Mice are sneaky little creatures, and if they can find their way into your warm, inviting, home, they will take advantage of it without hesitation. One of their favorite places to set up home for their families is in the attic. Most attics are warm, dry, undisturbed by humans for sometimes long periods of time, and often there is a great supply of materials mice need to make their homes.
Once a mouse has made his house in your attic, he is free to roam throughout the rest of your house, leaving little tell-tale signs as he goes. The kitchen is a popular destination, as that is where the food can be found, and the mouse will find any way he can to get to the kitchen, even climbing down the walls!
Mice are prolific breeders, so once you have one mouse inside, you will soon have many more. They are well known to be carriers of multiple diseases, and every time they touch a surface, or a food source, they are leaving behind traces of disease. They also defecate and urinate anywhere anytime, and this is often the first sign you will see that there are mice in the house.
The only good thing about having mice in the attic is that your attempts to get rid of the pests can be more aggressive, as there is much less risk to your children or pets as they don’t tend to venture up into the attic. This means you can use a variety of methods to get rid of mice in the attic without the stress of causing harm to anyone or anything else.
How Can you Find Out If Your Attic Has Mice?
Mice are very good at hiding, so it can be difficult at first to figure out if there are any in your attic, but there are some really good signs to look for to confirm their presence.
Footprints in dust
This is not the easiest sign to see, especially if there isn’t a lot of dust in your attic. But, you can sprinkle some talcum powder on the floor up there and on the other surfaces then go back the next day and check for tiny footprints.
Wherever mice go, they leave a trail of droppings behind them. They are easily identifiable as small, brown, rice-shaped pellets that range from around 3-8mm in length. Often they are seen in corners of the room, or along the baseboards.
Occasionally you may come across a dead mouse in the attic, but don’t think that the problem is over. Where there is one mouse, there is always more.
Mice gather up different types of nesting materials, such as paper, lint or even insulation. If you find a collection of debris like this, then you have found a nest.
As mice brush up against different objects and surfaces, they tend to leave a greasy mark behind.
Mice are not clean creatures, and if they are living in your attic you may smell their urine, which is similar in smell to ammonia.
Noises of Movement
When it is quiet at night, you may hear the little creatures scratching, chewing and scurrying about in the attic. It’s remarkable how much noise a little mouse can make!
You may find food packages with chew marks on them, including pet food packets, as they are fond of these. Mice also have a tendency to chew on wiring and insulation materials.
Getting Rid of Mice from the Attic
Once you have determined there are definitely mice in the attic, the next plan is to get rid of them. There are a number of methods that can be used, and the best way to get rid of mice in the attic is to follow these four steps.
Step #1: Carefully Examine Your Entire House
Do a thorough examination of your whole house looking for any possible holes or gaps that could be entrances for mice. Check the eaves, the roof lines or vents to see if any mice could get in. You have to pay a lot of attention and look for small holes, even as little as a quarter of an inch. You can also use a black light to identify a urine trail left behind by a mouse which may show you how they are gaining entry.
Step #2: Seal all of the Entry Points
Once you have identified potential entrance holes or gaps, you can seal these up using bits of steel wool, because mice are unable to chew through it. To secure the steel wool, use a clear silicone gel or even small bolts to hold it in place. An added advantage of using the silicone gel is that it also blocks off the flow of air, and if mice can’t sense the air flow, they won’t attempt to enter.
Step #3: Use Traps to Kill or Trap Mice
Now that all the gaps and holes have been identified and sealed, the next step is to get rid of the mice that are already in the attic. The most popular and inexpensive way to eliminate mice is to use a trap. Not everyone likes this method though, as it’s not particularly pleasant cleaning up the mess caused by the killing of the mouse with a snap trap. An alternative is to use a live-catch trap. These traps don’t kill the mice, but they trap them so they can then be released back into the wild. However, this may end up a vicious cycle, because if new gaps or holes appear, the mouse may reenter your home.
Step #4: Removing Mice and Subsequent Cleanup
It’s important to clean up any mess or detritus left behind by mice. This includes any nests you may find and the droppings the mice spread far and wide. Make sure to always wear gloves when cleaning up after mice, and be mindful of their ability to carry disease. Also remove any chewed up paper or cardboard boxes, and get rid of any clutter about that may make it easier for any future mice to hide.
You can also take a look at this helpful infographic showing how you can mouse-proof certain areas of your home:
Hiring Contractors Is Sometimes the Only Way to Get Rid of Mice in the Attic
It’s not always easy to be successful in removing mice from your attic, and sometimes it is better to hire a contractor. No matter how diligent you may be at setting traps and cleaning up, mice will almost always find another way in. You could end up in a continuous cycle of trying to get rid of mice from the attic.
Pest control experts are the best at getting rid of mice and helping to deter them from returning. They do all the work for you, and are not that expensive to hire, and the cost will end up saving you money in traps and time as well. Using an expert or even a handyman that is experiences in mouse removal gives you peace of mind that the pests have been taken care of by a professional who knows what they are doing.
Nearly every house will have mice in it at some point in time, and even more will venture inside homes in cooler weather, when they are searching for a nice, warm, dry, quiet place for them to raise their families. The added advantage of a food supply in your home just makes your attic even more enticing for mice.
Mice are unhygienic as well as destructive, and will cause damage to your furniture, furnishings and even your electrical wiring and walls. So, it is important to get them out and keep them out, and following our tips will help you achieve a mouse-free attic.