they can cause harm. 

So long as there is only one mouse, it is possible to throw it out of the house or kill it. However, if you fail even after every trick on how to catch a mouse has been explored, you should take the next step and prevent it from becoming a plague. The only solution in such cases is to call a professional exterminator.

Do you have any other methods to share with us? Let us know in the comments.
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