Discovering evidence that a mouse has invaded your home can be quite upsetting. Mice are mostly nocturnal, so they are not likely to be seen unless the infestation is severe. Mice often leave behind droppings in kitchen cabinets, pantries, drawers, and any other place they may have gone in search of food. It is important to close off the source of entry and eliminate any mice currently within the home.
Where there is one mouse there is likely to be more. According to the website article "Controlling House Mice", published by the University of Missouri, a female mouse has between five and ten litters per year with about five or six babies in each litter. The young are capable of reproducing at the age of six weeks. A mouse infestation can easily get out of control if not dealt with as soon as it is recognized.
"Controlling House Mice" says that a mouse is capable of getting through an opening only one quarter of an inch wide. It is important to check for openings where mice can gain entry. If you live in a mobile home or have a crawl space, check around plumbing pipes inside cabinets for spaces mice can get in. "Controlling House Mice" suggests using steel wool to fill in cracks and openings to temporarily keep mice out. It also says to check for openings around doors, windows, foundations, and vents.
There are various types of traps that can be used to capture or kill mice. "Controlling House Mice" recommends the use of traps if the mouse infestation is not too severe. It says that traps are advantageous since poisons can be dangerous, and with traps the dead mice can easily be located and disposed of. When poisons are used, the mice often die and are not found until there is an odor. Also, poisoned mice can pose a danger to pets who may eat them. The same article details the various traps and how they work. There is the typical spring-loaded, wood-based trap, a live trap, and a glue trap. Traps should be positioned close to the wall or cabinet where mice have been a problem. A good bait to attract mice is peanut butter. It is not easily removed without setting off the trap. It is suggested that several traps are used for more efficient mouse elimination. Live traps can trap more than one mouse at a time, and the mice can be released without harm in another location. Glue traps will hold mice with a special glue, but they can be ineffective with high temperatures or in dusty locations. It is advised to use caution when placing any traps where pets and children can access them.
"Controlling House Mice" suggests the use of poison when the problem is severe. It says that multi-dose poisons are safer to use than one dose poisons. Label directions should be followed very carefully, and poisons should not be used if there is a risk of children or pets coming in contact with them.