We like to think that we are safe in our homes and that we can rest easy. But when we see a mouse running over our feet or find mouse droppings on the counter, we suddenly come crushing down. The first thing that most people do is to call pest control as to take care of the infestation before it gets worst. But others would run to the hardware shops to get traps or mice poison.
There is a wide range of DIY pest control gear available for the public. The bait available for public use, is often less fresh and possibly less palatable also. And for what is of the traps, there are mostly 2 designs that are widely available: sticky traps and spring break-back traps. What I see in most of the property I visit, are traps placed underneath along the walls and in front of the doors.
These traps are often unsightly and unpractical. The commercial baits are often boring and disregarded by mice for the more intending food stuff of the tenants. In reality, it is best to leave the traps in concealed areas where mice will feels more sheltered. But you should be able to monitor them easily enough to dispose of whatever they may catch.
It is unacceptable to leave sticky traps down, and forget about them. Sticky traps are meant to be checked every 12 hours to avoid animal cruelty concerns. Also spring traps are meant to kill the mice instantly. But every so often, it may catch the mouse by a limb in which case, the mouse would have to suffer unnecessarily.
The best way to catch a mouse would be to use spring traps and bait them with a small nugget of crunchy peanut butter. It need to be small enough as to get the mouse mouth getting as close as possible. Smooth peanut butter is as enticing as crunchy. But I found a number of traps that were licked clean of it without getting triggered. The crunchy peanut butter not only offer a more palatable option, but it involves the use of the jaw rather that the tongue. Henceforth, the trap is more likely to get triggered.
I would think that the best area where to place the traps are where you find the most droppings. It is often underneath the kitchen units, or at the back of the airing cupboard. Place them along the walls, and a few in the middle, but always ensure that pets and children cannot get there.
If you want to use sticky traps, the best way to use them is to form a line and to cut across the room in the shape of an elongated S. We use sticky traps only in a commercial context and in very specifics set of circumstances. In the kitchen of a restaurant, I would possibly place 30-60 depending on size. But as we carry out such a job we can easily employ 250 of them, and return in the morning to collect them up.
But the above only approach reactive pest control methods. The mice first need to come into your home before they can eat the bait, or reach the traps. And it is them coming in that is the problem in first place. As such, having the neighbours carrying out some pest control will contribute in killing the mice before they reach you.
Otherwise the best strategy is to stop them from reaching you by carrying out the mouse proofing. The mouse proofing can be carried out at building level, from the outside. This often means to check the perimeter of the house for damaged masonry or air vents. And carrying out the required repairs. When it comes to the air vents, the best way to mouse proof them is to fit air brick covers or fit mouse mesh over them.
But since mice easily travel from homes to homes along the terrace, it is also often needed to carry out the mouse proofing within the property. Our pest control North London team, once came across a semi detached property that had 7 air vents on their side of the fence, but we had to explain them that not covering the air brick of the other side would most likely defeat the purpose of meshing them.
If you would consider a building the way you think of a boat, it matters not from which side the hull is breached, the boat will sink all the same. So whatever the strategy you want to follow, you should always involve your neighbours living below and possibly sideways to start with. The mice traveling 10-12 meters around the nests, it means 1 or 2 house removed from your home at the most.