If you have just purchased a foreclosure, and you have noticed holes in walls, gnaw marks on wooden surfaces, or small droppings on ledges and the floor, you have most likely bought a structure that has a mouse infestation. You will want to be diligent in removing the rodents from within the home and take some steps to ensure they do not come back once they are eradicated so you can sell or move into your property without risk. Here are some steps to remove mice from the home you just purchased.
Trap and Poison
If you are dealing with a large infestation, the best way to remove the mice from within would be to have them killed so they do not reproduce. Calling a pest control service is best when handling this, but if you are not queasy when it comes to removing dead carcasses, you can attempt to kill them off on your own. There are several different types of traps available on the market including snapping traps, glue traps, and bait. Each of these will cause mice to perish. If using snapping traps, place bait inside and don't set them for a night or two. This will allow the mice to think the traps are safe to walk up to, making it easier to catch more mice when you do set them.
If you opt for a no-kill trap, you will want to buy several and you will need to check on them at least once a day to remove mice you have captured. These traps look like plastic rectangular boxes, with a hinged door that swings inward. Once a mouse is inside, the door shuts and will not open outward. You will need to flip the trap upside down so the door opens, releasing the mouse somewhere far from the home.
Plug All Holes
Walk around the exterior of the home to find any areas where mice are getting inside. Mice are able to climb, so you need to look at the entire home, not just along the ground. When you find an area that appears to be a spot mice can squeeze through, fill it in with a piece of steel wool and cover with caulk. Make sure the exterior is smooth so mice cannot pull out the caulking along jagged edges. Mice can squeeze into areas smaller than a quarter, so if it looks like an opening, fill it even if you think it looks too small.
Do a Cleaning
Most foreclosures will have a cleaning service come in to trash all the materials left by the previous owners. If they have not cleaned down the interior, you will need to do this yourself so mice do not have areas to hide within , as well as food or water sources. Rent a dumpster and remove all old belongings and clean the home with an antibacterial cleanser to kill off germs. Mice tend to stay in dirty homes and will leave a home lacking food or shelter, so this is an important step.
Add Some Deterrents
To help keep mice away from your home, use a few deterrents such as owl decoys around the home to scare them away from the structure altogether. Place peppermint plants both inside and outside of your home, as mice cannot stand the scent. Consider getting a cat or two as mice control as well.