How To Get Rid Of Mice: Cost of DIY VS Professional Services
Find out how to get rid of mice and what is the cost of professional services vs doing it yourself. We include up to 4 free contractor quotes!
If you ask someone about the top 3 of the nastiest problems that they have had to deal with during the exploitation of their home and there is a high probability that one of the answers will be: mice. In fact, more than 80% of the homeowners in the USA say that they have experienced the need to get rid of mice at least once in the last 5 years. And this is not only a problem for the rural areas or those who live in houses outside the city. Those, living in the urban area are also affected from such problem due to the city drainage system, sewerage canals and etc.
If you are one of those facing the need to deal with mice, then the following article is your best way to finally solve this problem. Bear in mind that it is not only important to get rid of mice for the moment, but it is more important to do it for the long-term. Many people try short-term methods to solve such problematic situations and after that, they forget about them. And that is a big mistake. Your main goal is to get rid of the mice once and forever. Because the last thing you want is to have them back in your home when you are least expecting to.
Mice and the problems related with them
Fall and winter are the seasons when your home may most probably turn into a subject of a serious mice invasion. That is because of the fact that with the decrease in the temperatures, the rodents start seeking for suitable ways to migrate to warmer places which offer a good amount of food reserves.
Apart from the unpleasant feeling of having an unwanted guest, watching you at night and disturbing your living comfort, mice at home can cause numerous other problems – from bacteria, infections and allergies, to food and home furniture damage. On the other hand, mice in the garage can result into nests in wall insulation, chewed electrical wires and etc. All this makes it necessary for you to take an immediate action.
But let’s get back to the health-related problems. In order to make it clearer, to what extent that mice presence can have a negative effect on your health, bear in mind that the little invaders can bring salmonella, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, bite fever, tularemia, hantavirus and etc. to your home. In some cases, some of the listed conditions can even be fatal. But don’t worry! All these problems can be solved if you keep your home clean and act immediately when you notice potential mice presence for the first time.
Bear in mind that it is never too late to face the mice problem. Here are some useful tips and tricks that will help you handle this problem once and forever.
1) The mice in your house are always more than one
Bear in mind that mice are just like humans. When they find that your home is warm and has some delicious food reserves, they will most probably get in. And if you notice one mouse, make sure to check all the rooms, premises and construction elements of your home, because in most cases, this mouse won’t be alone. Mice do sometimes move in packs which means that that it won’t be only a single one that has found shelter in your place. Take into consideration also the fact that mice multiply very quickly and you will have another good reason to make a thorough inspection of your home.
2) Look for various signs that are typical for the little invaders
Seeing little droppings here and there are a major sign that rodents have invaded your house. Nevertheless, the little poop pellets are not the only evidence for having such problem. Make sure to check the boxes, food packages and cardboard elements in your home, every once in a while. If you notice that they are chewed and there are some debris here and there, then you will need to roll your sleeves up and deal with the nasty invaders.
Another very annoying sign of mice presence in the home is that specific sound, coming from the walls or the ceiling. So if you hear a scratching noise somewhere around your house, make sure to check whether you are not having an uninvited guest.
3) Always deal with mice on time
If you have found out that there are mice in your home, but you are just about to leave for your winter skiing vacation, make sure to deal with the problem as soon as possible. Find a way to solve the problem and do not delay it for when you get back after a week or two. Ask a relative to be in your home while there are some pros doing their job in order to get rid of the mice. That way you will have your house cleaned up for when you get back. If you choose to leave the problem, just for you to deal with it when you get back, you are probably making a mistake. Mice can cause significant problems. It is not only the food, the packages and the boxes that can be damaged.
Maybe you will be surprised, but one of the very popular reasons for house fires are the chewed wires. Mice love to do that and this may cost you a lot if you decide to not solve the problem as soon as you have found it out.
Illnesses and bacteria are other consequences of having mice invasion in your home. Due to the fact that they usually live in the drainage system, mice are proven to be a good carrier of infections and bacteria. That is the last thing you want to have in your home. So, in order to protect your family and your pets, act on time and solve the problem before it has spread further.
4) Ensure the right protection for your home
Maybe you haven’t thought about that until now, but as we have already said – it is never too late to deal with mice. Make sure to get the right prevention for this nasty problem by ensuring the appropriate protection of your home. The starting point of all that is to try making your home an unattractive place for any potential guests. There are numerous ways to do that, but the most important once are related to your food and the holes and openings in your home. First of all, make sure to store all your food within perfectly sealed containers. Bear in mind that mice are very resourceful.
They can get water from any tiny leak in your home, even if you are unaware that it exists, or make a shelter from every kind of clutter out there. That is why it is very important for you to not leave food exposed on open areas for long time as this will gather mice instantaneously. Fruits, sugar, rice, bread, cat/dog food, even birdseed – all these and many others are the reason mice would like to share your home with you. Next, make sure to secure your home from any points of entry. Seal every hole or potential entrance in order to keep the little invaders outside of your home. Make sure to use quality materials that will last for the long-term. Many people seal the potential mice entrances and later on, they forget about that problem. This may cost you a lot in the future.
Anyone can get rid of the mice in their home by exterminating them by poison or DIY methods. But depending on the way this is done, it may not be your best choice if you want to preserve the healthy climate of your home, as well as get find a long-term solution to the problem. Bear in mind that mice breed very rapidly as they can have more than 5 – 10 litters per year. If you do not solve the problem at first, you will surely help it grow exponentially. And getting rid of one or two mice is always easier than getting rid of 5 generations at once. Mice can multiply exponentially for the course of just one year.
If you lose the first few battles with the rodents, that means your best choice for solving such problem is calling a professional. Belt, poison, mouse traps and other natural methods are all good ways to try getting rid of the rodents, but they are riskier also. That is why, if you want to ensure the comfortable exploitation of your home, calling a professional mouse exterminator will always be your best choice.
Professional mice exterminators
If you have been trying to solve your mice problem for more than few weeks, without any significant success, then this is a sign that you should seek professional assistance. Mice exterminator specialists are always a good choice, as they will be able to solve your problem once and for the long-term. They are also the easiest way to get rid of the mice without the need for you to spend a fortune.
Professional mice exterminators usually know all the places where mice can hide which will save you a lot of time. They are also familiar with the most popular tactics that mice use to avoid being caught. That will further shorten the time needed to catch the little invaders. But the best thing that a professional mice exterminator will do, is to find the weak points of your home and to seal all the potential entrances that mice use to get in your home. That is something that you will most probably be unable to do by yourself. That is why, having a professional mice exterminator on-sight is always your best choice. Mice are smart enough to find the different loopholes in the structure of your house, which makes in vulnerable to potential invasions and further infestations.
Calling for a professional has another advantage – the specialist will most probably make a follow-up visit in order to check whether he has got rid of the mice effectively. He will then refill the baits and change the traps in order to further enhance your protection. That way you will feel comfortable and confident that the rodents won’t return.
Last but not least – you may have read somewhere or been advised that poison is the most effective tool against mice. In reality this is a valid point. Yet, when it comes to pest poison, you should be very careful. Bear in mind that although it is frequently used, this option is rarely recommended by experts, due to the potential side effects if it is applied DIY. The one thing that is sure about poison is that it will kill the mice. But it may also harm your pets and having your dog poisoned from eating a mice leftover is a real threat. That is why you should not risk! Bear in mind also that most poisons do not work instantly. That means the mice can eat the poisoned lure and get back to its hole just to die a little bit later. If you fail to track it or you haven’t found where the nest is, you may find it hard to remove the dead mouse until it starts rotting. And that is the last thing you want! That is why, if poison is needed, a calling a specialist to handle it is necessary. He will be trained to avoid all the potential side effects and negatives from such measure, which will protect you and your family, while effectively getting rid of the unwanted guests in your home.
By hiring a professional mice exterminator, you will pay for your long-lasting living comfort. But how much would you need to pay in order to have a trained specialist solve your problem?
The budget for such tasks forms by different factors, such as: the cost of the initial visit (is it a free one or not); the size of your home; the type of the work and etc. For example, if you are working with a specialist who doesn’t offer free initial visit, you will be charged up to $100.
During the first on-sight inspection, you will have all the details explained and presented with a total budget. Bear in mind that most of the companies will also conduct few follow-up visits starting at $300. Nevertheless, there are companies that offer free 90-day follow-up visits that is always a good choice in order to save some money.
On average, to have all the nests eradicated and the holes sealed, you will be charged in the range of $300 to $400. So, for a total of $200 – $350, you will have your mice problem solved. If you need some additional services, this price can go up to $500.
All that has proven the call for a professional exterminator as the best choice if you want to get rid of the little invaders easily and for the long term. Yet, if this price seems too high for you, you can always try to do it DIY, although most of the experts do not recommend it.
Getting rid of mice DIY
Although not the best way to do it, there are some DIY methods that can help you overcome the problem if it hasn’t spread significantly. So, to get rid of mice DIY, you can try some of the following tools that have proven themselves as effective ones:
- Mouse traps
- Repellent sprays
- A cat
Of all these, the last one is the most effective. Having a hungry cat in your home can help you solve the problem immediately. For example, there are many farms, located in the fields, that use barn cats as a good way to control the mice population.
Nevertheless, there are also some other methods that homeowners prefer such as using garden sprayers, scrap wood, laundry detergents, pepper sauce, ultrasonic repellents, caulk etc., although there is no real evidence that they work.
So the first thing you have to do in order to get rid of the mice in your home is to understand what they love and where they hide. Mice love to go all around your home in order to find food, but in the end, they usually hide in warm and dry places. Having in mind the fact that they love to climb, you should be willing to start searching for mice nests in the dark corners of your garage, attic room, kitchen closets and etc. Although unpleasant way to do it, you should know that you can also use the little poop signs that are left here and there in order to judge where the mice can potentially hide.
After you have found where the mice are hiding, you should get to action. Placing bait live mousetraps on strategically important places like (their most probable route) the premises with the food reserves for example, is a good way to start. Always use tiny pieces of cheese or lumps of peanut butter to act as a lure. Mice prefer high-calorie foods, so chocolate and hazelnuts are also a good choice. Bear in mind that cotton, dental floss, twine and other similar things can also work as a bait because of the fact that mice love to build their nests in the winter, using such “construction materials”. After you place the traps, you should check them once a day. If it turns out that the trap has worked, get the mice and take them miles away from your home and release them in a field.
Using a mouse repellent spray is another good way to solve the problem. But you should know that, in order to solve the problem effectively, it should be used as an addition to the mousetraps and not as an individual tool. Spraying around the house and the garage will help you prevent the new infestations. Some people avoid using chemicals and professional repellent sprays when handling the process DIY and that is completely understandable, as one should be very cautious when working with such substances. There is a very good natural alternative to that. By mixing one tablespoon of hot pepper sauce and ¼ cup of laundry detergent in no more than a gallon of water, you will get a perfect weapon against the little invaders. You should once again spray it around your house and the garage. It will do a great job, just like the commercial chemicals that you may buy, with the significant advantage of reduced risk for harming your pets and children.
Another eco-friendly way of solving the mice problem without the need of professional help are the ultrasonic mouse repellers. Place them inside your garage and you will ensure a significant prevention against mice infestations. The ultrasonic sound that these devices make is inaudible to humans, but at the same time – very painful to the mice. That will force them to avoid premises that are under the protection of such ultrasonic mice repeller.
A basic rule of thumb when it comes to mice problems is that the good sanitation won’t get you rid of them, but the poor one will surely attract them. That is why it is important to keep your home clean and remove all food waste that may be left here and there. Mice have the ability to survive with just 3 – 5 grams of food per day which means that even the tiny crumbs that are left after you have finished your dinner, will be more than enough for a mouse to get on. Vacuum your floors on a regular basis and keep your food in glass or airtight containers – that is the best way to cut the food supplies for the little invaders. Yet, if you hear that annoying sound coming from within the walls or you notice some of the typical signs for mice presence, make sure to get to action as soon as possible. There are numerous ways to handle the problem – all you need is to start from somewhere!