How To Get Rid Of Mice In Your Houston Home: A Step-By-Step Guide
Close up picture of a mouse

How To Get Rid Of Mice In Your Houston Home: A Step-By-Step Guide

Many things may indicate you have a mouse problem—well, things you'll notice that show that something is happening in your home. A mouse problem doesn't always scream mice. One night, you may hear scratching sounds in a wall, then not hear anything for days. That could be a mouse, for sure. But it could also be the siding on your house shifting in the wind or something else entirely. The warning signs mice provide are often subtle.

Before you can start thinking about getting rid of mice, you have to determine whether or not you have these rodents in the first place. That is where we will start today in our step-by-step guide to mouse control. If you'd like help with mouse control in Houston, please feel free to contact us. Your Modern Pest Control team understands those sneaky pests. We'll find them, remove them, and keep them from getting back inside. We'll outline the methods we use to get rid of them in this guide. Enjoy.

First, Identify That You Have A Mouse Problem

When you contact Modern Pest Control for mouse control services, we'll start with an inspection. You can also perform your own inspection, though it's difficult. Many of the warning signs we look for are signs you can detect as well. Here are some signs of mice to look for:

  • Seeing these little critters is the best sign of all. A mouse is a small, pointy-nosed animal with whiskers, perky ears, and a thin tail about the same length as its body.
  • If you don't see live mice, you can still tell they're around by looking for their droppings. When fresh, mouse droppings are black, sticky, and moist. Old mouse droppings are gray and brittle.
  • If you don't see their waste, you may smell it. Mice leave droppings and urine everywhere they go, even in their nests.
  • If you don't see mice or their waste and smell nothing, you may still have mice. The next warning sign to look for is the presence of nests. They make their nests out of very soft materials they find in your home, such as the stuffing of a couch cushion.
  • Search for grease marks on baseboards and storage boxes as you look for nests. Mice run along these with one side touching.
  • As you search, look for footprints in dust and food particles on floors, shelves, and other surfaces.

During an inspection, we look for these signs and search for other warning signs in many places. Your technician will also evaluate the conditions that provide mice a suitable environment for harborage, such as clutter, food, and moisture. Here are some of the places we'll examine:

  • Around utilities that enter your home
  • Around pipes that enter into your home under your kitchen sink
  • In cabinets and under cabinet overhangs
  • In gaps
  • Under appliances
  • Behind objects on the floor of your pantry
  • On shelves
  • Along baseboards
  • Around door frames
  • In closets
  • In the space above drop-down ceilings
  • In attic spaces
  • With the voids of stored furniture of boxes
  • Under insulation
  • Within accessible wall voids

You may still detect mice if you don't see physical signs during an inspection. Listen for bumping and scratching sounds in your walls. You likely have a mouse problem if you hear these sounds as you go to bed. They are nocturnal animals and are waking up as most people are going to sleep. If you have a dog or cat, you may also watch the way they act to see if they detect mice. A dog may whine when hearing or smelling a mouse. A cat may sit as though it is ready to pounce.

Next, Understand That Mice Are Dangerous, And You Need To Be Careful

Once you determine that you have mice, knowing how they behave inside your home is essential. Not only will this help you reduce the health risks associated with mice, but also help detect and control them.

  • Mouse droppings are a concern. When you find their waste materials, clean them up, wearing gloves and a mask to protect yourself. Removing droppings helps track mice because returning to the spot and finding new droppings are signs that mice are active.
  • Mice get into your garbage and pick up germs. They can move these germs to surfaces, cutting boards, dishes, and stored foods. You can work to prevent this by keeping garbage in covered bins and storing certain foods in sealed containers.
  • Mice chew holes in building materials. The holes they create can allow secondary pests into your home. They can also let moisture and humidity enter, which can lead to mold and wood rot. It is important to seal these holes. If you check back and find new holes or spots where mice are gnawing, you can track their activity. Expanding foam is a great tool for this job.

Some of the ways mice present a threat to you and your family are important to know:

  • Mice chew on wiring. A cut wire can create a maintenance nightmare as you try to figure out why your lights aren't coming on. But the worst outcome of gnawed-on wires is the possibility of a house fire.
  • Mice pick up ticks and fleas outdoors and bring them into your home. One rodent can have dozens of seed ticks on it. Both ticks and fleas are associated with diseases that impact human health.
  • Mice contaminate insulation in walls and hidden spaces within your attic. While you may not see the damage, you'll feel the impact of it. Damaged insulation can increase utility costs and lead to respiratory illness.

It is safe to say that having a mouse infestation in your house is not good. While mice don't present a direct threat to humans, dogs, or cats, they have an indirect impact. So, what should you do when you find mice in your home?

Next, Call The Pros To Safely Get Rid Of The Infestation

It is wise to get professional house pest control services. There are many reasons, some of which may surprise you. Let's take a quick look at them:

  • The most important reason for professional rodent control is so you'll know for sure that the mice are completely gone at the end of the process. DIY mouse control often results in partial control. If you only partly get rid of mice, they will continue doing all the things previously discussed.
  • Mice reproduce quickly, giving rise to an army of mice in one year. The longer you fail to remove them, the greater the risks, depending on the conditions present.
  • Mouse control is an unpleasant task. If you collect mice with traps, you may have to repeat that chore over and over again.
  • It isn't easy to capture mice with traps. Mice can smell you on the trap you place and will bypass them. They will avoid traps placed in the center of open spaces. They can quickly move out of the way of a swinging trap hammer. They can delicately eat all the bait off a latch without triggering a trap.
  • Traps sometimes harm mice; if caught, a mouse might chew an appendage off. That isn't a kind way to deal with mice, and it can also lead to an unpleasant smell.

When you contact Modern Pest Control to deal with mice in Houston, you can expect expert control that doesn't needlessly harm the mice. We collect and remove them using field-tested methods. During the process, we use a comprehensive approach to ensure that new mice don't enter your home to replace the ones we collect. Our strategies include sealing the entry points the mice are using and altering conditions that promote infestation.

It pays to hire a licensed and experienced pest control technician. You'll get the results you want, and you won't have to do this unpleasant, time-consuming, and laborious job yourself. Are you in Houston? Contact Modern Pest Control to learn your options and schedule a service visit. It doesn't hurt to have us take a look.

The Last Step Is To Prevent The Mice From Coming Back

Once these rodents are gone, there are ways you can help to keep mice out of your house. While the exclusion work we do does a lot of the heavy lifting, there are conditions that can lead mice to overwhelm your defenses and still find a way indoors. Here are some ways to avoid this:

  • Consider removing bird feeders to eliminate bird seed as a food source for mice. They absolutely love birdseed. If you can't part with the feeders, consider installing them on smooth metal poles that mice can't climb.
  • Pick up any nuts on the ground. Mice love nuts. If you have trees that drop nuts in your yard, do your best to rake them up as quickly as possible.
  • Reduce insects. Mice eat insects; they are a dietary staple. You can work to reduce insects in your yard by replacing exterior lights. Many homes in Houston have white exterior lights, which attract insects. Use yellow lights instead. Insects can detect yellow light, which means you'll draw fewer insects to your yard.
  • Reduce bugs. Insects seek moist conditions and plant rot. Mice will eat a variety of these pests. Clean your gutters and repair any spots in your gutter system where rainwater leaks onto the ground. Doing so will reduce ground saturation, dampness, and puddles.
  • Manage your trash. Mice eat many foods, including human food and food that is beginning to decay. If a mouse smells your trash, the scent may bring it onto your property. Wash your receptacles and keep them covered at all times.
  • Mice prefer cluttered spaces. They use objects on the ground to feel their way from one place to another. They hide underneath objects and inside areas with voids. To deter mice, pick up items in your yard, such as toys, lawn equipment, construction materials, etc.
  • Mice love to hide in woodpiles. Do you have scraps left over from a construction project? Do you have a pile of sticks you've collected? Do you have stacked wood for a backyard fire pit? All of these are desirable hiding places for mice.
  • When mice explore your exterior, you want to make sure they don't find a way into your home. Inspect your home for cavities, openings, and gaps. Use expanding foam to fill these in. If more protection is needed, apply wire mesh.
  • There are common routes mice use to find their way into your attic. Block these routes if you can. Use rodent guards on tree trunks, pipes that run up the side of your home, and power lines that connect to your roof.

All of these tips work together to reduce mouse activity in your yard. If you have fewer mice in your yard, you'll reduce your chances of an infestation. In most cases, you won't need more control than these tips provide. But sometimes, mice are driven onto a property due to unfavorable conditions. If you have higher than normal rodent pressures, you may need to apply bait to reduce the population. For a bait solution, contact Modern Pest Control. We use tamper-resistant bait stations and select baits that mice are known to take. We apply your bait solution according to best practices so that you get the results you want.

Along with managing mouse pressures and reducing their numbers, we're always available to assist you with mouse removal for your Houston home. Our systematic and comprehensive approach to mouse control will give you real peace of mind. Contact us today and let our QualityPro-certified team inspect your home and provide you with control options. It is easy to get started. Please navigate to our contact page to ask questions or schedule your service visit; we look forward to helping you resolve your mouse control issue and help you keep your home free of mice.

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