There are several DIY over the counter treatments to remove mice. These include:
Bait (Poison) and trays
These can be effective if you have just one or two mice in your home and they have not yet started breeding. If you suspect your infestation is much bigger than this (usually evidenced by mice droppings in several areas, gnawed containers and evidence of food being eaten, chewed cables etc) it is advisable to contact a pest control specialist for advice before going any further.
Mice are becoming increasingly resistant to over-the-counter bait so you will need to place it in several areas, replacing the bait every two weeks.
Always protect your hands and face when handling bait.
Never place bait in areas where pets and children can encounter it. It is poison and can kill.
Dispose of old bait and containers in sealed bags placed in external bins ensuring this is permissible by your local council.
These are popular alternatives to bait and the old-fashioned mouse traps. However, they have a poor success rate and must be checked every 12 hours so that any mouse caught in a humane trap is not distressed. Please be aware it is illegal to release a pest that is alive onto land not belonging to you.
If you release mice from these traps near your property it is likely the mice will return within a day as you have taken them from a place where they know they can find food, breed and of course that is their nesting place.
Humane traps are often inhuman because a person will forget to check the trap at the required intervals to ensure the mouse does not suffer. You also run the risk of the mouse biting you and escaping when trying to release it.
These include ‘sticky boards’ which as the name suggests traps a mouse by sticking them to the board. These are inhumane unless used by trained professionals as the mouse can live for days in a highly distressed condition with dislocated limbs. We do not recommend these for DIY under any circumstances. They also can trap other animals causing great distress and possibly prosecution.
Best way to remove mice – mouse proofing your home
Mice will exploit holes the size of a ball point pen so they can enter your home or business and travel around using the smallest of spaces to squeeze through. They travel along terraces and through larger buildings such as offices or residential blocks using the same routes that pipes and cables use to supply services such as water, power and broadband.
We do not advise you block air vents for safety reasons without consulting the relevant professional first.
- Look at the exterior of your home with a critical eye to identify gaps around pipes and cables that could be providing access areas to mice.
- Be aware that mice will chew through wood, MDF, plasterboard and chicken wire and they make light work of foam fillers.
- Ask your builders’ merchants for the best proofing materials to use. Do you have the right skills and equipment to tackle those hard-to-reach areas? Personal safety must always come first.
Within your home and garden, the best proofing often lies in the cleaning and restriction of access to food stuffs, water, and nesting materials.
What are the signs of mice
Mice frequently enter and seek refuge in homes or businesses to avoid the cold and find food plus nesting materials. The domestic (pest) mouse is generally around 70mm in length, with their tail adding a further 90mm. They’re usually brown grey in appearance with sharp incisor teeth which are kept down through gnawing. Often the signs of mice are ignored or not seen until an infestation is so firmly established that all the signs below are evident.
- Droppings -a common sign because mice frequently leave droppings in all areas of your home or property. They are tiny, oval shaped black pellets. You will find them in clusters and trails.
- Gnawing on wooden objects, plastic pipes and electric cables
- Shredded paper, plastic, fibres, and insulation material– commonly in the loft area or floor voids. Mice use this to build their nests, leaving a trail of shredded debris behind them. They can also make their nests deep in your loft insulation or building.
- Urine – A musky strong urine smell. Mice urinate frequently and the strong smell lingers for weeks after the infestation has been removed. The stronger the smell, the close you are to the infestation.
- Smear marks – small greasy smear marks on skirting boards and along pipes or cables.
- Gnaw marks on electric cabling and scratch marks on copper pipes.
- Gnawing on packaged food items and cardboard boxes. Also, on plastic containers for food storage.
- Noise. Unusual sounds including scratching, scuffing, and gnawing. You’re most likely to hear these at night when mice are more active but the bigger the infestation the more likely you are to hear activity in the daytime too.
- Excitable pets! If your cat or dog is sniffing and pawing at areas usually of no interest to them it could be a sign of mice.
- Alarms being triggered for no obvious reason
- Garden activity. You may have noticed unusual holes and lumps in the ground in your garden plus signs of disturbance on your compost heap/in your compost bin.
Where mice hide in buildings
If you have an infestation of mice in your business or home, they are likely to hide in many places and will move from place to place often during the daytime but especially in the evening. Where mice hide homes and offices include:
- Behind and underneath kitchen units. The space behind the kickboards can accommodate many mice as will be evidenced by the droppings.
Behind your fridge and cooker. These are often the places where food debris goes, unnoticed for weeks at a time.
- In the loft or void spaces – mice love warm dark quiet and hidden areas with a good supply of nesting materials so don’t be surprised to find them in boxes/bags storing clothes, or within building insulation.
- Underneath furniture or beds especially solid divan bases. Mice will gnaw at the material encasing the wooden frame and build a home inside the structure.
- In the ceiling or floor voids – the space between the floorboards is often where you will hear the most noise from mice.
In the cavity walls. Mice don’t just hide in the cavities they use them to travel around buildings.
And more! Once mice have infested your home, they will make any out of sight area a place to hide and this is what makes them such a challenge to locate and remove if you are attempting DIY mice removal.