Mouse Control FAQ

Upon arrival, we ask that you show us the potential problem areas inside. Let us know what you have been seeing and where. This is usually the kitchen, basement, attic and garage.

Following the interior inspection, your mouse exterminator will do an exterior inspection to locate potential entry points. We include a square foot of ground level patchwork repairs.

We come back inside and let you know what we did, and recommend additional repairs if there are any.

Traps/ rodenticide is applied for interior control. The goal is to repair the entry points and trap/ exterminate what remains inside.

For single services, customers agree to maintain traps/ allow the use of rodenticide.

For 3-visit plans, traps are primarily used. Interior mouse control products are maintained during the 2 follow-up services.

There is not a lot that is required in preparation of mouse control service. Clear room for us to access crawlspace and attic hatches.

If you have an enclosed porch or deck, it is beneficial to remove a lattice panel. We do not include disassembling porch/ deck panels if there is not an access hatch.

We recommend that you stop feeding the birds/ wildlife outside of your home.

If you have an attached garage, please make sure any shared walls with the interior of the home are cleared for inspection.

We will also need access to the top of the basement walls for trap/ bait placement.

Do a general cleaning if there is food debris on the floor, especially under appliances.

Do not store belongings directly against the home.

During the initial service, a square foot area of patchwork is included to repair potential entry points outside.

This means as many holes that you can fit into a square foot area. These are ground level repairs. This does not include repairs underneath decks/ porches, or repairs that require a ladder. “Patchwork” means repairs that can be made with our spray foam, clear sealant, and our Xcluder Fabric.

You will be provided with a full evaluation of potential wildlife entry points outside. Any repairs beyond the included square foot area of patchwork repairs will be quoted separately.

If we can provide the additional repair recommendations, they are scheduled separately from the initial service.

We have a knack for locating entry points outside. We specialize in mouse-proofing homes in Cleveland, OH.

We focus on performing the repairs to the entry points outside so mice can no longer enter the structure. If you do that, then it is not necessary to make and repairs to the interior.

On top of that, walls behind kitchen cabinets are not finished to floor level. This is due to the fact that the cabinets hide the wall base. So contractors don’t go to the trouble of installing baseboards behind the cabinets. As a result, the kitchen walls are usually very open for mouse access.

This doesn’t include the pipes and utility lines that mice often follow into the kitchen from the basement. Even if you were able to seal all of that, mice can just climb up from the basement stairs.

Another thing is that mice explore their territory each night of activity. If they were in the kitchen, they will be back in the kitchen. For example, it is not always the best idea to block that hole under the sink until after the mice are caught and removed. Otherwise, you are removing a known trail that could have been used for trapping.

When trapping inside the living space, traps are placed in Trap-rite boxes. These are small boxes that fit along the base of kitchen cabinets and against walls. They safely contain the traps so pets and people can not access them. And they keep the contaminated caught mice within the box for clean removal.

If you do not feel comfortable touching the traps, then choose the 3-visit mouse control plan. In this case. we maintain the traps placed during the initial service.

Any rodenticide placed outside or in areas accessible to children and animals are placed in tamper resistant locked boxes (bait stations). This prevents animals larger than mice/ rats from entering the stations and consuming the rodenticide.

For further information, please read Secondary Poisoning Concerns With Rodent Baits.

In some instances, bait stations will be used in or outside of your home. These locked black boxes are tamper resistant bait stations.

The customer cannot service the stations. They safely hold rodenticide so off target organisms cannot access the bait.

They do not trap mice, or hold mice within the stations.

For single services especially, mouse bait stations are used in unfinished areas of the home. This will control the mouse population inside with little maintenance.

We make our best attempt not to use bait stations in places that could result in odors of dead mice inside of your home.

There is a chance that that you could find a dead mouse, or a mouse could die and smell in an inaccessible location. Complaints of this has been minimal over the years.

If this is a significant concern of yours, traps may be used in place of rodenticide (mouse bait). You would just have to agree to maintain the traps (in the case of a single service). Alternatively, you would choose a 3-visit trapping plan.

Keep in mind that some attics and crawlspaces do not allow access enough to effectively place traps. In this case, mouse bait is recommended.

This is honestly a lie that exterminators tell customers to make them feel better about using rodenticide inside for controlling rodents.

Generally speaking, mice get their water from the food that they eat. Unless it is easily accessible, mice do not seek water out.

Removal of rodent feces is not included with mouse control service. We recommend customers follow CDC Guidelines For Rodent Feces Removal.

If this is something that you definitely want done, but cannot do yourself, see below:

There is a proper protocol that we must follow when removing rodent feces from inside homes. This includes the use of special HEPA Filter Vacuums, disinfectant, and personal protective equipment. The filters and protective equipment cost around 100$. Then we bill 150$-250$ per hour labor for cleaning services.

General cleanliness should be executed in kitchens. Clutter in infested areas should be removed.

Food sources should be removed. This can include acorns from your yard, birdseed, or pet food that is left out.

Seal up entry points. This is the most important of all. It is also the main benefit of hiring an exterminator like ourselves. We are skilled enough to locate the entry points and make the proper repairs. If you are interested in learning more read “How To Mouse-Proof A Home“, or our Mouse-Proofing FAQ.

While there technically are some forms of mouse repellants, we do not utilize them in our mouse control service protocols. They can smell if used inside and most products are not very effective.

We first focus on making exterior repairs to their entry points. If this is not practical, we recommend getting on our exterior rodent bait station program.

With that, there is a set-up fee for the cost of the stations. Then they are affordably serviced on a monthly or every other month service interval. The goal of this is to control the mouse population outside to minimize the chance that they will enter the home.

We do not utilize live traps for mice. If a mouse is contained in a trap, they undergo a great deal of stress. They can injure themselves, lose body heat, and suffer heart attacks. If multiple mice are contained in a trap, they will feed on one another.

Additionally, it is not humane to trap and release a mouse outside of its territory. There, they will have no food or shelter, and not likely survive long. Especially if it underwent stress from being in a trap overnight.

No They Do Not Work In Our Professional Opinion.

While mice can carry important zoonotic diseases, cases of these are rare in our area.

The most important health concerns are:

  • Food poisoning from their feces and urine around your food/ food preparation surfaces.
  • Allergies from accumulated urine. Children are especially susceptible to this.
Wolves in the forest do not kill all of the deer. It is the same with any predator and their prey.

Cats will likely only kill the weak, young or old mice. Cats will not successfully control a mouse population inside your home.

Mice will eat bars of soap due to the fat content.

Mint oil and dryer sheets likely will not prevent a hungry mouse from accessing shelter or a food source. It might change their pheromone trail, but will not effectively control a mouse infestation inside your home.

Commonly Asked Mouse-Proofing Questions:

Why do mice climb roofs to enter into attics, while Norway rats do not?

Take into consideration that Norway rats are semi-aquatic rodents. They are burrowing creatures. They have adapted to living below ground level. Additionally mice do not necessarily need to drink water. They get it from their food. Brown rats need to drink everyday. Attics do not have much water in them. On the contrary, roof rats commonly infest attics. These rats are not found in Cleveland, Ohio.

How do mice get under siding?

Mice get under siding when the bottom lip of siding is not properly sealed flush against the house. There are layers of board and insulation behind the actual siding. Sometimes the section that the bottom piece latches onto is damaged or missing. There are many reasons for this. Some examples being: Poor construction, lawnmower damage, deterioration of backing material, and damage from running cables into the home.

Is There Mouse-Proof Caulk?

Caulk is not rodent resistant and should not be used for exclusion purposes. Yet if caulk must be used, it is possible to dust white pepper onto the caulk before it cures. This will act as a deterrent once a mouse starts gnawing on the caulk.

Only true sealants should be used for mouse-proofing. There is a difference between sealants and caulk. When sealants have cured they will be bonded to the connecting material. Sealants harden unlike caulks which remain elastic to some extent. Caulks also have the tendency to shrink and crack which is not beneficial when making structural repairs.

For instances where we feel that our repairs will be put to the test, we will use a bio-repellent. For example, Rat-out gel is used outdoors to detour squirrels. This contact irritant is applied dynamically, in order to drive rodents away from infested areas. Tracking experience is required to effectively utilize these green rodent control products. Pepper bio-repellent products produces a stress response within trap shy rodents. Problem rats are finally catch-able.

Can Steel Wool Be Used For Mouse-Proofing?

Steel wool should not be used to mouse-proof homes long term. While this material works initially, it will eventually begin to rust and corrode. When used on the exterior, the rust tends to drain down the home, staining the foundation. As it rusts, it shrinks, losing its effectiveness. If you use steel wool, specially purchase stainless steel.

Do Cans Of Expanding Foam Work To Seal A Home For Rodents?

Expanding foam should only be used to fill large gaps and voids. It should never be used alone. Mice can chew through closed cell foam.

It is only used as a backer in our exclusion repairs. We will use sealant over top of the spray foam. Alternatively we will impregnate Xcluder fabric, quarter inch hardware mesh, or copper mesh into outer layer of uncured foam. Then we will sandwich this second layer by adding sealant as the outer layer.

Expanding foam is not a true sealant and should not be used in kitchens. The foam is porous and catches dirt, debris and bacteria. We do not recommend the use of spray foam exclusively for mouse-proofing.

What Kind Of Rodent Screen Material Do You Use?

Half inch hardware mesh can be used for large rodents like Groundhogs. Otherwise we use quarter inch hardware mesh. Mice cannot pass through this size screen. It is also durable enough to resist gnawing from rodents.

Aluminum and fiberglass window screen is not effective to seal mice and other rodents out. Aluminum insect screen can be used to stuff holes but is not a good screen for vents long term. Eventually these smaller size mesh screens will become brittle and fail to keep pests out.

Can You Stuff Copper Mesh In Weep Holes?

Copper mesh will still allow for air circulation into the crawlspace. Therefore it is a suitable material to plug weep holes.

When stuffing any exclusion material into a hole it should be secured in place. Rodents have a knack for pushing copper mesh out of weep holes. The mesh should be secured with sealant on the outer edge, while still allowing the weep holes to weep.

Can Mice and Rats Climb Siding?

Yes mice and rats can climb siding and enter a home from the roof level. Therefore, potential entry points on all levels should be sealed for mice and rats.