Cooler weather makes us think about winter and all the things we have left to do before winter strikes. Mice are not unlike people in this aspect; as the weather cools they begin to look for a way to spend the winter inside your home.
The two most effective methods of ridding your home from mice are exclusion and trapping. You can exclude mice by plugging cracks and holes in the siding or foundation of your home that are ¼ of an inch or larger. Mice need a hole or crack only as large as their head to enter your home. Since mice are excellent climbers, pay attention to loose windows and holes that contain pipes or cables. Stuff steel wool into cracks and holes to prevent mice from entering. Remember that you will not only prevent mice from entering but you may also be lowering your heating bill by tightening up the outside of your home.
Trapping mice is the only way to eliminate the species of mice that spends all it’s time inside your home. Traps set in the center of a room will not be very effective. Set traps along walls or in the small spaces that mice use to travel inside the home. If you notice mice droppings, or have seen a mouse moving in a space then you will want to place a trap there. You have a choice between live traps and kill traps. The simple, cheap snap traps are an effective way to kill mice. If you want to be more humane, choose a live trap. You may want to set multiple traps to increase the odds of catching a mouse. Peanut butter, moist oatmeal, or chocolate are three of the foods that seem to attract mice.
No matter which style of trap you choose, remember to check them daily. If a snap trap is used, you may need to re-bait or empty the trap. Live traps should be checked daily; this ensures that you mice will be handled in a humane fashion. Remember that mice can travel quite a distance and you should release them a good, long distance from your home.