Dealing with a mouse infestation can be confusing and tricky! In the beginning, everything seems easy. On the first and second nights, you put out some traps and are able to catch a few mice. But on the third and fourth nights, the traps aren’t catching anything. You start playing a guessing game….are the only mice left, the smart ones that have learned to avoid the traps, or did you finally kill them all? The mice are gone! Or is it?
How do you know when all of the mice are gone?
The Best Ways to Tell If The Mice in Your House Are Gone
- Look for fresh mouse droppings or poop
- Create an area for them to leave paw prints
- Use a motion-activated camera.
Let’s look at these options in dealing with mice infestation in more detail!
Look for Fresh Mouse Droppings or Poop
After you think you have gotten rid of the mice, you need to clean up the mess that they left behind. This will include throwing away any food packages they have chewed into, as well as sweeping up all of the little brown pellets of poop.
Mice are constantly pooping. Mice poop is a way to leave signals for other mice and is also a byproduct of how much material they eat.
If they come back into the area, you will quickly tell just by looking for new mouse droppings.
Look for Tracks of Mice Infestation
A second way to check for mice infestation is to create an area where they would leave paw prints deliberately.
The easiest way to do this is to place some bait on the ground (peanuts, oats, etc.) and then surround the bait with a light dusting of flour. If any mice eat the bait in the night, they will leave tale-tell tracks in the flour that will be easy to spot.
Use a Motion Activated Camera
If you want the most peace of mind, then go ahead and buy a motion-sensitive night camera. The one I like the best is the Campark Trail Game Camera. TThe camera gets excellent reviews and is highly affordable.
My neighbor has this camera and always shows me videos of the rabbits, deer, and coyotes that stroll through our yards.
The camera starts recording 0.3 seconds after motion is detected. The camera has three infrared sensors that can detect movement in a 120-degree radius up to a distance of 60 feet away. The camera works fine in the daylight but is explicitly designed to capture great videos in low light/dark conditions. Since rats and mice are nocturnal this is exactly what you need.
After you use the camera to check on your mice or pest control, you can use it as an awesome home security camera!
What To Do If You Still Have Mice
What should you do if you do the three things listed above and discover that you still have mice? Here are three ideas to try that will get you closer to solving your mouse problem.
Get Rid of Mice by Becoming A Better Trapper
If you are struggling to catch mice in your traps, then don’t worry! Your pest control success rate will go up dramatically when you learn to think like a mouse!
Place the Trap in the Mouse Path
Mice have extremely poor vision and navigate by walking up against the walls in your home. Place the traps up against the walls where the mice are naturally traveling. Don’t ask a mouse to travel to the middle of the kitchen floor to take the bait…make it easy for them to find the trap!
If you are already placing the traps in the right locations but the mice are simply stealing the bait and not getting caught then here is a guide for How to Stop Mice From Stealing the Bait.
Use New Traps
If you are using reusable traps make sure you throw them away and replace them after catching a few mice. I realize this sounds wasteful and defeats the purpose of having a multi-use trap, but after they have been successfully deployed a few times, they will be covered in your scent as well as the scent of dead mice. Mice have an extremely well-developed sense of smell and will avoid these traps.
Use Different Traps and Baits
You don’t have to follow the old cliche and put out a bunch of snap traps baited with cheese. Try using a live catch tube trap or an electric mouse zapper. Here is a list of the most effective mouse traps available. If you are worried about the traps hurting your cat (who isn’t doing its job, by the way), then here is a list of cat-safe mouse traps.
For different baits, try using peanut butter, cat food, or tuna fish. I have even caught mice using cotton balls for bait as they love to use the cotton for nesting material.
Put Out Poison
Trapping alone sometimes will not completely solve the problem, and poisons need to be used. Personally, I have always avoided using mouse poisons because it worries me sick that my dogs might eat them.
However, there is a new product on the market that kills mice but is completely non-toxic and safe to use around dogs and kids. The product is called MouseX, and the active ingredients are corn gluten and salt. The corn gluten swells up inside the mouse’s stomach and dehydrates the mouse from the inside in combination with the salt. Because the mouse dehydrates from the inside, the MouseX poison kills without leaving a dead mouse odor.
Perform Home Repairs
Many homeowners neglect this step and have a never-ending mouse problem. You have to discover how the mice are getting into your house and patch the holes.
There is no point in trapping and poisoning one batch or mice if it is easy for the next batch to move right in!
Consult with a professional rodent extermination service provider near you to know the proper steps on how to deal with such a problem.