Don't Eek, Shriek, Or Panic: 6 Smart Things To Do If You Think There's A Mouse In Your House
About the only time most people care to find a rodent in their home is if it's a cute and fuzzy hamster, happily speeding along on a wheel in a cage. If you think you have the other kind of rodent roaming about your home, you want to act quickly and effectively. The following six steps should be taken right away:
1. Start With Your Attic
Since this may be the warmest area of your home, this could be the place most appealing to rodents. Dust things off and move everything from one side of the room(s) to another, if at all possible. This will give you a good visual profile of possible inhabitants, in the form of droppings and nests. If there is any piece of furniture in your attic with stuffing, such as a sofa, mattress, or armchair, investigate thoroughly, looking for holes in the fabric leading to borrowed dens. Such pieces should likely be disposed of, unless they're of great value to you and worth restructuring, once your rodent problem has been solved.
Also, check your roof, to make sure there aren't any leaks that would lead to standing water, something that could provide mice or rats with the hydration they need.
2. Check The Basement
Especially if you haven't cleaned out your basement in a while, now may be a very good time to have a look down there. Remove old cardboard boxes, repair any broken windows, and see that the foundation vents are all in working order. You want to remove any materials being used as rodent shelter, such as boxes and trunks, and make sure they're denied entry wherever possible and have no access to standing water. While rodents won't likely find people food in your basement, if they otherwise feel cozy and secure, they'll move in without hesitation and then roam around until they find basic sustenance in other rooms.
3. Look For Access Holes Throughout Your Home
If mice and/or rats are foraging through your home, you'll probably see evidence of such in one way or another. For example, deep within the confines of your cabinets, there may be a tiny hole that leads to plumbing that leads to the basement. You should see droppings, incidents of wood and other damage, and possibly boxes of food with little gnaw marks, if you have the creatures in your home.
4. Consider The Ways You Might Be Feeding Rodents (Accidentally, Of Course)
What looks like an insignificant and microscopic crumb to humans could serve as a delectable lunch for a pint-sized mouse. It is, therefore, essential that you and every member of your household be meticulous when cleaning up after eating. Seal foods in air-tight containers that can't be chewed through, and avoid leaving anything accessible on the counter or kitchen table, such as a cake, even under a keeper or a loaf of bread, protected by a meager bag of plastic. Defend every morsel, not just so you can keep it as your own, but to deny the rodent invaders the food they need to survive. Although getting rid of them can be challenging once you have them, if they get the feeling that their rumbling tummies are going to remain empty, you'll stand a far better chance of eradicating them.
5. Secure Your Trash Cans
Outside, be it by the road, the side of the house, or in even in the garage, the trash waiting to be picked up can serve as a food court for mice, rats, raccoons, and bugs alike. No matter how you have to do it, make sure there's no way into the garbage containers. Buy or make special locks or lids to ensure that no creature can enter the cans. Consider setting traps directly around the cans, especially if you dispose of large quantities of deliciously-smelling food or your trash isn't picked up as frequently as you'd like. This area will serve as a continuous feeding ground for all kinds of creatures; thus, it behooves you as a homeowner or renter to diminish the appeal it carries in scent and in servings.
6. Don't Wait Too Long Before Contacting An Exterminator
If you're intent on finding a way to get rid of mice or rats on your own, best of luck, but make sure you have a solid plan consisting of preventative measures and a means of exterminating or extracting the rodents you do have. Cut off all food and water supplies and disrupt their abodes. If your efforts are ultimately futile, the time you spent trying could equate to rapid reproduction cycles among the unwanted females, leaving you worse for the wear.
If you don't think you can solve the problem in a DIY manner, be quick to contact an exterminator, such as those at Greenleaf Organic Pest Management. They should be able to accommodate you if you want to avoid the use of poisons or even if you'd rather the rodents be regarded in the most humane ways possible. They'll be able to identify how the pests are coming in, if you haven't been able to determine that, and they can make professional recommendations that will ensure you don't have to deal with rodents again, which is probably something you can't guarantee with your own efforts, no matter how valiant.
Getting rid of rodents is no easy task, with or without the help of an exterminator; however, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will be able to solve the problem. Take these six steps and in the future and always be on the lookout for signs that they may have returned. Just one pair of rats can reproduce as many as 2,000 offspring in a year's time!