Spotting even one mouse in your apartment can indicate big problems. Mice spread disease, damage property, and cause a host of other issues. Even worse, for every mouse you see, many more are likely lurking.
Fortunately, you have options for removing mice, including several strategies beyond traps and bait.
How to Get Rid of a Mouse in Your Apartment
If your apartment has mice, you’ll need to use multiple removal strategies, including regular cleaning, nightly trash removal, sealing all entrances, and the help of a professional exterminator.
Make Sure Everything is Clean
Mice seek out food, water, and comfortable shelter. Keeping your apartment clean acts as a powerful deterrent to mice. If they can’t find anything to eat or a place to nest, they’ll search for somewhere new.
Don’t let dishes pile up in the sink. Take the trash out frequently. Clean your kitchen counters daily. These small actions add up to help create an environment uninteresting to mice.
Block All Possible Entries
Mice can enter buildings in ways that seemingly defy the laws of physics. You’ll want to examine your entire apartment for potential entry points carefully and then seal them tightly. Check for gaps in window sills, spaces around pipes, tears in screens, and any other spaces larger than the width of a pencil.
Ammonia is an effective deterrent because it smells like the urine of many predators that mice naturally fear. Place plastic bottle caps filled with ammonia throughout your apartment in places mice like to frequent, such as under sinks and in cabinets. Be sure to keep the caps away from places children and pets can access.
Set a Catch and Release Trap
If you don’t want to kill the mouse, you can use a humane trap. These traps have an opening that mice can enter but can’t exit. To prevent their return, they allow you to release the mouse into the wild, but you want to do so at least one mile from your apartment.
Call an Exterminator
A professional exterminator understands how to locate mice, remove them completely, and prevent their return. They’ll develop custom solutions based on the layout of your apartment and other specifics. Plus, the cost of an exterminator is minimal compared to the potential damage a mouse infestation can cause.
How to Get Rid of a Mouse in Your Apartment Naturally
Removing mice and preventing their return doesn’t require the use of harsh, toxic chemicals. Many natural solutions can effectively rid your apartment of these unwanted rodents.
Find and Seal the Mouse Entrance
You’ll need to seal up all possible entry points into your apartment. Caulk, steel wool, and metal plates can all be used to block mice effectively.
Keep the Apartment Clean
A home filled with clutter and food debris is far more enticing to mice than an apartment that’s spic and span. Sweep up crumbs, vacuum, wash dishes and otherwise stay on top of all household chores.
Additionally, reducing clutter limits the places mice can hide once inside your apartment. Mice will chew up books, bedding, clothing, and more to create places to live in. Removing as much of these materials as possible, especially from out-of-the-way areas, reduces the rodent’s ability to nest.
Don’t Let Garbage Pile Up
When dealing with a mice infestation, you’ll want to keep trash in your apartment for as brief a period as possible. Take your trash out of your house every night. Full garbage cans entice mice with food and aromas.
Many people will temporarily place their trash bags outside their apartment door, instead of walking to a dumpster in the complex. However, you don’t want to do this if you’re dealing with mice, as the garbage will likely lure even more inside.
Store Your Food Safely
Cardboard and plastic bags are no match for mice, who can chew through those materials with ease. Transfer dry goods such as cereal, bread, and chips from their original packaging into glass or metal containers. Make sure they have secure lids.
Try Natural Mouse Repellents
Many natural, non-toxic solutions are available. Peppermint is a popular option. Place peppermint plants or peppermint oil around your apartment. The smell is highly unpleasant to mice.
Another mouse repellent that doesn’t use harsh chemicals is an ultrasonic unit. This small electrical device emits a high-frequency sound that mice can both hear and feel. The high-pitched noise drives mice away while remaining out of human hearing range.
Dangers of a Mouse in Your Apartment
If you see a mouse in your apartment, take action immediately. The longer mice stay in a location, the more problems they’ll cause. Some of the major dangers include the following:
Transmission of Diseases
Mice and other rodents spread disease wherever they travel. The occupants of your apartment can get sick from touching or even breathing in air contaminated by mouse urine or feces. Diseases spread by mice include Hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, and more.
To reduce the chances of getting zoonotic diseases, you’ll want to remove the mice as quickly as possible. In the meantime, always clean, wash, and disinfect all surfaces before you use them, such as kitchen counters and tabletops.
Fast Growing Colonies
Mice breed at an extraordinary rate. Females give birth to up to 10 litters a year, each with between three and 14 offspring. Under ideal conditions, two mice can turn into over 5,000 in one year. Plus, mice who live indoors have a much longer lifespan than outdoor mice, averaging about three years.
They Can Damage Your House
These tiny terrors can cause a lot of structural damage in a short time. They’ll chew through wood, insulation, metals, and even electrical wires. Aside from causing structural damage, they can also create electrical problems and fire hazards.
While mice are unwanted visitors in an apartment, they don’t have to take up permanent residence. Implementing simple steps such as sealing openings, maintaining high cleanliness levels, and working with a professional exterminator can help your home stay mouse free!