Mice never travel alone. If you find one, chances are high that your home infested. Female mice start having babies as young as two months, and they have anywhere from 30 to 100 babies per year. Even if the mice have only been in your home for a couple weeks, they’ve probably already had the first set of babies.
Fall is the most common time for mice infestation because the rodents are seeking refuge from the cold. If they find that refuge and an ample food source in your home, they are likely to stay until you call the exterminator.
Seeing a mouse is clear confirmation that you have a problem, but there are other telltale signs. Small, dark droppings around the house, rustling or squeaking sounds in the walls and the smell of urine are strong indicators, too. If you suspect your home could be infested, call an exterminator for a professional opinion.
Professional exterminators use one of four types of traps to eliminate mice from your home: snap traps, glue traps, electric mousetraps and live traps. The first three kill the mice, but live traps do not. When a mouse is captured in a live trap it is the homeowner’s responsibility to release it back into the wild.
Be wary of any company that uses poison to address the problem. Rodent poison is highly toxic, dangerous to both humans and pets. In most cases, it should not be used inside a home. Plus, after mice ingest poison they typically burrow inside the walls to die, leaving a bad smell.
In addition to hiring an exterminator, there are steps you should take to prevent future mice infestations. Seal all cracks, holes and openings; make sure doors and windows close properly; and never leave food or food waste lying around. Any good exterminator will go over all of these steps during the initial visit.
The cost to hire a mouse exterminator depends on the size of the infestation, the type of treatment and your location. Prices also vary from one company to the next.
- On average, budget anywhere from $300-$600 to eliminate the problem. However, in rare cases of extreme infestation, the cost can top $1,000.
- Some companies charge a larger initial fee of $150 to $300 for an inspection and trap setting, then a smaller fee of $75-$100 for each subsequent visit.
- Other companies require an annual contract, which works out to about $75-$150 for each quarterly visit. Typically, a portion of the annual cost is due upfront.
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