Just saw a mouse in my living room, could there be more lurking around? Mice are not pesky creatures you want around, notwithstanding their cute, fuzzy faces.
Mouse droppings in your living room, gnawed electrical wirings, or chewed furniture can be really infuriating. Moreover, mice are difficult to get rid of—no thanks to their cleverness and resourcefulness. They are also disease carriers, making them unwelcomed guests.
Just saw a mouse in my living room
Did you just see a mouse in your living room? Well, your closet is likely a nest for a mouse if you are living in a complex. It is also time to get in touch with the maintenance people. Otherwise, getting rid of that one mouse (if there are no dozen more hiding around) is on you. Remember that there could be more hiding within your room or nearby rooms.
You’d have to inspect for any small holes around the baseboards with a flashlight if you have to do it on your own. You may think the mouse you saw can’t enter such a small hole, but it can. A mouse can enter a small, 6-7 mm hole, which is about the diameter of a normal-sized pen—Anticimex.
Meanwhile, when it comes to picking up and disposing of a dead mouse in your living room, you want to make sure to wear plastic gloves. When done, dispose of the gloves and the dead rodent inside a sealable plastic bag and place them in airtight garbage.
Signs that you have a mouse problem
You saw a mouse but you need to be sure it’s really a mouse. That rodent could be anything, even a rat.
When you notice one mouse scampering quickly, you might have a potential rodent problem. Thus, you should be suspicious of a nest somewhere in the room, it could be in walls, from your garage, or in the attic, to mention a few. Once you sight one mouse inside your room, things can get worse quickly before you realize there’s an infestation.
Droppings are the most obvious signs of a mouse problem. But sometimes, you may have an infestation without seeing mouse droppings.
Make sure you are putting on gloves, and a face mask, and take other extra safety precautions—you could be tempted to just wipe the droppings (if you find any evidence). However, the last thing you want to do is to vacuum mice droppings, don’t do it! Also, consider throwing away food that might have been contaminated after contact with the rodent and prepare to disinfect your living room.
Other major signs of a mouse in your living room include:
- food packages chewed up
- pieces of your wall on the floor
- holes drilled by mice
- scratching sounds in your walls or attic at night. Mice can also go upstairs, so you may notice evidence on the stairs as well.
The evidence you spot passing bad odor could be small mounds of dirt, body grease, and mouse urine building up into pillars with a height of 2 inches and a width of a half inch. These signs suggest you have a potential mice infestation in your living room.
It could take a lot of work or resources to get rid of mice, though in principle it is a bit of a complex task.
How to catch a mouse in your living room
If you have a mouse in your living room, you want to get rid of it in your living room. There are several methods you can try, including setting a mouse trap, using a humane live catch trap, or trying to herd the mouse into a container. Before attempting to catch the mouse, it is important to take some precautions to protect yourself and the mouse. Wear gloves to avoid coming into contact with any potential diseases the mouse may be carrying, and make sure to keep children and pets away from the area. It is also a good idea to assess the situation and determine the best course of action based on the layout of your living room and the behavior of the mouse.
1. Identify the right place for mouse traps
To catch or get rid of mice, it is important to place the trap in an area where these pests are known to search for food and water. Mice tend to stay within 10-25 feet from their nests—University of Kentucky.
To determine where rodents are likely to return, look for signs of their activity, such as droppings, gnawing marks, nesting debris, or scattered food. These signs can help indicate the presence of rodents and the areas where they are active.
Mice tend to move along walls and edges, creating established paths known as runways. To effectively trap mice, place the traps at intervals of 10 feet or less, particularly in corners or along mid-wall runways.
Keep in mind that mice are generally more curious and may be more quickly attracted to new objects, including traps. So you may have better success if you first leave an unset trap in the area for a day or two before baiting and setting it. This allows the rodent to become accustomed to the trap and may lower its defenses, increasing your chances of catching them.
2. Invest in nut-based mouse baits
For your traps to work, make sure the bait is something mice are attracted to. If you find that mice eat and contaminate food in your apartment, bait that item to lure them in or use proven enticements that effectively lure mice.
Naturally, mice feed on seeds and grains. Nevertheless, they also like high-protein and high-fat foods like sugars, nuts, butter, and bacon. It’s widely thought that mice prefer cheese chunks, however, some other common household favorites also make mouse baits. Cheese spreads, peanut butter, and hazelnut-cocoa spreads are baits mice find difficult to resist and are likely to lure them into your trap.
3. Set humane mouse traps around
The best line of defense is usually to be offensive. You can prevent more mice from getting in by cutting off all possible points of entry into your home and your living room by extension.
Set up humane traps to capture mice already inside your room. However, there are a few things to consider as things can get a little bit complicated with mouse traps:
a. Type of trap
You’d have to pick between the sticky or the spring-loaded lethal traps typically.
Somehow, a sticky trap may not be reliable and can make it difficult for a mouse to walk even after being released. For instance, a mouse in the trap can urinate out of fear, spreading diseases easily, even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend using sticky traps. Moreover, live mouse traps can get you sick, according to the CDC.
You can look into the use of no-kill humane traps to keep the mouse alive.
b. The bait
Decide what bait will lure mice into your traps. There’s a long list of things that could attract a mouse, apart from the natural option of cheese. These include:
- peanut butter
- maple syrup, and
c. Trap position and location
It is important where you place your traps. Traps should be placed perpendicularly to a wall, forming a “T” shape to try to outsmart a mouse. Places next to your living room where there are a lot of mouse activities and evidence, including behind furniture, in the sofa, and in other dark areas, are the best spots to place the traps.
There are two possible explanations regarding your traps not catching a mouse, and you still see evidence of mice after many days.
1. Traps can’t stop mice from coming into your living home—they only help to get rid of ones already inside. You should seal up all entry points from outside the property.
2. If your traps catch a mouse in one area, try moving them to other areas surrounding the living room—mice do try to avoid traps, especially after a cousin gets caught.
4. Release or dispose of the mouse
If you used a humane trap, it’s likely that the mice are alive. However, an inhumane trap would more likely kill the rodent. But whatever the case, wear gloves when releasing (if alive) or disposing of the mouse (if dead). For dead rodents, it’s advisable to use a sealable plastic bag and dispose of them in airtight garbage. Meanwhile, here is a guide to help you release a live mouse safely.
Also, make sure to dispose of dead mice promptly to prevent more pests or exposure to mice diseases that can transmit directly and indirectly.
How do I keep mice out of my living room?
If you’re finding mice in your living room, it can be a frustrating and unsettling experience. Mice can cause damage to your home and spread disease, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them from entering.
1. Make your room unattractive
One of the most effective methods for preventing mice in your room is to maintain cleanliness. Here are some helpful tips to follow:
- Make it a habit to eat only at the table and clean up immediately after meals.
- Store dry goods like grains, beans, seeds, and flour in airtight glass or metal containers.
- Wipe down all eating and cooking surfaces at the end of each day, and be sure to vacuum up any crumbs or bits of food that may have fallen on the floor or in hard-to-reach places.
- Don’t forget to remove your pet’s food bowl after meals and properly seal any bags of pet food. By taking these precautions, you can help keep mice out of your home
2. Get a cat
If you are looking for ways to get rid of mice in your home, and no one in your family has a cat allergy, you may want to consider getting a cat. Cats are effective at hunting and deterring mice. If a cat is not an option, you can try spreading cat litter in areas where mice are commonly found. This can act as a deterrent. Just be sure to keep the cat litter out of the reach of children.
3. Invest in essential oils
Both peppermint oil and clove oil have strong smells that are known to repel mice. To use these oils as a deterrent, you can saturate cotton balls with the oils and place them in areas that attract mice, such as drawers, cupboards, and entryways. While the smell of these oils alone may not completely get rid of mice, it can be effective when used in conjunction with other mouse control methods.
4. Try a hot pepper solution
While poison baits may seem like an easy solution for getting rid of mice, they can also be risky. Poison can be harmful to pets and children in your home, so it is safer to use nonpoisonous baits and treatments instead. One option is to try a concentrated hot pepper solution. You can spray it in areas where mice frequently visit, such as under the stove or behind cabinets, but be sure to keep the solution out of the reach of children and pets.
5. Mouse-proof your living room and beyond
Your room is probably a haven for mice and it is cozy enough, stores food, and is convenient/attractive for mice to enter. Mice are skilled contortionists—they just need a hole small enough in your dashboard to squeeze through. A hole that is smaller than the circumference of your smallest finger is good enough for these ferocious creatures to use as an access point.
Finding and sealing possible places that mice can squeeze through outside of your home is the first professionally recommended practice. Tiny crevices that are hidden in the foundation, stairs, corners, and other places within the house should be sealed with steel wool and caulk.
It’s effective to seal holes in any part of your house with a wire mesh because mice can chew practically through any material except steel wool. Place wire mesh to block entry points outside of your property, as well as cracks and gaps along the ceiling.
Contact a professional rodent exterminator
Calling a professional is not something you should take too long to do. Professionals save your time, energy, sanity, and most importantly, your health while you focus on other important activities in your home or your job (if you work remotely).
Ensure your service provider specializes in rodent removal. Find out about their success rate as well though. Perhaps, mice infestation isn’t a problem that goes away overnight, even with professional intervention.
Finally, it’s a good sign mice are longer in your living room if you don’t notice fresh droppings and other evidence (urine, saliva, musky ammonia smell, etc.) after about a week. Nevertheless, make sure to always tidy up, store food in airtight containers, and avoid leaving out the garbage to discourage mice from returning.