Drive away rodent infestation mice: This is why live traps make more sense than poison bait
Especially during the cold winter months (but also throughout the year), many mice stray into basements and living spaces in search of food and shelter. However, their visit does not go unnoticed for long: at the latest when you discover the first droppings or smear marks, food is eaten or you are woken up by nocturnal noises from the pantry, you can be sure that the little rodents are having a good time in your home. The problem with this is that mice multiply very quickly, contaminating your food and gnawing on cables – causing expensive damage. Nevertheless, you should not kill the animals, but catch them alive. Which traps and home remedies are best to drive away mice, and why you should keep your hands off poison baits, is explained in this article.
Secret visitors: how to recognize a mouse infestation
Mouse droppings are very easy to spot: The small black droppings are spread everywhere by rodents on their walking paths. When they are still fresh they have a soft consistency – but after a few days the droppings become harder and crumble if they should touch them. If you discover the mouse droppings only after a few weeks, they are already rock hard. If you want to find out how soft or hard the droppings are, you should in any case always put on gloves first.
Alternatively, so-called smear marks also indicate a mouse infestation: This is a visible trace consisting of body fat and dirt particles of rodents. It also arises on the daily runs that mice regularly use. Follow the smear trail, you may even find the animal’s nest. Here, setting a live trap is especially useful – and usually leads to a successful result quite quickly.
Mice will gnaw on just about anything, not just foods like bread, fruit, nuts or bacon. They also eat through plastic, cardboard or wood to reach their destination. But then why do you also find bite marks on cables? In fact, rodents use isolation for dental care, as their teeth grow throughout their lives and stay sharp and short by chewing solid objects. For this reason, gnawed cables are also an important indicator of a mouse infestation.
Mousetrap: Why poison baits are deadly but useless
According to Peta, Germany’s largest animal rights organization, poison baits are cruel and useless to mice. If the rodents eat the poison, they suffer a slow and agonizing death by bleeding to death internally. That being said, most baits are highly toxic to humans and pets, and the same goes for wildlife: If they ingest the poison directly or by eating a poisoned mouse, they die a gruesome death. "What’s more, these deadly methods never keep rodents away in the long run and can even have the opposite effect, as killing them leaves more space and food available for the surviving conspecifics. Vacant territories are reoccupied in a flash and losses in the population are compensated for by increased reproduction", Peta warns explicitly. Instead, you should rather rely on live traps or time-tested home remedies. You can find out which ones below.
How to get rid of mice: How to get rid of rodents
If you decide to use a live trap, place a bait in it (peanut butter, for example) as far back as possible – so the tail doesn’t get pinched. According to Peta, it is important to check the trap every hour, as mice are very sensitive to stress and can die after a few hours due to tension or possible dehydration. If you have caught a rodent, it is best to cover the trap with a cloth to avoid stress – and only release the animal after at least 100 meters away from your home, so that it does not find its way back to you.
There are a variety of different devices designed to repel mice using ultrasound. According to the manufacturer, the waves emitted by an activated pest repellent irritate rodents so much that they should stay away from your home. The same applies to other pests such as cockroaches, ants, flies and other insects.
To prevent mice from gaining access to your living quarters in the first place, it’s important to find out which holes or cracks could be used as entrances. Check all exterior walls and door gaps, cable ducts and leaky or open windows. Here, don’t just look for said marks (as described above), but seal or caulk all possible weak spots – for example, with silicone or mortar.
Rodents have a keen sense of smell and can track their food over long distances. For mice, it does not matter if the food is fresh scraps or supplies. This makes it all the more important to dispose of garbage regularly – and to do so in such a way that the garbage cans with the food leftovers are located as far away from the house as possible. The same is true for compost. And since the animals also eat their way through paper and plastic to get to food, you should always store your supplies such as pasta in airtight glass or metal boxes.
Tips& Tricks: The best home remedies against mice
As with any "pest there are of course also with rodents a multiplicity at house means, which are to be able to drive mice away. Whether these really help cannot be answered at this point. Among the best known are:
- Take a cotton cloth, drizzle it with Peppermint oil and put it in the hole behind which you suspect mice. The smell should drive away the animals.
- Cayenne pepper is not only a popular spice for sharpening, but is said to keep mice away by scattering it where you first spotted the tracks.
- By the way, the same applies to others Food, such as fresh mint and chamomile, chili peppers and cloves or oleander.
Vinegar is also a proven household remedy for driving away mice. Mix it with water and use it to clean the entire floor in your home.