Mice are sneaky little creatures. Don’t let their cute appearance fool you – they will sneak off with food from your pantry in the blink of an eye. They can be hard to catch – they’re quick to scurry off when they see people – but it’s important to tackle your mouse problem as soon as you find out that you have one.
But how do you get rid of mice once they’ve found their way into your apartment? We’re going to explain:
- How to identify a mouse problem
- Why there are mice in your apartment
- The disease mice carry
- How to get rid of the mice in your home
Table of Contents
- How to Get Rid of Mice in Apartment: Everything You Need to Know
- How to Identify a Mouse Problem
- Why are There Mice in Your Apartment?
- Do Mice Carry Disease?
- Do You Have to Report a Mouse Problem to Your Landlord?
- How to Get Rid of Mice in 4 Easy Steps
How to Get Rid of Mice in Apartment: Everything You Need to Know
How to Identify a Mouse Problem
If there are mice in your home, you’ll know it. Rodents always leave behind some kind of evidence, such as:
- Droppings: Mouse droppings are the most obvious sign that there are mice in an apartment, and it’s an indication that they’ve found a food source. Mouse droppings are the size of a paper clip and look like tiny pellets.
- Noises: Mice may be nocturnal creatures, but they can still be noisy. You might hear scratching noises or squeaking sounds. Sometimes, these noises may come from the wall where the mice are hiding or nesting. You may also hear them skitter across the floor.
- Holes in food bags: Mice love to chew on things, especially if they know that their chewing will be rewarded with food. If you find holes in bags of food, that’s a pretty good indication of a mouse problem. It also means that you may have found their food source.
- Foul odor: Have you noticed any strange or musky smells in your apartment? It could be mouse urine. The smell is usually more pungent in areas where mice gather, such as their nesting site.
It’s important to act quickly if you find any signs of mice in your apartment. The longer they’re allowed to stick around, the bigger the problem will become.
Why are There Mice in Your Apartment?
Mice can invade apartments for many reasons. With multiple families living in the same building, there’s a much greater risk of a rodent or insect invasion. After all, each apartment is a new source of food and water.
Most people assume that mice only invade dirty homes and apartments, but they can make their way into even the cleanest of homes. The biggest issue with apartments is that you have no control over how your neighbors keep their homes. All it takes is one unsanitary neighbor to attract mice and cause a building-wide problem.
If you live in an older building, mice may have easy access to your home through gaps and holes – especially if you live on the bottom floor.
Just because you have a mouse in your apartment, it doesn’t mean that you’re a dirty person. But you may be putting your health, and the health of your neighbors at risk if you don’t tackle the problem right away.
Do Mice Carry Disease?
Mice are more than just an annoyance; they’re a health hazard. Yes, the tiny field mouse that has invaded your apartment may be carrying a disease that can make you very ill.
Mice can transmit several diseases, including:
Among all the diseases mice carry, the hantavirus is the most concerning. This life-threatening disease is transmitted by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus itself is found in the feces and urine of the mouse, but the mouse itself will never get sick.
Humans who come in contact with contaminated mouse droppings or dust from mice nests and become very ill. The only good news here is that the virus cannot be spread from human to human.
While concerning, cases of hantavirus are rare. As of 2012, there were only 10 confirmed cases of the virus in Yosemite National Park. But among those 10 cases, three were fatal.
Early symptoms of hantavirus can be confused with other illnesses: muscle aches, fever and chills. Symptoms can become progressively worse very quickly: shortness of breath, headache, vomiting, nausea, dry cough and general malaise.
Salmonella is a foodborne illness, but mice can transmit the disease when they contaminate food or countertops where food is prepared. That’s why it’s so important to throw away any food bags or containers that have holes from mice. If you know there are mice in your home, you should avoid cutting or preparing foods on counters that have not been thoroughly cleaned first.
Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that can last up to seven days.
Several recent salmonella outbreaks have been linked to rodents.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV)
LCMV is a viral infectious disease that comes from rodents and causes severe neurological problems, including encephalitis and meningitis. The disease is carried primarily by the common house mouse.
Infection can occur after exposure to saliva, fresh urine, nesting materials or droppings.
Because mice can carry serious or potentially life-threatening diseases, it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible. Due to the health risks of rodents, you may be wondering whether you have to tell your landlord about the issue.
Do You Have to Report a Mouse Problem to Your Landlord?
Pest problems can cause a rift between landlords and tenants, mainly because tenants often feel that landlords should be responsible for getting rid of the problem.
According to Avvo, landlords are generally responsible for pest control. However, if a tenant’s living behaviors are the cause of the infestation, the tenant may be held responsible for pest control costs. In this case, the landlord would have to prove that the tenant was the cause of the infestation.
So, it’s in in your best interest to report the mouse problem to your landlord. Your landlord may help with the problem or call in an exterminator.
You may not be obligated to notify your landlord, although local laws may vary. If there’s only one or two mice in your apartment, you may not want to go through the hassle of having to deal with an exterminator. Or, if your landlord proves that the infestation was your fault, you’ll have to tackle the problem on your own. We’re going to cover some simple steps to get rid of the mice in your apartment.
How to Get Rid of Mice in 4 Easy Steps
Whether you want to get rid of mice in the kitchen, bathroom or living room, these four steps will help you evict these pesky pests.
1. Clean Up
Cleaning is the first and most important step you can take to kick mice to the curb. Most importantly, you want to make sure that your food is inaccessible to mice.
Keep all of your food tightly sealed in containers or in the refrigerator. Don’t leave open bowls of fruit on the table, and never leave bags of chips open. Try to put all non-refrigerated foods in airtight containers. Mice can chew through boxes and bags, so sealing chips and other snack items won’t be enough to keep these creatures away
Don’t leave any dirty dishes around the house or even in the sink. Empty the trash regularly, and make sure that you clean your kitchen counters every day.
If mice can’t find food in your apartment, they’ll have no reason to stick around. Make it a point to clean your home as often as possible, and keep all food items out of reach.
2. Locate their Entry Points
Keeping a clean home is essential to getting rid of mice, but if you don’t figure out how they got into your apartment, you’ll just be chasing more mice in the future.
Figuring out how the mouse got in can be tricky. Fill up cracks, patch holes and talk to your landlord about fixing windows that may have given the mice access to your apartment. Even if you don’t know exactly where the mouse came in, you can minimize the risk of them returning if you close off all potential entry points.
3. Set a Trap, or Try Bait
One of the best ways to catch a mouse in an apartment is to set a trap. A good old-fashioned snap mouse trap should do the trick (if you can stomach it). To attract the mouse to the trap, you can use popular foods, like peanut butter, chocolate, bacon, oatmeal or dried fruit.
If you don’t like the idea of a snap trap, you can try a glue trap. These don’t require bait, but you’ll need to place it in an area of mouse activity. With a glue trap, the mouse will walk over the trap and get stuck in place. The biggest drawback with this type of trap is that it doesn’t actually kill the mouse. You’ll still need to discard of the rodent properly.
You can also try a homemade mouse trap.
4. Check Traps and Bait Often
If you’re using traps and/or bait, make sure that you check them often. A snap trap will kill the mouse, and if left too long, the smell can become overwhelming.
If a mouse is left in a glue trap, it will eventually die and also cause an unpleasant smell in your home.
Another reason to check the traps often is to see if they’re actually working. If you aren’t catching any mice, it may be time to switch tactics.
Once you finally gotten rid of the mice in your apartment, you should take steps to prevent them from coming back in the future. This means:
- Keeping your home clean
- Taking the garbage out regularly
- Keeping your food stored in airtight containers
- Cleaning all dirty dishes immediately
- Use natural deterrents to keep mice away
It’s not fun to deal with mice in your apartment, but if you take the right steps, you can evict these rodents from your home for good.