Mice can infiltrate your residence and make themselves right at home. Apart from the intrusion, the presence of mice can also pose a major sanitation issue. Rodents carry bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella that can cause disease in humans. Even if you set traps and hire pest control services, how can you confirm every last rodent is gone?
How Do You Know When All The Mice Are Gone?
When you no longer find mouse droppings, see new damage, or hear them, they’re most likely gone from the space. However, it’s best to test the area to ensure they have vacated it.
Below we will go into more detail about how to tell if you are mouse-free and what to do to keep things that way.
Mice aren’t always easy to detect. They’re nocturnal creatures and typically only come out when homeowners are in bed. If they’re out of sight, how can you be sure not a single one of these critters remain in your homestead? Thankfully, some indicators can point to the presence (or absence) of mice.
No More Foul Smells
Mice leave evidence of their presence. Though the rodents may be hard to detect with their constant scampering and elusive movement, their feces and urine remain stationary. The excrement causes foul smells. You may notice a whiff of ammonia-like odor in the air when the mice were present. If fully exterminated, the odor eventually dissipates.
No More Mouse Droppings
We just mentioned mouse droppings. When no mice remain, you’ll no longer see their pellet-like poop. If mice remain present, you’ll continue to see new droppings appear, usually along the walls of your home.
You Can No Longer Hear Mice
During a prolonged mice infestation, you may have come to recognize their audible presence. This usually manifests in the form of scratching and gnawing sounds that seem to come from behind the wall. Mice actively chew on wood to create space for their living quarters. If you no longer hear these noises, then the mice are likely no longer around.
No New Damage
Part of what makes mice a pest is the destruction they leave behind. They can eat any food you leave out in the open. It’s not unusual to see your fruits, vegetables, or bread with bite marks. Mice also chew on your electrical wires, creating a serious fire hazard. If your food and wiring now remain untouched and intact night after night, then you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Tests to Confirm If All Mice Are Gone
Many homeowners wonder how long it will take to get rid of mice. That depends on their numbers, but it takes about one to two weeks to eliminate the population. We recommend performing some easy DIY tests to confirm not a single mouse remains.
Pour some flour or other powdery substance along the side of your walls and let it sit overnight. Then, carefully examine the flour the next day. Do you see footprints? Look carefully because mouse prints are small, only about half a centimeter in length. If you see prints and they’re larger than half a centimeter, then your home has a rat infestation.
Along with flour, you can also leave food out in the open, such as a biscuit or cookie. Periodically check to see if there are gnaw marks on the item. If the food is gone, then it was likely dragged away by a rat. Rats have the strength to carry food away to hoard.
Set several mouse traps and leave them for several days. We recommend conventional mouse traps as opposed to glue traps. The latter can cause undue suffering; you should always use traps that deliver a swift kill. Use bait like peanut butter; contrary to belief, mice aren’t that attracted to cheese. If the bait is untouched after several days, that is a positive sign that there are no mice in the vicinity.
Do Mice Return to the Same Place?
Even if you completely eradicate the existing mice population in the home, a new population may eventually form. That makes it essential to eliminate the conditions that make it possible for rodents to get inside in the first place.
Once mice set up a colony, they will not abandon it as long as they have access to food and shelter. They will seldom travel more than 30 feet from their colony in search of food. With this in mind, don’t expect them to go away without human intervention.
Mice may temporarily leave your home during the summer in search of cooler areas. This often leads homeowners to believe the mice have vacated for good. However, once fall arrives, they will return, and so will all of the signs of their presence.
To prevent further infestation, you will need to seal any openings. Mice can fit into holes as small as the size of a dime. You’ll need to seal off cracks and crevices around the home. Locate outdoor pipes that connect to the inside of the home. Cracks are likely to appear in these areas and are prime entry points for rodents.
If you find holes greater than a quarter of an inch wide, seal them using silicone caulk. This is something mice pest control services can do on your behalf.
It’s also important to store food in containers or the fridge. This includes foods stored inside bags, which mice can easily chew through. Before the end of each day, be sure to sweep the floor to remove food crumbs. Wipe the kitchen counters to eliminate food remnants. Mice can smell food up to 10 miles away. If their nose detects food inside your house, then that is where they’ll head.
Can You Ever Fully Get Rid of Mice?
Yes, you can rid your home of mice for good and keep them out. However, you have to consistently take active measures. This means regularly inspecting the home for small openings and not leaving food out. No matter what, don’t make your home an attractive target for mice to invite themselves in.