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Mice most commonly live in the attic because it's a safe place in which to live, and make a nest to raise young. Your attic or sometimes your garage is dry and weather-protected, and usually free of predators (although sometimes snakes or other predators will enter your attic, lured in by the scent of mice). The most common symptom that people notice when they have mice in the attic is the pitter-patter of little mouse feet running in the attic, or up and down the walls. However, because mice are so small, many people don't hear them, and only notice the mouse problem when they discover chewing, droppings, or nesting debris in an attic space.
Although mice are small, they can cause a lot of damage. Like all rodents, they chew on wires and pipes. They can cause electrical hazards or fire hazards, and chew through water lines. Their droppings are loaded with disease. The only problem is that it is not simple. It is very hard to do right, and it takes a lot of work. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to get rid of mice the correct way:
STEP 1 - The Inspection: It is crucial to inspect every last square inch of your house, from ground up and all of the roof, in order to find any gaps or holes, as little as 1/4 of an inch, because these are potential mouse entry areas.
STEP 2 - Seal the Openings: Seal all of these open areas shut with steel mesh, or screw in metal flashing, which mice can't chew through.
STEP 3 - Trap the Mice: Only after all the holes have been sealed, set wooden snap traps in the areas in the attic where mice have left trails and tunnels in the insulation, to trap and remove the mice.
STEP 4 - Clean the Waste: After they're all removed, it's important to clean up the attic. You can read more about all of these steps from the below lings.
Here are some other articles you might want to read about mouse control:
How to get rid of mice
How to trap mice
How to kill mice
How to catch mice alive
How to keep mice away
How to get rid of mice in the attic
Mouse removal methods
Do mouse repellents work
Pictures of mouse droppings
How to get mice out of your walls
Mouse in the wall scratching
How much does mouse removal cost?
Directory of Mouse Removal Professionals
Mouse attic entry points - Mouse attic entry points can be anywhere in a home and do not necessarily have to be at the attic level. The most common places for mice to enter an attic are through roof vents and damaged eaves. Unprotected chimneys are often culprits as well. It only takes once damaged shingle or a loose grate to let a mouse inside. Because the roof of a home rarely sees regular attention, this is an ideal place for a questing mouse to find a way inside. Mice in the attic that have entered at the roof level can be trapped and removed—as soon as you fix the holes that have let them inside. Trapping and removal can only take place after your home is repaired. Mice draw other mice, and leaving the holes open while you handle your rodent issue will only invite new mice to the party. Do not worry about sealing up the mice that are currently inside of the home; these animals will be easy to trap. Snap traps are still the most effective traps on the market. Snappers are easy to use and provide a humane method of dispatching the mouse. Once you have eliminated all mice from the home, keeping up with your roof and the vents at that level will be vital to making sure you do not have another rodent problem down the road. Learn about: How do animals get inside a house?
If you think you have rats instead of mice, the process is very much the same, but you can read my rats in the attic guide.
Process for getting rid of mice in the attic - Most people don’t realize that there is a process for getting rid of mice in the attic. The unschooled homeowner will assume that picking up a few traps down at the store will be enough to keep a mouse issue under control. The fact of the matter is that you shouldn’t want to just keep mice under control. Mice in the home need to be removed before they do serious damage to the building. Not only is there a damage risk, mice carry a number of diseases that can be passed to humans. Although it goes against everything that seems natural, the first step toward mouse prevention is sealing up the holes in the exterior of your home. Do not worry about sealing the mice inside the building. They will not panic and go into super-destructive mode. Mice inside are easier to trap, and you will not have the added complication of more mice sneaking into the home through unsealed openings. Once this vital component in the trapping process is complete, you can take the snap traps purchased at the store and set them out. Setting out the traps is not a random activity. The best places for snappers are in locations where mice have left droppings or puddles of urine. Mice will return to these areas since they have already declared them to be safe.
Place snap trap by attic door - The only reason you would place a snap trap by the attic door would be if you saw obvious signs that a mouse frequently travels in that area. That being said, the only reason you would put out a snap trap at all is because you have taken the time to repair the exterior of your home where the rodents have been getting inside. A common mistake homeowners make is to wait until the trapping process is complete to seal up the outside of the home. If you do not do this step first, new mice may enter the home while you are trying to get rid of the old ones. If this happens, you will never fix your home because you will never be done trapping mice! Only when the home is sealed and when you have found some droppings or other evidence of a rodent do you want to set out your snap trap. The fact that you are using a snap trap is excellent; snappers are the most effective traps on the market and will kill a mouse quickly and humanely. You should set out more than one trap and in places where droppings, chew marks, or urine puddles have been noted. Mice will return to places where they have defecated. These areas are safe bets to place a snap trap.