Mice and rats are some of the most prominent pests in America. They have quickly become one of the most significant house pests, yet homeowners might be wondering how to get rid of these rodents. Some people even wonder if turning a light on or two will scare the mice away.
Sleeping with your lights on will not keep the mice away. Turning the lights on is counterproductive because the mice will walk away to a darker area in the room instead. One of the best ways to keep mice away from your home is to install mouse traps and never leave unattended food exposed.
The rest of this article will discuss mice’s response to light, why they’re in the home, why they need to be gone, and how to get rid of them.
Why Turning on the Lights Won’t Keep the Mice Away
It’s common to believe that mice prefer to travel in the dark because they are known to be blind. However, this does not signify that the opposite is true.
Though mice are blind and tend to roam in dark areas, leaving the lights on before bed is counterproductive. That’s because the mice will walk away to a darker area in the room instead. Sure, light can regulate sleeping patterns and change a mouse’s behavior but is unlikely to scare them away.
There are effective ways to get rid of mice that do not involve light, as I’ll discuss shortly.
Why Mice Invade Homes
There are a couple of reasons a rodent might be living in a home. Commonly, mice decide to inhabit a home for food or nesting reasons.
The following are reasons why mice might be present:
- Food. If there is dry or bagged food, mice tend to enter a home and nibble through food, wires, and other non-edibles. Mice especially prefer nuts, grains, and cereal.
- Nesting material. Mice tend to build their nests out of soft materials such as cotton or shredded paper. Because of this, mice may bite through pillows or paper to create a home in your living space.
- Holes in the house. Mice can enter the home through holes already in place (i.e., the toilet, pipes, etc.). They can also go through small gaps like a garage door that is not entirely closed.
- Other mice. If a homeowner found a mouse inside the house, they should expect company. Mice tend to be around other mice.
How To Know if There Is a Mice Infestation
It’s not always easy to identify a rodent infestation. However, knowing some of the signs of a mouse living inside of a home is essential.
Ways to tell if there are mice inside of the home are:
- Mouse droppings
- Chewed-up cables and wires
- Holes in walls
- Bitten food
- Shredded paper
Why You Need To Get Rid of Mice Quickly
Mice are known for transmitting diseases and destroying property. Eliminating mice from home is essential for a safe and healthy household.
Mice Spread Diseases
Mice can spread diseases such as but not limited to:
- Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
- Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis
- Lassa Fever
Mice Cause Destruction of Property and Fire Hazards
Mice tend to nibble on various items regardless of if it is food. Because mice tend to chew and gnaw on many household items, this creates two significant problems: property destruction and possible fire hazards.
Walls, wires, cables, and furniture are just some of the common things mice can chew through. Homeowners that attempt to repair or replace such items after an infestation might find the process a costly and stressful project to tackle.
Additionally, due to mice biting through wires and cables, it is a fire hazard. Damaged wires and cables can cause fires that compromise a household’s safety because rodents are present.
Mice Have a Rapid Reproduction Rate
Not only do mice pose serious endangerment to a household’s health and safety, but mice reproduce constantly.
Female mice can give birth up to 5-10 times a year, with each litter consisting of 5-6 young mice.
If left alone, mice could infest the home and increase their population within the living space.
How To Get Rid of Mice From Your Home
Fortunately, there are several safe methods to rid of a rodent infestation, ranging from mouse traps to essential oils.
However, covering up holes and gaps is an integral step to stopping more mice from entering the home.
Close Gaps and Holes
Before anything, seal any holes or gaps in the home.
Consider areas such as:
Methods for Capture & Removal
Here are some solutions to getting rid of mice in the home:
- Mousetraps. Be sure to utilize quality bait and understand how to set up a mousetrap properly.
- Cats. If a cat shares the home, they are a primary predator for rodents.
- Poison and other toxic items for rodents. Use caution when utilizing poison, and be sure to keep such things away from the reach of children and pets.
- Peppermint Essential Oil. If a homeowner possesses a bottle of Peppermint essential oils, the item could prove quite helpful. Add a few drops in mice-prone areas, and the smell will drive them away—this is also a very natural and safe option for removing rodents from home.
- Call an exterminator. There are times when the infestation becomes out of control. Calling an exterminator may cost extra but could also be the only (and sometimes best) solution.
Extra Tips for Mouse Traps
If choosing to use a mousetrap, some details are essential to know.
Below is a table describing the different kinds of traps, their benefits, and how to set them best up:
|Type||Benefits||How to Set Up|
|Wooden||Cheap and Disposable||Pull the spring bar back and secure it with the wire latch.|
|Snap||You do not have to touch rodents.||Squeeze to “open” position|
|Press-and-Set||Simple to set and use.||Press open the well until you hear a click.|
Be sure to wear gloves, wash and sanitize hands, and follow safety protocols and procedures when dealing with mouse traps.
Ensure that you have purchased bait as well.
How to Know If Mice Have Gone Away
After attempting to get rid of the mice and repairing or replacing any damaged property, pay attention to the rest of the living space.
If, after some time, there are still mouse droppings, gnawed wires and cables, defective pillows or furniture, or new holes in the wall or baseboard, the mice are still roaming around the home.
Should previously mentioned independent methods fail to remove the rodents from home, contact your local exterminator to take care of the infestation.
Otherwise, if there is no more noise or signs of a mice infestation, rest assured that the problem is solved.
Though lights are not effective in driving away mice, there are other ways to exterminate them and protect the home, such as mouse traps, peppermint essential oils, or toxic mouse poisons. It also helps to have cats around, but if things go out of hand, don’t hesitate to call an exterminator to help you get rid of the mice from your home.
- Home Depot: How to Get Rid of Mice
- Tomcat Brand: How to Set Up a Mouse Trap
- NCBI: Light and the Laboratory Mouse
- CDC: Diseases Directly Transmitted by Rodents
- The Spruce: 12 Common Questions and Answers About Mice in the House
- The Exterminators: How Often Do Mice Reproduce While Living In My House
- Pests.org: How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally – Peppermint Oil and More