How To

Natural Pest Prevention

Together, we must respect that there are certain insects, some may consider pests, that we should never try to control. Beneficial insects help balance our ecosystem. A good example of beneficial insects are honeybees.

What is "Natural" pest control?

Each method in natural pest control is vital to establishing and maintaining an effective approach to preventing and eliminating undesirable pests in your home. Inspections, exclusion, and non-chemical applications provide an integrated approach to pest control. Botanical materials formulated as dusts, liquids, and baits are made from essentail oils extracted from plants that have developed defenses against insects. Essential oils like clove, tea tree, rosemary, garlic, and thyme are effective against pests inside and outside of the home.

Prevention is the most important step in any pest control situation. Below you will find a guide to the basic steps in preventing insects from harboring in and aound your home. All insects need three basic things i.e. food, water, and shelter.


FOOD

  • Keep food prep and storage areas clean.
  • Do not leave food out.
  • Keep food in sealed containers.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in sink or dishwasher overnight.
  • Rinse containers before recycling.
  • Quickly clean spills
  • Put garbage in sealed containers with lids.
  • Empty pet's dishes each day. 
  • Discard dead or dying plants.

WATER

  • Remove any source of high humidity.
  • Remove standing water in kitchen and bathrooms
  • Repair pipes and faucets that leak.
  • Install or repair seals around windows.
  • Repair weather stripping on all exterior doors.
  • Ensure down spouts flow away from foundation.
  • Ensure attic and basement is moisture free.
  • Remove water from plant containers.
  • Clean water dispensor trays

SHELTER

  • Remove clutter to deter harborage sites.
  • Clean your house on regular basis.
  • Seal holes in the walls.
  • Caulk cracks in baseboards.
  • Ensure window screens are fitted and in good condition.
  • Replace moldy or damaged insulation.
  • Prune or remove dead trees near house.
  • Keep lawn mowed weekly.
  • eep shrubs trimmed 3' away from house.

Get Rid Of Mice & Rats

rat-2519097_1920.jpg

The first step to solving any rodent problem is to know if it's rats or mice you're up against. You need to be sure you have a mouse problem and not a rat infestation. Steps towards solving the problem will vary depending on which species has invaded your home or business.

Since both rats and mice are nocturnal creatures; it's unlikely you'll actually see either during the day Although, if seen in daylight, mice are easy to identify. Compared to rats mice are much smaller in size. Mice have longer, thinner tails covered in fur with small, round ears.

Knowing the difference between rats and mice will help save you time, money and heartache.

Rodent Identification

Both mice and rats are nocturnal creatures and are rarely seen in daylight. Rats and mice often forage for food over night, when most residents of the house are sleeping. Even if you do catch sight or sound of a rodent invader, it might only be for a second or two not leaving enough time to identify the species correctly.

 Mice are smaller than rats and have larger ears. Mice will have gray or brown fur with white bellies. The head of a mouse is triangular with long whiskers. Mice have long tails with hair.

Mice are smaller than rats and have larger ears. Mice will have gray or brown fur with white bellies. The head of a mouse is triangular with long whiskers. Mice have long tails with hair.

 Rats are larger than mice and leave behind larger droppings. Rats may be black, gray or brown with white stomachs. The head a rat is more blunt in appearance when compared to a mouse Rats have tails that are pinkish, long, and hairless.

Rats are larger than mice and leave behind larger droppings. Rats may be black, gray or brown with white stomachs. The head a rat is more blunt in appearance when compared to a mouse Rats have tails that are pinkish, long, and hairless.


Rodent Behavior

In general, both rats and mice are shy preferring to hide. Mice and rats are both nocturnal, only venturing away from their nests at night. Although rats and mice are known to walk around in dirty places, rats, tend to leave greasy marks on walls and along baseboards where they travel back and forth each night.

Mice and rats seek out warm, secluded places to nest, find food and birth their young. Mice and rats both give birth to several young therefore starting an infestation in a any type of structure quickly! Rats and mice seek out food around the property while chewing their way through storage containers, wood or drywall.

Mice and rats have sharp teeth that continually grow, so they gnaw and chew on things. Rats are well-known for chewing through electrical wires and small plumbing lines.


Preventing Rodents

The most effective rat and mouse control begins with prevention. Trash should be disposed of properly, and in a sanitary manner. Sanitation practices must be maintained. Human as well as pet food must be kept in sealed containers. Standing water and moisture leaks should be repaired. Man-placed rodent shelters such as wood piles and overgrown weedy areas should be eliminated.

The most effective form control measure for rats and mice is to limit food, water, shelter, and access to structures. Rats and mice are both able to squeeze through holes that appear much too small for them. Preventing rodents begins by following steps outlined at the bottom of this page.

f you're frightened or unsure about mice invading your property, Gladhill Services offers the easiest and most reliable solutions for rodent problems.  We provide a quick, 100% guaranteed service to rid your home or business of rats and mice. 


Rodent Proofing Tips

  • Seal all entry points such as sewers, cracks, crevices, and air vents.
  • Repair or replace damaged screens around the foundation and under eaves
  • Install a tightly-fitted access panel or door for the crawl space.
  • Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation. 
  • Be sure that windows are screened and that screens are in good condition.
  • Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes with screens.
  • Make sure exterior doors are tightly fitted with weatherproofing at bottoms.

DIY Mosquito Control

The control of mosquitos can become very complicated for homeowners and professionals alike as the insect can adapt to changing conditions. Mosquitos can quickly fly away depositing eggs in another area close by. Pesticides may become displaced in heavy rains but there are options available. 

485883135.jpeg

WHAT MOSQUITOS DO

Mosquitoes are one of the most significant concerns for disease. Mosquitoes have adapted to thrive in an urban environment. Mosquitos have also evolved into becoming a major nuisance in residential backyards from one year to the next.  According to the CDC, mosquitos are responsible for the transmission of West Nile virus, Zika virus and encephalitis.

Female mosquitoes feed on blood for egg development. The males do not feed on blood. Mosquitoes are extremely annoying to humans as they bite, posing a significant threat due to their ability to transmit diseases. As a food source for many creatures, mosquitos also play an important role in nature.


MOSQUITO BITES

Usually, a mosquito bite appears like a small, inflamed, and itchy bump. Some people may react more intensely if they are allergic. While the mosquito bite itself is harmless, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and Zika through the bite. Due to this risk, it's wise to use an insect repellant when outdoors to help prevent mosquitos from biting you. If you feel a mosquito bite is serious, seek medical help as soon as possible.


MOSQUITO LIFESTYLE

Mosquito populations are typically concentrated near areas where standing water can be found. Due to reproduction, mosquito eggs need water in order to hatch and thrive. Some species of mosquito lay their eggs directly in the water, while other species deposit their eggs in moist soil, out of direct sunlight. When the soil becomes flooded with water the eggs then hatch. The "floodwater" species of mosquitos lay their eggs in autumn, remaining dormant throughout the winter then, hatch during spring when rains fill the areas. A female mosquito will produce up to 200 eggs at a time that will easily developes into an infestation anywhere.


PREVENTING MOSQUITOS

STANDING WATER
Uncirculated water, ponds, fountains, retention ponds, birdbaths, and old tires.

MOIST CONDITIONS
Tree wells, tree holes, flowerbeds, plant containers, decorative pots, sprinklers.

RESTING AREAS
Any surface protected from wind and direct sunlight that retian higher levels of moisture. Take into consideration areas underneath decks and porches, the underside leaves, eaves, and gazebos.

One of the easiest ways to prevent mosquito populations from forming is to simply empty or throw out anything that could collect or retain standing water, like buckets, lids, old tires, etc. It is a well-known fact that mosquito infestations can start out of a single cap from a soda bottle. Another way to go about preventing mosquitos around your home is to use the traditional bug zappers. These are useful when hung or placed around porches and patios. Most insects are naturally attracted to light so it makes sense to attract them with bug zappers. When outdoors natural as well as conventional bug sprays will help knock down the total number of bites but understand most retail products are shy of long-term control. many of these retail products have a very low dose of active ingredients allowing their effectiveness to only last a few minutes to a few hours at best.  If a mosquito infestation seems out of your control, give Gladhill ervices a call. We can evaluate the situation for you, seek out the breeding sites and develop a solution to deal resolve your problem as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Get Rid Of Stink Bugs

While stink bugs are harmless to humans, their large numbers and hibernation patterns pose a threat to tropical plants inside the home, vegetable gardens, crops. And, it's no secret that stink bugs have become a constant annoyance for homeowners, gardeners, and farmers alike.  Below you'll learn a few proven methods to help control and prevent stink bugs in and around the house.

stink bug

What stink bugs eat?

The mouthparts of stink bugs are made for sucking and piercing, which they use to feed on fruits, vegetables, and certain crops. Stink bugs can cause significant damage to plants when they feed. Stink bugs prefer many species of plants and trees to feed on. Trees like birch, serviceberry, hackberry, catalpa, redbud and dogwood are known favorites for stink bugs to eat. Nut and fruit trees preferred by stink buds are pecan, apple, plum and pear. Stink bugs love your bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, grape leaves, and sunflowers. Stink bugs will damage a plants leaf surface, its fruits, injure its seeds, and transfer pathogens making them a natural enemy for farmers, homeowners, and gardeners to combat.


What attracts stink bugs?

Stink bugs are attracted to food and certain environments! The types of plants near a home will always be an attraction and a reason for why you might have them worse than your neighbor. And, as for environmental conditions, stink bugs breed in warmer weather since they are cold-blooded needing the external heat to keep them alive. It's apparent to professionals that stink bugs are attracted to light colored homes where they easily bask in full sun. This is noticable on the exterior of buildings in the spring as they go back into nature for feeding and breeding, and during early fall where hundreds to thousands may be gathered gaining access into the home for winter. Inside homes, a stink bug's favorite place to hide or overwinter are in windowsills and door frames.


Do stink bugs bite?

Stink bugs do not go after people or animals for any reason. In fact,  if they bump into you during flight it is most likely a complete accident. They keep to themselves. But, it is known that stink bugs may bite humans if they feel threatened. If a stink bug bites, the person may feel some discomfort in or near the area of the bite. According to local physician's a stink bugs' bite is usually considered non-poisonous to adults but, it may be considered poisonous for newborns and toddlers. As with any insect bite, seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. With that said never fear a stink bug. Swatting at stink bugs as they fly or smashing them with your hand will only increase your odds of being bitten. If you let them be they will leave you be! If you find a stink bug crawling on you gently flick it off as this will avoid a bite and the release of its smell. 

 

Stink bugs in the house?

Stink bugs inside the home are over-wintering adults that came in to hibernate during winter months. Stink bugs take advantage of cracks and crevices around windows and door, behind baseboards and crown molding, and around light fixtures in ceilings. Our crews have even found hundreds gathered together under insulation found in attics and crawl spaces.
A great preventive measure is to seal as many cracks as possible to keep stink bugs out of your house. Potted plants around the inside your home is another attraction for stink bugs as they provide a natural habitat during the long, cold winter. 

 

Stink bugs on the house?

As a Do-It-Yourself project, the control and prevention of stink bugs is typically a two-fold process. The first being the outside of your house in spring when stink bugs begin emerging from the house. It's best to let them leave so an application of pesticide on the outside is best. In the fall, stink bugs begin gathering on the sunny sides of homes making their way in for the winter to hibernate. Again, treat the exterior of the house. Now, is a good time to dust behind base boards, above light fixtures in ceilings, attics, around door and window frames as these are locations stink bugs will try overwintering.

 

Stink bugs in the garden?

The most effective preventive and control measure a Do-It-Yourselfer can take for keeping stink bugs out of the garden is to grow herbs such as mint, basil, coriander, and borage. These plants are not only medicinal for us, but also attract several other species of insects that prey on stink bugs. It's important to know that the use of pesticides in gardens and on farms has not yet proven to be effective for stink bugs.  This is due to the strong protective armor-like body of stink bugs.  Chemical and organic pesticides are most effective on stink bugs as they overwinter and begin migrating back into the home. 


Many professional pest control companies offer quarterly treatments for stink bugs and for good reason. While 1-2 applications of pesticide will knock their numbers down, stink bugs migrate twice each year. The first migration is in the spring where stink bugs emerge from hibernation and fly back out into nature to feed and breed. In the fall, stink bugs fly back to homes as they begin gathering in areas where they will get the most sun light. During the summer months, you may see a few stink bugs here and there. Further treatments are usually needed to prevent egg laying within or near the house. On warmer days during winter, stink bugs can be found flying across your living room, crawling across your ceiling upstairs or found seemingly lifeless in the basement. It has been noted by many homeowners and professionals alike that some pesticides work better on stink bugs than others. As a Do-It-Yourselfer, follow the guidelines above to prevent and control stink bugs this year. If it gets too much and if they seem to get worse call a professional pest control company like Gladhill Services. We can help if you need it. 

DIY Winter Pest Proofing

As the cold and bitter air of winter draws nearer and as the temperatures begin dropping, rodents like mice and rats head indoors in search of food and shelter. Other pests begin migrating inside as well as they too seek out warmth along with a peaceful place to overwinter. If you’re not careful, your home could easily end up becoming a natural resource for nature! The good news is you don’t have to stand helpless while rodents and other pests silently check in to your home for the winter.

sparrow-2909335_1920.jpg

STEP ONE:   MAINTAIN LAWN & LANDSCAPE

While you might be wondering just how maintaining your lawn and landscape is helpful towards pest-proofing your home for the winter, know that rodents and other household pests begin their life cycles outside. If your lawn is full of overgrown vegitation and debris pests will thrive in their natural environment before making their way inside your house for the winter. When pest-proofing your home for the winter, start in September by doing the following:

  • Clear your lawn and landscape of leaves, clippings, and other debris
  • Eliminate standing water and garden remnant
  • Check for rodent burrows around your foundatio

STEP TWO:   CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN & SECURE THE GARBAGE

The majority of household pests end up in the kitchen due to water and food being readily available. One of the best ways to keep pests out of your home and especially out of your kitchen is to make food less available to them. Sometimes a simple cleaning of cabinets and counter tops isn't enough... This means:

  • Securely place food in airtight containers and store them in the fridge or cabinets.
  • Don’t leave fresh foods and produce on your counters or tabletops over night.
  • Clean out your pet’s bowls each nigh, and take them off the floor when they are near a door.

Pests and rodents will take any type of food they can get, even your leftovers from three days ago! To help reduce the number of pests in and around your home make sure you secure your garbage every day, and remove it from inside the home on a regular basis. If you leave a bag full of trash near the perimeter of your house you’re simply asking rodents and other pests to come inside for the winter - or, any other time of the year. If possible, raise your garbage containers off the ground to discourage rodents from easily climbing up and into them. 


STEP THREE:    REPAIR ENTRY POINTS IN YOUR HOME

The last professional tip, and most likely the best way to begin pest-proofing your home for the winter is to ensure pests are unable to find their way inside. When nighttime temperatures begin falling it's best to take some time checking the interior walls of your basement or crawl space, and around the exterior of your home looking for entry points. Entry points are considered tiny to large openings, such as a crack, in the foundation or base of a house that rodents and other pests can crawl into gaining access to the interior of structures. Specific areas to check when searching for entry points are as follows:

  • Laundry vents
  • Utility meters
  • Foundation cracks
  • Crawl spaces and attics

It's a good idea to install a floor sweep or other type of professional weather stripping for under doors. This will eliminate your doorways as an entry point while helping to keep warm air inside and the cool air out. 

Pest Prevention Guide 2018

Once again, we can all say "so long" to old man winter, hang up our heavy coats, and place the knit hats and gloves on the top shelf. It's now time to say "HELLO" to sitting outside, cooking on the grill, and watching brilliant sunsets. But, we cannot forget about the mosquitos, ticks, fleas, midges, flies, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, and... the list goes on. 

 Fall and winter is prime time for mice and rats, while spring and summer are synonymous with insects that bite and sting.

Fall and winter is prime time for mice and rats, while spring and summer are synonymous with insects that bite and sting.

Throughout the months of spring and summer insects become highly active. While we can also enjoy being outdoors with them understand there are times when humans and bugs cross paths. Without a doubt, insects have their time and purpose in our world and serve important roles but, when we cross paths with them there may be risks. Bees, hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps may sting in defense. Ants may ruin a picnic. Ticks, like mosquitos, may possibly transmit a disease to you or a pet.

Spring & Summer Insects to Look Out For

Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets, Ticks, Mosquitos, Ants, Spiders, and Flies


Kitchen Cabinets, and Pantry

Spring is the best time to hit the kitchen cabinets and pantry for prevention. Pull out everything from inside your cabinets and drawers then, wipe down the surfaces of shelves including the inner sides of your drawers. Get rid of an type of shelf liners. Throw out any expired herbs, spices, or ingredients such as flour and grains that may introduce stored product pests into your home. While empty, inspect the backs of cabinets or pantries for entry points that pests might use. These areas include tiny cracks, holes and crevices. During the warmer months, insects like ants and cockroaches are adapted to finding food sources through them. And finally, pull out appliances, wipe surfaces and vacuum behind them. Looking for signs of pests or possible entry points for them, cleaning surfaces and getting food debris out is the best prevention in preparing for the upcoming warmer months.


Faucets & Water Sources

All insects, no matter what time of year, seek out a source of moisture. Water, even the tiniest amount is enough for any insect therefore, moisture is a major attraction for all pests such as roaches, spiders, and ants. Check all of your bathroom and kitchen faucets to ensure no leaks are present. Repair leaky faucets, loose floor tiles, and areas where caulking is stained, damaged or mildewed. Two main areas of concern with caulk are around toilets and tubs. Be sure to look underneath your sink cabinets for any signs of moisture damage. If any of these places have damaged or mildewed caulk or wood caused by moisture, you may need to call a plumber. If mold or mildew is found you should get a mold inspection to prevent further issues to you and your family's health.


Closets, Attics, Garages

Professionals in the industry live and work by one simple rule and that is - The more clutter you have, the more opportunity for pests. Simple right? During spring and summer months your odds significantly increase for spiders, ants, wasps, earwigs, termites, silverfish, fleas, various mites, ticks and mosquitos to inhabit areas inside and out of your home. Cleaning out your closets, attics, garages, or wherever you have stored items or boxes is yet another major step in preventing spring and summer pests from invading your home. Eliminating mass clutter will ultimately reduce considerable opportunities for common pests to infest your home. Follow this same professional rule in the garden. As you will soon read, piles of rock, wood and other landscape material create habitats for all insects. More threatening at times, snakes, skunks, squirrels, and other wildlife may migrate into your property seeking out homes in these materials, and with potentially harmful risks. 


Doors and Windows

Damaged screens in windows and doors may be unnoticed during the winter. It's now warming up outside so it's time to check up and clean your screens. Inspect  all your windows and doors thoroughly for damaged screens, replacing any screens that have holes before it's too late. Check the spline of frames and the seals around your doors too. While going around checking your windows and doors it's a good idea to check for any damage to your foundation. Damage to your foundation can happen during the winter months and go unnoticed as well. A  hole the size of a dime is large enough for a mouse to come through next fall, and cockroaches along with most insects can fit through the tiniest of cracks so seal any cracks you might find. 


Standing Water

Especially mosquitos, standing water is a breeding ground for insects! During the winter, water may collect in low spots around your home or garden. Bowls, buckets, toys, and play equipment like sandboxes may have standing water. Downspouts may also be an area for water to pool. Remove or repair any areas of standing water as these will become a harborage for any and all insects. Fill in low level areas and holes. Reset or reposition outdoor play equipment to eliminate this problem permanently. With mosquitos being a
major risk to our health, standing water is probably the most important of all steps to take in pest prevention during spring and summer months. 


Deteriorating Wood

Rotted or damaged roofing materials and fascia may act as a point of entry for certain insects. Check around your doors and windows, your deck and patio, the skirting of your home, and other areas where wood might need replacing. Carpenter bees, wasps, ants, spiders, silverfish, centipedes and many other insects love these areas with wood being prime habitats. Birds, while most of us may enjoy watching them, they may create an unhealthy scenario around your home.

 

Once you have completed these 6 steps to Spring & Summer Pest Prevention you’re ready to begin enjoying your summer! We never said it would be easy. We certainly didn't say it would be quick or easy for that matter. But, if you begin following this guide as the forsythia blooms yellow then in no time at all you can have peace of mind. Not only will this guide give you the knowledge to keep your home pest-free, it will also help you maintain your property value. If you may have discovered evidence of a major pest issue contact Gladhill Services, as we can help you take care of any pest issue.

Get Rid Of Mice Like A Boss

  The successful elimination of a house mouse or mice begins with your choice of approach. Getting rid of a house mouse can be as simple as making a call to a pest professional but,  if you feel you have what it takes to confront what many fear then, keep reading. In general, mice are harmless alone but, they can bite, they can spread some disease, and, they can certainly make a mess of things inside the home with their urine and feces, especially when near foods you may have in the pantry. 

The successful elimination of a house mouse or mice begins with your choice of approach. Getting rid of a house mouse can be as simple as making a call to a pest professional but,  if you feel you have what it takes to confront what many fear then, keep reading. In general, mice are harmless alone but, they can bite, they can spread some disease, and, they can certainly make a mess of things inside the home with their urine and feces, especially when near foods you may have in the pantry. 

When it comes to mice invading your home, you have three choices. You can:
1) learn how to catch a mouse,
2) learn how to kill a mouse, or
3) learn how to prevent them from entering your house to begin with. 


1. Rodent Proofing 101

Rodent-proofing your home is the most effective way to get rid of a house mouse or prevent the infestation of mice in your home. The easiest way to avoid mice in your home is by eliminating the areas they enter. Without a trained eye, this may prove to be difficult at times since mice have the ability to squeeze into tiny cracks no more than a quarter inch in size. In other words, if you can fit a pencil in it, a mouse can get through it. The majority of these entry points are found around the exterior of the home at or near ground level.

Sealing these small cracks in the foundation and block portions of your home will prevent mice from getting inside as the temperatures begin cooling. Openings in the ground level of your home, as well as basement walls are good areas to inspect, especially where utility pipes and ventilation are installed. Steel wool works very well in these areas. Simply take a screw driver and begin pushing pieces of the steel wool inside until the hole or crack is full. Unless you want the mice to come back, avoid using rubber, plastic, caulking, or even wood plugs because mice will chew their way right through. Install a weather strip on your doors and seal any window gaps to help. 


2. Baiting 101

Now, if you feel that your home is sealed tightly yet, you still suspect a mouse or two inside there are other ways to go about the elimination process. Be it a single house mouse or multiple mice you can use some type of food product for bait. The traditional foods such as chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, or oatmeal works fine. When you're ready to begin baiting, you will need a standard snap trap. In order to be effective, you'll need to secure the bait to the trigger pad of the snap trap. This may be done with dental floss or even fishing line. If you do not secure the bait to the trigger pad of the trap chances are your mouse will get a free snack and run off into the night freely escaping the death that surely awaited it.

You can easily place peanut butter on the trigger pad as the mouse will need time to get it all in his or her belly - just enough time to get nailed by your trap. It's ok because most people feel the snap trap is humane as the mice never truly knew what hit them. Obviously, this is the general opinion of people. We haven't heard anything from the local mice to date. 

You can purchase sealed packets of pellets or granules of poison to place in areas of mouse activity. The mice find the bait, eat it then, die in the shadows more often than not. There are even weighted containers you can place bait in around the exterior of homes to eliminate mice and other rodent issues. These are typically left in the hands of professionals with experience and reserved for places routinely hit with rodent activity though. 


3. Trapping Like A Champ

The best way to get rid of mice in an ongoing infestation is with traps. There are several types of traps sold on the market for this purpose - some work well while others are just not worth a dime. The best part of traps is that they are non-toxic, they kill the mouse instantly instead of poisoning, and once caught they are easily disposed of before they begin rotting and smell. The classic wooden snap traps work well, but keep in mind that most people do not like the mess they can make. Baiting the trigger pads can be difficult as well.

Glue boards are another non-toxic and environmentally friendly way to catch mice and other rodents. Glue boards are simply a small to large piece of cardboard with one side full of a thick gel-like glue. While many people feel this is not as humane as a snap trap, glue boards are easily placed, silent, do not make a mess of blood and other possible rodent fluids, and do allow for easy disposal of mice. Tin Cats are a metal box with a one-way door installed for mice to enter only. Once inside these traps, a mouse cannot get out. They do not require any kill or baiting at all. When you find a mouse in the trap you simply set it free outside as it will come back in later. So, you can see how effective they are at times. Again, experienced pest professionals know how to handle and eliminate mice caught in these types of traps. Not very advisable for the home owner who doesn't like killing small rodents. 

4. Think Like A Mouse

If you haven't decided to call a professional or begin excluding entry points in the home let us back up and understand that mice are a form of wildlife. When temperatures drop to freezing they seek out food and shelter just as any animal or person would do. It just happens that the heat, light and food you have inside your house appeals to them. Can you blame them? Their small size and natural abilities to adapt make them a popular pest especially during the winter months. Sealing any possible entry points is key to successfully eliminating, ridding or ending any type of rodent issue. Baiting with snap traps does end a mouse problem quickly if done correctly. If done wrong... well... the problem doesn't get any better and at times, may get worse with a female mouse inside. 

During the warmer months it's a good idea to keep your lawn and landscape maintained by removing debris and lawn refuse. Move your compost pile far away from the house and any piles of leaf or lawn clippings. Keep your weeds to a minimum and fill in any burrows that might be visible to your eye. This discourages rodents from coming back. Replacing your mulch with gravel also helps discourage mice from entering around the foundation when cooler temps follow. Try elevating your garbage containers off the ground. Some blogs say to wrap your garbage in tightly sealed plastic bags but remember that the teeth of rodents are very sharp and plastic is no match for them - they will chew right through it hence elevation. Raising your containers six inches off the ground is enough to keep mice and rats at bay. And finally, keep your house clean and free of crumbs littering the kitchen floor.