Written by Ivy
Jan 30 2023
Knowing how to get rid of mice in your walls can put your mind at ease and minimize damage to your home.
How doexterminators get rid of mice in walls
A mouse infestation doesn't mean that your home is dirty or rundown. When outdoor temperatures drop, mice can look for entry points into any building in search of food, warmth, and shelter. Small cracks in a foundation, holes in siding, and gaps around windows and doors can all serve as entry points for rodents.
If you've determined you have a mouse problem, here's how to get rid of mice in walls.
Mousetraps are still the standard for catching rodent pests. If you opt for a lethal trap, choose snap traps that kill mice instantly instead of poison bait traps. You don't want mice dying and decaying in your walls. Bait traps with peanut butter and set them along walls where you suspect mouse activity. If mice seem to keep evading traps left out in the open, you may have to drill a small hole in the drywall a few inches off the floor and place a trap right by the hole.
Mice infestations can be hard to root out, so you probably don't want to drill more than one hole before talking to a pest control professional. These companies will know how to extract the mice from your walls while doing the least amount of damage to your home. They can also help you prevent new infestations by finding and securing possible entry points.
How Exterminators Inspect for Mice
If you believe that you have a severe mouse infestation, you might think about calling a professional pest control company or exterminator. Exterminators are pest control professionals who specialize in determining how pests got into your home, killing them off using the most humane methods possible, and ensuring that they do not return to your home. Exterminators use a variety of methods to determine whether you need professional mice control services, including the following.
House mice can squeeze their little furry bodies through a space only about the size of a dime, so virtually anywhere in your home can be an access point for them from outside if you don't seal up your windows, doors, or cracks in your walls tightly. Regular inspections should be performed so that you can always be aware of any potential entry points mice can use to gain access to your home.
Mice are not picky when it comes to their food sources — they are attracted to anything easily accessible. It is not uncommon to find a family of mice that has taken up residence in your pantry, where you store dry goods and canned foods. They may also be attracted to your garbage or recycling.
Mice love to nest and procreate in soft and warm places, which means that insulation within your walls is an ideal place for them to set up their homes. Mice also live under cabinets where it's warm and dry and they are close to food sources. They tend to like dark, quiet spaces as well, like crawl spaces and voids within the walls.
There are definitely warning signs you can look out for that indicate whether you have a mouse infestation (or even just a few of the little pests living in your home). You will most likely see droppings, especially around food sources. They're slightly larger than grains of rice and they are black or brown in color. Depending on how old they are, the droppings will start to lose their darkness and vary in consistency.
You will also see gnawed or chewed on food bags where mice have contaminated them. One alarming sign of the presence of mice is scratching or even chewing sounds within your walls. They are nesting and causing destruction to the framework of your home, and those are the unnerving sounds to prove it. You may even come across a dead mouse.
As you work on getting the mice out of your house, also ensure that they can't find their way back in. Remember that mice can gnaw through sprayable foams and sealants, so look for filler made out of chew-resistant polyester and stainless steel fibers. Wire mesh is a good choice for large holes on the exterior of your home, and door sweeps will cover entranceway gaps by the floor.
Once you've sealed your home, take a look around the outside. Outdoors, mice like to nest anywhere that can provide a good hiding place from predators, which can include woodpiles, garbage bags, compost heaps, or untrimmed shrubbery, so move these away from the perimeter of your house. Keeping a tidy lawn, in general, will discourage mice from moving in.
There are three types of mice that commonly infest homes in the United States. If your home has become a haven for these small creatures, it will be one of these three species:
Unfortunately, both mice and rats are very good climbers, and they can even ascend straight up a vertical surface if the texture is rough enough. They can also jump up to 18 inches and slip through surprisingly small cracks and holes, making them very difficult to catch.
Mice are nocturnal creatures, so you probably would not be able to see them during the day. They go out of their nests to forage for food at night. Their eyes are suitable for darkness and they cannot see well during the day. This is why we will have to rely on the clues that they leave behind.
Here are some of the signs that you have mice:
1. Droppings - Mice eat a lot, so they leave their droppings a lot. Their droppings look like little brown pellets. If you see their droppings, it is time to act.
2. Holes in food bags or cartons - Mice can detect food inside food bags or cartoons. If you see unusual holes on the packages, throw them away. Mice might have gotten to them first.
3. Grease marks on the walls - Mice are not comfortable crawling out in the open. To travel between their nests and to their food source, they crawl next to walls. Over time, they leave marks from their greasy bodies.
4. Food particles and candy wrappers scattered in out-of-the-way areas.
5. Gnaw marks on boxes, cardboards, packages, papers, gas pipes, and electric cables.
6. Nests inside your home. Mice are always active inside homes. They will always chew out clothing fabric and cardboard as a material for their nests. They build nests in dark areas of the house, like inside cabinets, under furniture, or inside closets. You will find plenty of mice droppings near their nests.
7. Scratching sounds inside walls.
Because of their size and flexibility, mice can squeeze through holes that are the size of a nickel on the walls. While it would be nice to get rid of them using DIY methods, the best thing to do would be to call the professionals.
Once you call a professional pest control company, here is what they would do:
1. Technicians would inspect all areas of your home to determine how mice were able to enter.
2. After the inspection, they would formulate strategies on how to get rid of these pests. They should be able to work with you regarding this.
3. After the procedure, the pros will seal all entry points to keep them out for good.
Once they are out, then the next step would be to keep them away through these preventive measures:
1. Place your food inside sealed containers.
2. Fix leaky pipes and faucets.
3. Place a cover on your trash cans. Regularly dispose of your garbage properly.
4. If you love animals, then you may consider getting a cat. Cats are good hunters of mice and can scare them away.
5. Remove clutter like old boxes, piles of paper, and old cardboard. This will reduce the places they can hide.
6. Wipe off drink spills and food debris.
If you have these unwanted pests in your home, be sure to contact the best mice control management in the Triad area, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Mice present risks both to humans and to material structures. It's most likely that your mouse infestation will be caused by house mice. These are notorious for chewing through walls and floors and for absolutely destroying electrical wiring inside those walls. Mice are also vectors for several different diseases, which can spread through contact with their feces or urine, sometimes even contaminated food.
Because mice are rodents, they have incisors that grow throughout their entire lifetimes; their teeth never stop growing, and so they must find ways of keeping their dental growth under control. If they find their way into your home, that method of control is by chewing and gnawing on the wood in your home, which can include support beams and rafters, as well as wiring and sometimes even plumbing. Once they remove the rubber coating on electrical wires, it creates a situation for a house fire waiting to happen. Once house mice get comfortable in your home, they will stay as long as they can find food, and they will multiply rapidly, compounding the potential damage to your home.
Mice can carry ticks with diseases, but house mice are more likely to carry their own diseases that you or your family could contract if you come into contact with them. Dried mouse droppings act as a dusty conveyor of hantavirus, a dangerous respiratory illness that presents first with symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and fatigue, much like the flu. However, if left untreated, these symptoms can progress to fluid buildup in the lungs and lead to difficulty breathing. There is no specific vaccine or cure for hantavirus, but in many cases, hospitalization is not necessary. But it's better to avoid the risk altogether.
Mice can also spread the bacterium Salmonella through their urine, droppings, or even just by running over or touching areas like countertops, cabinets, and boxes of food in your pantry. If humans contract Salmonella, the symptoms include cramps, diarrhea, and fever. These symptoms should not persist for more than a week, but they are definitely unpleasant.
These illnesses and more can be avoided if you wear gloves, face masks, and even goggles before coming into contact with mouse urine or feces. Avoid sweeping up dropping directly, as this is likely to spread the dangerous bacteria and dander to further places in your home. Soak the droppings and urine with a bleach solution, leave it for five to ten minutes, and then wipe it up with paper towels, double bagging everything, all while wearing your personal protective gear.
There are multiple deadly chemicals that your exterminators might use when fumigating your house, including the following.
If you get annual or even quarterly mouse inspections, an exterminator can prevent mice from inhabiting your home in the first place. You can also take action to prevent these critters from entering your home by sealing up cracks they can enter through and by making your home as undesirable to them as possible.
Exterminators use repellents that they apply along the perimeter of your home to keep mice away. There are also some DIY mouse repellents you can use that are safe for you and your family, and usually smell amazing.
You can make a DIY mouse repellent. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil, clove oil, or cayenne pepper (or a combination of those). Then place those cotton balls in places where you've either seen mouse activity or you suspect it. These essential oil-soaked cotton balls should last a week or two and then you can replace them. Mice also detest dryer sheets (unused) as well as cinnamon, eucalyptus oil, and cedarwood oil. Luckily, these all smell wonderful to humans.
How long does repellent last?
Professionally applied mouse repellent lasts a few weeks to a few months, depending on the chemical makeup, how much rain you get, and how much repellent they apply.
This completely depends on the mice population you have in your home. If you only have a couple of mice or just one small family, it can be about a week or two or perhaps less time; you just set a few mouse traps and watch them do their work.
On the other hand, if you have a full-blown pest infestation on your hands, it can take one to three months to get rid of it, including the mice themselves, their nesting materials, and all their excretions (and their corpses). The length of time it takes for mice removal varies depending on where they've burrowed into your home and how large the population has gotten. Although exterminators can perform treatments that last one to two days, it really can take a month or several to get everything back to normal.
There is a difference in how professional exterminators and pest control companies handle mouse problems. Pest control companies use a method called integrated pest management, which combines environmentally friendly rodenticides and pesticides with sustainable and safe eradication and prevention methods. Exterminators use methods that are fast-acting, harsh, and usually able to be accomplished within one or two treatments. Exterminators are also not contractually obligated to come back once their treatments are finished even if you notice signs of rodent activity after the fact.
Because of the differences in methodologies and the number of visits different types of pest control professionals use to get rid of mice, there are differences in cost. Exterminators for mice cost around an average of $525, and that includes traps, baits, sealing off entry points, and follow-ups. Pest control companies cost about the same for a one-time visit, but you can also subscribe to their (preventive) services throughout the year.
Also Read How to Get Rid of the Following Species:
Unlike with termites or bed bugs, a mouse infestation might be something you would like to tackle on your own. This can be done if you don't mind removing a dead mouse when you find one or if you have experience with mouse control, but if you want to make sure that every last trace (including mouse droppings and urine) of mouse habitation is gone from your house, it's best to hire an exterminator. Exterminators have experience dealing with these issues and they have the proper training and equipment to keep themselves and you and your family safe while eliminating the rodent problem from your home.