If you hear scuttling, scratching, and gnawing in your walls, you could have mice living in them. If you keep your home free from clutter, mice may decide to move into your walls in search of a quiet nesting place. They will ruin your insulation as they tear it up to make nests. They'll also create a strong musty odor that spreads through your entire home. When you find out you have mice living in your walls, you want to take fast action to get rid of them before they cause a lot of costly damage. Here are some things you can do.
Lure Them Out With Food
One thing you don't want to do is seal up mouse holes or use poison. If you do, the mice will die between the walls and create a horrible smell that lasts for days. Instead, you can wait for them to sneak out at night for food and catch them in traps. In fact, you may want to leave some food around that is easy for them to get to for a couple of nights so they feel comfortable eating off the traps and get used to there being a food supply there. Then, when you set the traps, you'll have better luck in catching the mice.
Also, use several traps so you catch as many as you can on your first few nights of attack. It won't take long for the mice to wise up and start avoiding the traps. When you place the traps, position them up against the walls because mice hug the walls when they move through your home so they aren't exposed. If you place traps in the middle of the floor, the mice may not venture out far enough to get in them.
Use Alternative Traps
If you have small kids or pets, then you don't want to leave a bunch of snap traps on the floor of your home. They could be hurt by one of the traps or they could come in contact with a dead mouse. There are other traps you can use instead. Zapper traps use electricity to kill mice. These are expensive, so it will take longer to get rid of all the mice with these since you won't be using as many at the same time. They work well with pets because the opening is too small for a pet to get inside and the electrical plate is at the back of the tunnel so it is out of reach of paws. There are other traps you can buy, or your pest control professional can use, that are safe for homes with kids and pets. The traps catch the mice and keep them out of sight until you empty the traps. You can even buy traps that capture the mice live so you can release them outside if you don't want to kill the animals.
Cover Holes With Cardboard
Mice aren't usually active during the day, and they hide when humans are around at night, so it will be difficult to know when the mice are all gone. One thing you can do is cover the mouse holes with cardboard before you seal them shut permanently. That way, if there is still a mouse or two in the walls, you'll know it because they'll chew through the cardboard when they leave the walls to hunt for food. When the cardboard has not been disturbed for several days, you can assume the mice are all gone and seal the mouse hole permanently. If there are always signs of mice nibbling on the cardboard and the mice no longer get in your traps, your best action is to call in a professional exterminator so you can get rid of the remaining mice before they multiply and do more damage to your walls and insulation.
Getting rid of mice is difficult because you can't rely on poison like you can with insects. And using traps means you have to deal with dead bodies or releasing live mice. For those reasons, it could be quicker and more efficient for you to hire a pest control company to eliminate the mice for you, and then you can take steps like filling holes and sealing food to keep them from coming back.
For more information, contact companies like Environmental Services Pest Control.