Mice in the attic can be removed and kept away. Rats in the yard
Mice are terrific climbers and can scamper up any rough, vertical surface. Use spray foam, steel wool, mortar or metal patches to close up gaps around soffit and gable vents. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of your baby finger so do not overlook any opening. I prefer plugging gaps with foam because it expands and completely fills any void. Once foam is dry, trim the foam and caulk over it with the proper color of caulk so the repair becomes invisible.
Here are some tips to eliminate your unwanted houseguests:
Find their source of food. Do you have pet or bird food in the house? If so, it should be in a metal container. Keep the area clean. Your dog or cat bowl could also be shared with the mice. Keep in mind that mice are not as interested in the habitat as they are in food.
Remove the habitat around the house. Clean up the exterior of any debris. Is there a woodpile, piles of leaves and brush or dense ground cover? Clean up a safe zone to prevent mice from having cover close to the home.
Restrict entry to the house. The most common ‘point of entry’ is the door. Door-sweeps are easy to install and closes one of the largest entrances in the house.
Now that the house is tightened-up, you can get rid of the mice.
One of the best ways to eliminate mice is with the old fashioned mousetrap. It is fast, inexpensive and a humane method of ridding your house of pests.
Trapping has several advantages: it does not rely on poisons, it permits the user to make sure that the mouse has been killed, and it allows for disposal of the mouse carcass, thereby avoiding dead mouse odors that may occur when poisoning is done.
A couple of tricks with traps:
Wedge a piece of bread crust in the bait-plate and cover it with some peanut butter. The mouse can lick off the peanut butter, but when it pulls on the bread crust, snap! A cotton ball works as well for bait because mice are in constant search for nesting material.
The placement of traps is critical to their success. Set traps where you see mouse droppings, behind objects, and along the base of walls. Mice travel close to walls so place traps such that the trigger end of the trap is closest to the wall.
Sometimes the smallest mice are nearly impossible to mechanically trap so we are having success with glue traps. A glue trap works well in an unattended area like an attic. Its downfall is a dusty area. Once the glue is covered with dust, it will not grab the mouse.
There is also a ‘live trap’ out there. HAVEAHEART makes a teeter-totter trap that catches one mouse at a time. You can take it to a field and release your little friend.
Most poisons instruct you to maintain a continuous supply of bait for 15 days or until feeding ceases. This will ensure that the entire mouse population has had enough opportunity to eat a lethal dose. Hoarding by mice is most common in the fall when they are stocking up for the winter. We have seen several bags of mouse killer moved to a concealed location before the mouse ate enough to kill it.