Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County
The primary traps would be in the basement where the mice are entering. I'm confident that the traps placed in the basement will do the job, but if some lucky mice manage to evade those traps, I want to end their little escapade in the kitchen. With rodent jobs, with it comes to setting traps, I never put "all my eggs in one basket." To completely eradicate the mouse population, I always place extra traps in locations throughout the house where mice have been seen. I even placed a few traps in the attic because it is a common non-living space of the home that mice are attracted to. Attics are warm, quiet, and private with plenty of harborage places not to mention soft cozy insulation to build nests. After sealing the holes a made an appointment with the homeowner for a two week follow-up where I could re-inspect and assess what progress was made since my in initial visit in order to get rid of the mice. I'm confident that with the entry points sealed and the strategically set traps, the homeowner would see a dramatic decline in the mice population. And I won't rest until the mouse population is reduced to zero. A single mouse is one mouse too many!
This home had no shortage of mouse entryways. One of the easiest openings was a large opening in a basement window that had been used for a dryer vent that had been removed without sealing the hole. There was a large opening for not only mice but insects and other wildlife as well. I used a bit of Yankee ingenuity to seal this large opening. There was an unused pot for potting plants in the basement, and decided to put it to good use. It happened to fit in the hole perfectly! Once in the hole, I applied some foam sealant around it to make sure that it wasn't going anywhere. (See photo where I sealed the opening in a basement window where an old dryer vent had been removed.) Next, I sealed up utility pipes and gaps around the basement windows. When the basement window frames were installed, the installers chiseled out blocks, leaving a gap that was more than enough for mice to enter.
I first inspected the kitchen because I wanted to determine how they were gaining access to this area of the home. I observed droppings on the kitchen countertop. While looking for hidden access points, I pulled out the oven and found mouse droppings behind it. There was also a gas pipe that came up through the the floor. It was apparent that the mice had unrestricted access to come and go as they pleased into the kitchen using this pipe that emerged from the sub-flooring. I used some sealant to form a tight seal around the pipe to block this access point. (See photo of oil tank pipe protrusion through the foundation.) I sealed the gap. For good measure, I also sealed the plumbing pipe under the sink. I placed in a few snap traps in the kitchen as secondary traps.
Next, I inspected the basement, which was mostly an unfinished basement, so it was not regularly visited or inspected for rodent activity. During my basement inspection, I observed prodigious quantities of mouse droppings on the sill plate boards and shelves. (See photo where mice had burrowed holes in the basement insulation.) This was an older home, and it was apparent that mice had free reign to come and go as they pleased to escape the harsh outdoor elements for many years. First, I placed numerous snap traps on the sill plate where, based on the droppings, there was extensive mouse activity. To definitively resolve this problem, I needed to seal the access points to the basement from the outside. To resolve a mouse infestation, it is critical to locate and seal all of the potential mouse entry points around the home's perimeter.
I was recently sent to a home in Princeton to resolve a rodent problem. The frustrated homeowner had contacted Cowleys because of a mouse infestation that seemed to be getting worse by the day. Upon arrival, the homeowner told me that he observed mouse activity in the kitchen and basement. This was not surprising to me. Mice typically enter homes through gaps and cracks in the foundation, making their way into the basement or crawl space. It doesn’t take much of an opening. As long as a mouse can poke its little head through an opening as small as the diameter of a dime, the rest of the body will follow. Once inside, mice will gravitate toward the kitchen because these scavenging pests are on a mission to find food. Having a mouse problem is more than a nuisance. It’s a full-out health hazard because they contaminate food and counter-tops with their urine and droppings that are filled with all sorts of dangerous pathogens.