Once you suspect that you have a mice infestation, everything comes to a standstill, and you start wondering how to get rid of the problem. As you ponder about the home remedies you can use, it is advised that you find out how exterminators get rid of mice.
Exterminators are more experienced and can get rid of a mice problem fast and efficiently. They will survey and inspect your home, looking for entry points and warning signs. The experts will then employ methods such as setting baits, removing access points, or fumigation to get rid of the mice.
This article discusses in detail the methods exterminators use to eliminate and prevent mice. Read on to learn more.
What we cover
Signs of mice infestation
Spotting just one mouse may not seem like a big deal, but the problem may be bigger than you think. It is, therefore, important to inspect for the following signs to be sure you have an infestation:
- Mice droppings that measure between ⅛ and ½ inches
- Scratching sounds in your walls
- Scurrying sounds in your inner rooms
- Musty odors from mice urine
- Chew marks on wood, electrical wiring, and bags of food.
- Mouse nests that are usually made of shredded paper or other material hidden behind or under your furniture.
If you see any of the above signs, you should immediately contact a pest control company to inspect and eliminate the infestation.
How exterminators inspect for mice
While some signs of mice infestation may be pretty obvious, you may not be sure of the severity of the infestation. That is why it is essential to call a professional to do a thorough inspection and eliminate the infestation, if any. Here is how the expert will inspect for mice:
- Look for access points. While mice are bigger than other pests such as roaches, termites, and ants, they can squeeze through tiny spaces. So, anywhere in your house can be an entry point for rodents.
- Food sources. Mice can eat anything. You can find them in your pantry, garbage, or even recycling.
- Areas of habitat. Mice usually create their nests in soft, warm, dark, and quiet places. This makes your home’s insulation an ideal hiding spot for these pests. You can also find them under cabinets, where it is dark and warm, and they are close to food and water sources.
- Warning signs. You can look for several warning signs, such as mice droppings and chew marks on wiring and food bags.
After the inspection, the pest control experts will create an extermination plan customized to your mice infestation problem. They will then give you a price quotation for the extermination, explain the methods or techniques they will use, and provide an estimate of how long the extermination process is likely to take.
Finally, the exterminators will tell you how to prep your home for the extermination.
How exterminators get rid of mice
Now that you know how to look for signs of a mice infestation and what to expect from exterminators, it is time to know how these professionals get rid of mice.
Depending on the level of infestation, your pest control specialist may use several techniques to eliminate the mice from your home and prevent a future infestation. Here are the main techniques exterminators use:
Removing access points
After an inspection, the first thing the pest control experts will do is eliminate all access points, such as cracks in door frames, window frames, baseboards, foundations, and wall openings. The experts can use caulk or sealant to seal off all the entry points.
Mice can fit in small spaces, so sealing off the access points will prevent any new rodents from entering your home.
Removing food sources
Once the exterminators remove all access points and seal off gaps and cracks in walls, doors, and windows, the next thing is to eliminate all food sources. The experts can educate you on how to eliminate food sources, as this is something you can do on your own before the extermination begins. Here is what experts recommend:
- Seal your food in airtight containers or place it in boxes and store it in places that are not easily accessible.
- Clean up food crumbs and stains.
- Wash dishes and pots immediately after using them.
- Keep your countertops clean.
- Ensure your trash cans are tightly sealed, and take out the garbage regularly.
Using mouse traps
Mouse traps are effective mice control methods for both DIYers and exterminators. There are a variety of mouse traps that exterminators can use. These include:
- Humane/live mice traps: These are humane traps that can catch the mice without harming them. They are usually made of plastic and are well ventilated to keep rodents alive. The bait is placed inside the trap, and once the mice try to get to it, they step on the trigger pad, and the door immediately snaps closed.
- Snap traps: These traps snap violently closed once the rodents step on them. They are intended to kill the mice but should not be used around pets or small children as they can pose a risk to them.
- Glue traps: These are inhumane traps that lead to painful deaths for the mice. Once the rodent gets stuck in the glue trap, they are thrown away into the garbage, where they can die of starvation and thirst. They can also be crushed to death. These traps can, however, become a hazard to pests and kids.
- Bait traps: These traps are designed to capture mice that are inside your home. Baits like moist cheese, wet cat food, or peanut butter can be used to set the traps. Snap traps and live traps also fall into this category.
Exterminators can set up bait stations such as rodenticides around your home’s perimeter to prevent the mice from getting inside your house. Some bait stations can have one entrance, while others have two.
Once the rodents get inside, they consume poisonous bait and bring some back to the nest, thus poisoning and killing them all. Bait stations can be used to eliminate large mice infestations.
One downside of bait stations is that the chemicals can pose a health hazard for pets and humans. While they can be used as a DIY mice control method, it is best to leave them to professionals.
Exterminators use fumigation as a last resort when all other mice control techniques fail to eliminate the mice. Fumigation is costly, and the chemicals used can be dangerous to humans and pests. Therefore, you may be required to vacate your home for several days or even weeks until the process is complete.
Only a licensed and certified pest control expert is allowed to use this method. In most states, it is against the law to fumigate residential properties.
Fumigation can only be used in storage buildings, non-residential properties, and barns, and even then, it should only be used as a last resort.
What chemicals do pest control experts use for fumigation?
There are several chemicals your exterminators might use when fumigating your property. These include:
- Phosphine: This is a solid that turns into a gas when exposed to air. The exterminators must be extremely careful, as this chemical can explode. More so, it is fatal if inhaled by humans or pets.
- Formaldehyde: This chemical stops the mice cells from dividing, thus killing the entire nest.
- Magnesium phosphide: This chemical is in powder form and becomes a toxic gas when exposed to water.
- Carbon dioxide: This is by far the safest chemical on this list. It does not leave any residue behind, so it does not contaminate anything. However, you will still need to vacate your home, as the chemical is fatal to humans and pets.
How do exterminators prevent mice infestations?
After a mice extermination, you wouldn’t want to go through another infestation. That is why pest control professionals put in place techniques that control future infestations. These techniques include the following.
Exterminators apply mouse repellents along your home’s perimeter to keep the rodents away. These repellents can also be used as DIY mice control methods.
Examples of repellents include peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, clove oil, or a combination of all three. Cotton balls are soaked in these repellents and placed in places suspected of mice activity. These repellents should be replaced after a week or two.
How long does professionally applied repellents last?
Professionals know the best chemicals to repel mice. These repellents can last for a few weeks or months, depending on the type of chemical, the amount of repellent applied, and how much rain you get in your area.
Preventive treatment is best when used monthly or quarterly. Most pest control companies offer quarterly, monthly, or annual plans to ensure your home stays free of mice. Some companies even offer a guarantee, so you can get a free service if you report any mice activity after extermination.
How long does it take to get rid of mice?
This depends on the level of infestation and the extermination method used. A small infestation can be eliminated within a week or two using a few mouse traps, while a larger infestation can take up to three months or more to eliminate. The length may vary depending on how large the population is and where they have burrowed into your home.
How much does mice extermination cost?
The cost for mice pest control is between $450 to $600. The cost can be as low as $200 for a small infestation, while a larger home infestation can cost up to $1,000 to eliminate. This cost is for a full-service professional visit, including traps, baits, sealing off access points, and follow-ups.
The exact cost varies widely depending on the infestation level, the home’s size, the extermination technique used, your location, and where the mice have burrowed in your home.
Should you hire pest control for mice or DIY?
It is possible to DIY a mice extermination as they are not as difficult to eliminate as bed bugs, termites, or roaches. DIY extermination is a cheaper alternative if you are on a tight budget or if you do not mind removing a live or dead mouse.
However, if you want a professional extermination, it is best to hire an exterminator. The expert will get rid of the mice problem, including mice droppings, urine, and other associated debris. More so, exterminators are experienced in dealing with large and troublesome infestations while keeping your family and themselves safe.
There are three types of mice that infest homes in the U.S. these include:
- Deer mice: Usually brown in color with a half-brown half-white tail. They are usually found in rural areas and are known to cause a respiratory disease called hantavirus.
- House mice: These mice are color blind and generally have poor eyesight. They, however, have strong hearing and smelling senses. They chew through electrical wiring and drywall and carry Salmonella.
- White-footed mice: These are solitary mice and are easier to catch and eliminate. They also carry hantavirus, so it is essential to be cautious when removing them from your home.
Mice are dangerous not only to homes but also to humans and pets. They can chew through electrical wires, walls, and floors, generally damaging your home’s integrity. More so, mice are vectors for diseases that can easily spread through contact with their urine, droppings or transferred through contaminated food.