Once you have effectively removed the mice from your house, you need to make sure they do not return!
This section applies to getting rid of mice as well as any other small rodents or pests. If you follow some of these preventative pest control tips, you should be very successful in keeping the mice away.
Table of Contents
Here are 6 ways to keep mice away from your home & family.
1. First & foremost… Remove their food supply!
If there is plenty of food available the mice will keep coming back.
Make sure all food is stored in an airtight container. Use metal or glass containers whenever possible. If you do use plastic – look for thick containers with very tight-fitting lids.
Use a deterrent such as mint, bay leaves, or cloves. Place them near where you store the food. You can also purchase one of these ready-made mouse deterrent pouches.
Clean up after small children and pets, they tend to drop food in the most unlikely places. Mice have an exceptional sense of smell, they will find any little tidbit left out in the open.
2. Block off their entryway from the outside.
Do a perimeter walk around your house. Pay special attention to areas where the siding connects to the base of your home, doorways, and the garage door flaps. Fill in any small cracks or open areas.
If you can’t do this yourself, hire a handyman. It will be well worth the effort. In the warmer weather, mice will happily live outside. But if their food supply runs short for any reason, they may come inside looking for something to eat.
Steel Wool is an excellent way to seal off small cracks & crevices where the mice may be entering your home. You can purchase steel wool in most hardware stores in bulk packages. Tuck the wool into any area which is 1/4 of an inch wide or more.
Another great tip is to seal off the cracks with a clear silicone gel. You can put this right over the steel wool so the mouse doesn’t push it away. Or where appropriate, you can also fill in holes with caulk.
3. Don’t allow the mice access to your kitchen.
Look under your sink & cupboards for holes. Do the hookups to your dishwasher have any space around them?
You can use the same type of steel wool you purchased for outside the home to seal any openings you find on the inside. You can purchase this at your local home improvement center or online. Remember, mice can squeeze into areas as small as ¼ inch.
The kitchen is a favorite area for mice to hide and build their nests. Mice don’t like to travel long distances. So if they find a good hiding place with both easy access to food and shelter, they will make themselves right at home.
4. Don’t provide nesting areas for them outside.
Firewood, compost, or leaf piles should not be placed next to your house. These are all excellent nesting areas for mice and other rodents.
Remove any hiding areas along the perimeter of your yard. Remember the 30-foot rule. If any mice are living outside within 30 feet of your house, when it gets cold out they may just move their family inside for the winter.
5. Clean up after a mouse infestation.
After you have successfully removed the mice from your home, it is very important to clean up thoroughly. One reason is to prevent new mice from moving in.
Remember that mice leave invisible pheromone trails for other mice to follow. If a new mouse enters your house and sees or smells the evidence of a past mouse infestation, they will be drawn back to the same location again & again.
The second reason cleanup is important is to prevent the spread of disease. Mice do carry diseases.
You want to thoroughly disinfect all areas of your home where the mice were living to prevent any type of infection from getting passed to your family. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the following precautions to clean up the area safely.
Step 1: Clean up any mouse droppings or urine trails.
- Wear protective gloves before cleaning an area that was infested with mice.
- Spray the area with a disinfectant & let the area soak for a few minutes first. This will make it easier to clean up.
- Use a paper towel to remove urine & feces left behind.
- Disinfect anything that may have come into contact with the mouse droppings.
Step 2: Clean the entire area around where the mice had been.
- Be especially thoroughly when cleaning countertops & floors. I suggest cleaning these areas twice, just to be on the safe side.
- Wash all bedding & linens with hot water to kill any remaining bacteria
- Steam clean or shampoo carpets or furniture.
6. Consider Hiring a Pest Control Expert
When all else fails, call in the pros.
There are many reasons you may consider hiring a pest control professional.
The biggest reasons to hire a mouse exterminator are time, speed, and expertise.
You may not have the time to continually be checking traps & investigating the source of the problem. Then factor in the disposal, cleanup, or relocation time if you go the trap and release route.
Another reason is to get the job done fast. There is a definite learning curve when it comes to getting rid of mice.
While you are going through the trial & error process, the mice are slowly moving in & breeding. This was my experience when I first had a mouse problem. By the time I had figured out the best ways to get rid of mice, they had already tripled in population.
But the absolute best reason you should consider hiring a professional pest control expert is to find out where the mice were getting inside your home.
Let’s face it, these guys are trained professionals. They know exactly where to look to find the areas where your house may be vulnerable.
What’s really nice about hiring a professional is they will educate you about your house & let you know where the potential weaknesses are.
They know all the preventative pest control techniques & can let you know which ones will work in your specific circumstance. This will save you so much time. Just find a pest control company that has some experience with mice.
During the first visit, they will come to your home and do a thorough inspection. Then they will review all the information with you, then discuss the different options to correct your mouse infestation.
Let me tell you from experience, it will be well worth your time. This is how I really learned the best ways to get rid of mice & keep them away for good. And in the long run, it will save you money.
Just remember, the best offense is a good defense. Once you learn how to keep mice away from your living areas, you won’t have to spend so much time & money trying to catch them!