Mice are active all year round, and are one of the most destructive pests which can invade your home. Not only will they contaminate your food, they will gnaw through furniture, insulation, and even through electrical cables—something which can easily start a fire. Mice might look a little cuter than cockroaches and ants, but you need to get rid of them quickly, so here's a quick guide to picking, setting, and laying out traps.
The Right Trap
Cartoons have made us all familiar with the traditional wooden mouse traps. These generally produce a quick, painless death for the mouse, and are relatively inexpensive. Of course, it's never a pleasure to get rid of the mouse afterwards, and there's always the slight possibility of accidentally hurting yourself—though the risk is minimal.
There are also a number of 'humane traps'. Essentially, these enclose mice in a cage or tube without killing them. These are obviously less cruel, but you'll need to check them more often—two mice trapped together will often resort to trying to eat each other - and they're also more expensive.
Setting Your Trap
Whichever trap you chose, you'll need to provide some bait. Anything relatively heavy with a strong smell should work, with high fat or protein content serving as an added temptation. Cheese, bits of hot dog, peanut butter, or pet food are all recommended.
Snapping traps are a little trickier to set up, so make sure you follow the instructions to avoid a painful accident. Remember to bait the trap first so you don't have to fiddle around after setting the mechanism. Consider using glue to fix the bait—this avoids problems caused by traps which lack sensitivity.
The Right Location
Now, finding the right spot. You want to identify the likely path between nest and food source. Droppings, signs of chewing, and—of course—anywhere you've actually seen a mouse make good places to start. From here, zero in on gaps between or beneath furniture, crawl spaces, or anywhere near either heat sources or secluded locations.
Mice are territorial, so they'll always be ready to investigate something which pops up near their nest. If you can't locate the nest itself, try placing the trap along walls. Mice have very poor eyesight, and will rarely venture into the centre of a room. Check traps frequently once laid, and change their locations after a night or two until you're successful.
Mice can multiply quickly, so setting traps as soon as you think your home might be paying host to them is always a good idea. If the traps don't get rid of them, make sure you contact a professional exterminator (such as Ecology-Care Pest Control).