Dealing with different kinds of rodents is a reality that many Quebec residents know all too well. There are millions of mice in Montreal alone! Their spread poses a real problem, especially during the winter.
Rodents invade your home to escape the cold. They seem to prefer certain areas: the kitchen, walls and attic. Attics are particularly popular among mice because humans rarely go there.
How can you get rid of these pests in your attic? Our mice exterminators have compiled these 5 simple and effective tips:
How to tell if there are mice in your attic
If you suspect there are mice in your attic, look for specific signs to be sure. Here are some telltale signs to watch out for.
Mouse droppings are one of the most obvious signs you have mice. They look like small, dark seeds, usually elongated like a grain of rice. You may find them in places they visit frequently, or near nesting areas or food sources.
Traces of nibbling
Mice have continuously growing incisors, which means they gnaw constantly to wear them down. Look for signs of nibbling on attic materials such as wood, plastic or insulation. Damaged wiring or holes in food packaging could also signal mouse activity.
Mice often leave paw prints on dusty attic surfaces. Their prints are small, about 1 to 2 centimeters long, with four fingers and a distinctive thumb. Try spreading flour or talcum powder, then check for fresh paw prints.
Other signs you have mice
In addition to the signs mentioned above, look for other clues that you have mice in your attic, like nests made from pieces of paper, wool or debris, and distinctive urine odors.
What to do about mice in the attic: our tips
Mice in your attic can be both an annoyance and a cause for concern. Fortunately, there are several solutions for getting rid of these pests and protecting your living space. In this section, our Montreal exterminators present you with different options available for getting rid of mice in the attic.
1. Place traps in strategic locations
This is probably the most important tip for getting rid of mice in your attic. Your success will depend on the type and location of your traps. You can slow down a mice infestation—or end it, if you’re lucky—by placing the right traps in the right places.
Our pest control experts have written a comprehensive guide on how to catch a mouse and which traps and bait to use. Learn what you can do now!
The best way to figure out where to place mouse traps is to examine the mouse droppings to an idea of their movements. Always make sure you take the proper safety precautions since animal droppings can pose serious health risks.
Mice are cautious animals. Make sure that your traps cover a large enough area. To maximize your chance of success, put traps where mice are likely to roam, i.e. along the walls and in the corners of your attic space.
Check traps regularly
Mice are agile creatures. They know how to dodge or trigger traps without being caught. You should check your traps regularly (e.g. once a day) to know whether or not your efforts have paid off.
Most importantly, checking regularly will allow you to reset the traps back as needed. If the traps work, you can then safely dispose of the mice.
2. Trim vegetation around your home
Mice are notorious climbers and jumpers—they can cover distances of 2 metres! The next logical step then is to cut back overgrown tree branches and bushes near your home. Otherwise, you’re just giving them easy access to your attic.
It should only take a few minutes and will also remove the hiding places of other pests. Two birds, one trim!
3. Keep your home as clean as possible
One of the best tips for keeping mice out of your home is to keep it clean. This is more a prevention tip than an extermination one, but it is still effective. Eliminate any and all food sources that may attract mice by ensuring your food is properly stored and put away.
Rodents can survive on just 3 grams of food per day. Make sure you clean up even the tiniest of crumbs and spills ASAP.
4. Seal all entry points
Inspect your home or building top-to-bottom for any open holes and gaps in the floor and roof that mice could use to enter. These could be vents, openings in the eaves, roof joints, worn door seals, missing bricks in the wall, etc. Mice can squeeze through even the tightest of spaces. Watch out for tiny openings. A quarter of an inch is all they need!
Seal these holes with a suitable, long-lasting sealant to prevent mice from entering your home. Mice can damage some kinds of caulking and get past it (e.g., foam), so make sure your caulk is rodent-resistant. If you do not have the necessary equipment or prefer to have professionals handle it, Elite Pest Control offers caulking and sealing services.
5. Decontaminate your attic after a mouse infestation
The work doesn’t end there. The premises must be decontaminated after extermination. Even if the mice themselves are ancient history, their temporary stay can still cause problems if you don’t decontaminate your attic.
Decontaminate to avoid a new infestation
Decontamination is very important for preventing new infestations. Mice tend to nest in hard-to-reach places. After the extermination stage, it is not uncommon to find new nests. Decontamination is therefore essential to ensure that you eliminate all traces of their nests.
Prevent power losses and fire hazards
Mice attack insulating materials and electrical appliances to get into your home. This can result in power loss and increased risk of fire.
These 3 reasons alone show why a mouse infestation in your attic must be taken seriously. Without decontamination, an infestation is a danger to you and your family.
Follow-up and important precautions
Once you have successfully eliminated mice from your attic, it is essential to do a follow-up to make the area clean and safe. Here are some important steps to take.
Disposal of feces and contaminated materials
It is well known that rodents tend to live in groups and therefore leave a lot of urine and excrement in an infested area. Chances are, traces of this residue remain after the mice are gone, which can pose a real threat to your health.
Start by carefully removing mouse droppings and any materials they have come into contact with. Use disposable gloves and a face mask to avoid direct contact with the waste. Place it in an airtight bag and dispose it in accordance with local regulations.
Clean the attic thoroughly
Do a thorough cleaning of your attic using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove debris, dust and mouse hair. Clean surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant to eliminate potential bacteria and germs.
Repair any damage
Take the opportunity to inspect your attic and repair any damage caused by mice. Seal holes and cracks in walls, floors and ceilings to prevent further mouse intrusion. Replace or repair damaged materials such as insulation or electrical wiring.
Call in a professional service to get rid of mice in your attic
Are you dealing with a mouse infestation in your attic or have you spotted other pests in your home? There are ways to get rid of them! Use a professional pest control service to make sure they are eliminated quickly and permanently.
The team of experienced professionals at Elite Pest Control can get rid of mice and other rodents in your home for good. Contact us today for more information!