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How Can I Mouse-Proof My Apartment?

October 28, 2020
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Mice are one of the worst pests that can take over a home – they bring deadly diseases, steal food, and destroy things. In a big city like New York, which is already known for having tons of mice, it’s only a matter of time before mice invade your apartment. Fortunately, there are a few ways that can help keep even the smartest rodents out of an apartment.

So how can you keep mice away from the apartment? Some of the most effective methods for a mouse-free home is to use peppermint oil, adopt a cat, seal off all possible entryways, store food in thick canisters, and keep a lid on the garbage cans.

What Can I Do to Protect My Apartment from Mice?

One of the biggest challenges of living in the big apple is the huge chance that rats and mice might nest in your home sooner or later. As the third most pest-infested city in the country, residents should follow a few preventive tips to avoid the hassle of trying to get rid of mice.

To stop an infestation before it even happens, tenants will need to dedicate plenty of time to examining the apartment and making changes to keep mice out. Here are some things to do for a mouse-free home:

Use Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a good deterrent because the strong menthol odor can irritate the nasal passage of a mouse. However, this can only be used as a preventive measure and won’t get rid of mice once they reach the apartment. It’s only a short-term solution because the mice will eventually get used to smell in the long run.

There are a few ways to utilize peppermint as mice repellent. One method is to pour three to five drops of the oil into a cotton ball and place it in areas around the apartment where rodents enter. Another way is to dilute the essential oil and create a spray that will be spritz around the place. Others grow peppermint around the perimeter of the apartment to deter mice entry.

Seal off Possible Entryways

Blocking all entry points to the apartments is another effective way to get rid of mice. Since they attempt to squeeze through the small crack in a home, it’s best to find these openings immediately and seal the gaps using caulk and steel wool.

During fall and winter, rodents get inside homes trying to seek warmth. It’s also better to check the attic and garage to seal the openings with materials they can’t chew through, like steel wool.

Store Your Food in Canisters

Dry foods like flour, sugar, grains, cereals are easy targets for rodents because they are kept in paper cartons and left alone in the kitchen. Prevent these little creatures from contaminating or stealing food by keeping it in a metal or thick plastic container. Storing it in high places or inside the refrigerator will also lessen the mice’s chances of reaching it.

Adopt a Pet

Aside from being great companions, pets can also serve as natural pest control as they hunt for mice around the apartment.

However, some domesticated cats don’t really pay attention even if they see a mouse scurrying around the apartment. It’s better to adopt active cats who aren’t bored to hunt mice. If you prefer dogs, there are also some breeds, like terriers, who have a great reputation as mouse catchers.

Ironically, adopting pets can attract rodents if the pet food is left exposed or stored in thin plastic containers. Always clean the pet’s eating area and keep all of their food properly sealed in thick plastic canisters. Pets can be motivated to hunt mice for food if they aren’t left to nibble on snacks all day.

Keep a Lid on Garbage Cans

Another simple but effective way of getting rid of mice at home or other nearby areas is to keep the trash cans sealed. Open garbage containers are an invitation to mice, rats, and other bigger pests that’s why they should be kept closed all the time. If possible, place the dump area as far from the house as possible.

It’s also important to always take out the trash from inside the apartment. This way, rodents won’t have any reason to build a nest in your home. You should also wash dirty dishes regularly and put away all leftovers into the refrigerator.

Signs of Mice Infestation in Your Apartment

When you’re getting rid of mice, it’s also crucial to constantly monitor the apartment for signs of infestation. Even if pest control services have been called, residents can’t make sure that all the mice inside the home are gone. Here are some signs to check if there are mice still lurking in the house:

  • Squeaking Noises – Mice are nocturnal animals so there is a chance that tenants will hear squeaking noises at night. They can run inside the walls or in the attic while you’re asleep.
  • Gnaw Marks – These chew marks are usually found on dry food packaging or some structures of the house. Check the color of the marks – lighter ones are newer and could be a sign of an ongoing infestation. If the gnaw marks become bigger, there’s a chance that rats are also present in the apartment.
  • Mice Droppings – In contrast to gnaw marks, mice droppings are darker when they are new. They can also be found near food packages, but there will be more droppings the nearer they are to the nest.
  • Foul Odor – Mice emit a musky scent that will eventually become apparent the longer it’s left. If humans can’t smell it yet, pets are excellent in detecting this particular odor. Once they start paring at an area that it previously wasn’t interested in, have that place examined to make sure it’s not a mice nest.

When the presence of mice inside the apartment has been confirmed, call pest control services to get rid of them. You can also try to lure them out of hiding places using peanut butter and mouse traps to catch them. Glue traps and snap traps can also work in getting rid of mice.

What Damages Can a Mice Infestation Bring?

Aside from being a nuisance at home, a mice infestation can bring a lot of damages. Here are some serious consequences if a mice infestation is not solved immediately:


Mice can bring viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other disease-causing microbes with them. This is why they are a huge threat to the family’s health. Here is a list of the illnesses caused by mice and other vermin:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
  • Plague
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Tularemia

Structural Damage

Although they are small in size, mice could definitely wreak havoc inside the home. By gnawing on pipes, electrical wirings, and more, mice can cause mild to severe structural damages such as:

  • Gnaw marks on expensive furniture
  • Nests inside ducts
  • Fires and short circuits
  • Water leaks and floods

Positive Pest Management: Best Mouse Exterminators in NYC

Need help getting rid of mice at home? Contact Positive Pest Management now. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, we are skilled and equipped with the right tools to effectively eliminate rodents and keep mice away from the property.

Get rid of mice permanently with the help of Positive Pest Management. Visit our website to learn more about our cost-effective pest control services.

Learn more: How Much Does an Exterminator Cost in NYC?

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