Have you ever seen the movie "Mouse Hunt"? In it, two brothers effectively destroy their home searching for a single mouse. They use traps, poison, and even guns, but nothing seems to work. In the end, they give up the search and become friends with the mouse. However, this is real life. While it may certainly be possible to destroy your home trying to get to a mouse, giving up and becoming friends with a rodent is a bad idea. Here are some common reasons why a do-it-yourself mouse hunt may not be working, and when to call a professional.
"I set traps, but the mouse doesn't pay them any attention."
The reason for this is that there is another food supply that the mouse has found. Mice love to chew through packaging, and can easily smell food that has been left in open packaging. They can easily get into cereal boxes, bags of pasta, and other packages of food if they are not sealed properly. Storing food in either the refrigerator or a container made of glass or metal is the best way to eliminate their food source.
Another way to make sure that there is no other food available for the mouse is to keep your house clean. Crumbs on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink are like an open buffet to these creatures. Making sure that all potential food sources are eliminated will give you a better chance of having the mouse be interested in your traps.
"The mouse doesn't seem to be interested in cheese."
While this is a common belief, mice actually prefer nuts, grains, and chocolate over cheese. However, even these things may not interest a mouse that has found another food supply. Also, mice can survive on very little food, so it may simply take some time before it becomes hungry enough to want to eat.
"I haven't seen the mouse in a while, it is either gone or hibernating."
Chances are, just because you have not seen the mouse in a while, it has likely found a food source closer to its nest, or it is simply being more cautious. Mice do not hibernate, and can live up to a year in the wild. In contrast, if you have been seeing a mouse for several years, you probably have an entire family of mice living in your home, and you are seeing several generations of them.
"It's just one little mouse. I don't need any help."
Like other types of pests, if you have seen one mouse, there are probably others. Hiring a professional pest control service is best way to ensure that you are getting rid of the entire infestation. A professional can help you assess hidden sources of food, entry points into your home, and effective trapping measures. They can also address other concerns that you have, such as avoiding the use of harmful poisons around pets and children.
If you are seeing mice in your home, it is time to call a professional. Don't wait until the mouse is winning the battle. By that time, the damage has already been done. To learn more about pest control, visit Emory Brantley & Sons Termite and Pest Control.