Every year mice cause billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses. Mice can also transmit diseases like hantavirus, salmonella, and listeria, which are deadly to humans.
Although mice are a common problem for many homeowners, they can be removed and prevented from infesting your home fairly easily. With the right approach, you can get rid of mice without killing them. This blog post will discuss why mice love attics, how to remove mice from your attic, and steps to keep them from coming back.
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Why Mice Love Attics
Mice are exceptionally good climbers and can easily enter attics through small spaces. Once mice find a food source, they will return to it.
Attics typically house discarded items and cardboard boxes which are prime foraging spots for mice as well as any available nesting materials like insulation or dry wood that mice can use to make their nest.
Signs of Mice in the Attic
One of the most common signs mice are in your attic is droppings. Mice poop on everything! They can often be found near their nest, food sources, and while they’re exploring. Droppings will range from small black pellets to long snake-like strings depending on how much they’ve eaten or if it’s a female mouse.
Other signs of mice in your attic include:
- Holes, chewed wires or insulation
- Tracks in dust on the floor or ceiling
- Urine stains on insulation, walls or floors
- Evidence of hair (mice shed hairs as they explore their environment)
How to Get Rid of Mice Without Killing Them
While mice are considered pests in the home, you may not have the stomach to hurt them.
The best way to get mice out of your attic is by trapping them. Mice are naturally curious and will enter a trap if they can see inside or try to follow another animal that has entered the trap before them. Fortunately, you don’t have to set a death trap to get them out of your home.
Mousetraps work well for this purpose, but you’ll need more than just one trap in order to catch all the mice roaming about in your home. Place traps every two feet over an area where mice may be nesting and near any food sources like discarded items or cardboard boxes. The best time to set mouse traps is at dusk when mice are most active because it’s easier for them to spot their prey from afar. Combine these with other methods such as placing rubber bands around vents on the floorboards so mice can’t get in or out and you’ll be mice-free for a long time.
Humane Mouse Traps
The best non-kill mousetraps are the Authenzo Humane Smart No Kill Mouse Trap and the Kat Sense Rat Bait Station Traps. Both of these traps are reusable and can be easily set up in attic. The mice will enter the trap through a small opening and when they do, their foot will hit the trigger plate that holds the door shut. The mice can then be safely released outside of your home without ever coming in contact with you or any other humans.
You can also set mouse traps in outdoor areas around your home like on a patio or deck to keep mice from coming inside. This is especially helpful if you have an open-style attic that doesn’t provide much protection against mice entering. You’ll need to bait these with food, preferably peanut butter, cheese, chocolate spread or hazelnuts because mice love all of those foods! The most common way for mice to enter homes found by exterminators was through holes in walls at ground level so be sure this area is covered as well when setting up outside mouse traps.
How to Prevent Mice From Entering Your Attic
Once you’ve removed all of the mice from your attic safely, there are some steps that you should take to prevent them from coming back. Here are some of the best ways to keep mice out of your attic.
- Clean up droppings and hair around your home frequently in order to remove their smell.
- Remove nesting materials like excess insulation, dry wood, cardboard boxes and other items they might use for bedding. This will help mice stay away because they won’t find a place comfortable enough where there is no risk of being attacked by predators nearby or an easy food source. It’ll also make it less attractive for them to reenter your attic.
- Seal gaps around pipes, vents and other holes mice can get into with wire mesh or metal flashing.
- Clean up any food crumbs on the floor that mice may be attracted to. Use airtight containers for storing cereals, crackers, cookies and other food items.
- Store any garbage in airtight containers or seal it up inside a trash can with a lid that mice cannot enter. Cleaning out the garbage often will help prevent mice from entering as well.
- Cover exposed food sources like cereal, rice and other grains by placing them in an airtight container or zip lock bag, or store them in a place mice can’t get to.
- Patch up any holes mice are entering through with steel wool, caulk or tar paper. Mice often enter from the top of an attic and make their way down by following wire runs for lights. Be sure to patch these entry points as well if you find that they’re where mice are coming into your home.
- Install hardware cloth over vents at least six inches away from the vent itself to keep mice out of the ducts which will allow air flow but block mice from getting inside it.
- Install wire mesh or metal flashing over any holes mice can get into that are too small for mice to chew through.
- Purchase an electronic mouse repellent device, which emits high frequency sound waves that repel rodents from sensitive areas such as residences or industrial buildings. These devices are highly effective at keeping away mice because these sounds make their environment feel unsafe – even if they aren’t making mice feel unsafe – and mice will find somewhere else to live.
- Remove any rotting vegetation or other compost from your yard. This will deter mice when they’re looking for an easy source of food. Mice are primarily attracted by readily available sources of water such as moisture in crawl spaces beneath homes with leaking pipes or where homeowners use humidifiers during cold weather months. Water sources like these should be eliminated if possible.
A couple mice in your attic isn’t a huge problem for concern. You can use non-kill traps to safely and easily remove them from your home. Then, you can use a variety of DIY methods to prevent them from returning.
For large infestations, we recommend considering a local humane pest control professional. These experts can provide mice control services that will help get a home’s mouse problem under control.