How do I get rid of mice?
Mice are best controlled by using traps, either snap traps, live traps (e.g., Tin Cat) or a combination of the two. When using snap traps, use different baits (chocolate, peanut butter, etc.) on the traps and place them where the mice are active—but where children and pets can’t get to them. Also, seal exterior cracks and holes and put weather strips on doors to prevent new mice from entering. Mice only need a hole 1/4-inch in size to enter. Numerous mice indicate a more serious problem and should be dealt with by a professional.
What is the best mouse/rat bait, and how should I use it in my traps?
Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not a good bait for mice. Peanut butter and chocolate work well as long as you don't put too much on the trap. Work the bait onto the trap’s trigger so that it is hard for the mouse to get it off and it will be forced to climb onto the trigger.
I have a problem with field mice every year. Is there anything I can do to eliminate them and keep them out for good?
If you live by a field or in the woods, it is likely that you will always have to deal with mice every fall and winter. Your best strategy is to seal as many openings and holes in the exterior walls as possible and to put weatherstrips on the bottom of all doors—especially the garage door—to prevent mice from entering. If you can stick a pencil through a crack or hole, a mouse can squeeze through it. Place live traps inside the garage on either side of the doorway to catch mice and rats as they enter. Check the traps often. Make sure all foundation and attic vents have 1/4-inch hardware cloths tightly fitted over the opening and do the same for any turbine vents in the roof. Trim all tree branches at least 10 feet from the roof.
Is it possible to get rid of rats?
Yes, it is possible, but it takes a lot of effort. Traps are best for control because the bodies may be removed. With baits, you run the risk of the rodent dying inside a wall or in a place where you cannot remove it. This may cause an unpleasant odor. In some cases, you need to use both traps and baits. Rodent bait should be used only in tamper-resistant rodent stations. Baits should NEVER be placed unsecured where children or pets could access them. It may be better to hire a professional. Contact your local Terminix branch to get a free estimate of the cost for mouse/rat services in your area.