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As the temperature begins to drop in the fall, you and your family aren’t the only ones who prefer to stay warm indoors. Mice will also become more motivated to seek shelter and food inside your home. Like rats, mice can carry and spread disease, particularly in their droppings. Since a single pregnant mouse can give birth to up to 120 offspring a year, it’s important to catch the problem early.
If you notice the infestation soon enough, you may be able to handle it with some traps or bait stations. But many homeowners find that mice exterminator costs are well worth it for the peace of mind they provide. Pest control companies like Terminix, Orkin and Bulwark offer rodent control as part of their regular services. We’ll show you how to get rid of mice, as well as what you can expect to pay when you hire a mouse exterminator.
Average Mice Extermination Pricing
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average for rodent extermination services is $352, with a typical range of between $171 and $535. However, that cost can range much higher if the infestation is particularly large or severe. Fumigation can cost upwards of $2,000 to $6,000, though it’s only necessary in extreme cases, and you’re more likely to top out around $1,200 for a large infestation.
Be aware that many pest control companies offer mouse control as part of regular service packages, which can help root out mouse infestations early or even prevent them. The average cost of an initial visit is between $150 and $300, but future treatments may be cheaper, particularly if you want monthly, semi-monthly or quarterly service.
Factors in Calculating Mice Exterminator Costs
Even if you and your neighbor both have infestations of mice, you may pay different prices to get rid of the problem. Here are some factors that go into the rodent control process.
Size of the Mouse Problem
Simply put, the more mice there are in your home, the longer it will take to remove them and the pricier the process will be. You’ll require more traps or bait, and pest control technicians will need to visit more often. Additionally, a larger home usually offers more potential entry points or nesting locations, so you’ll pay more for mice extermination.
Location of the Infestation
If the mice are nesting in an inaccessible location, such as walls, vents or even your foundation, they will be harder to remove and cost more. Conversely, if they’re easy to reach or confined to one or two rooms, extermination will be less expensive.
Method of Removal
Different types of traps come with different price tags if you take the DIY approach, but when it comes to hiring a professional, the extermination method doesn’t usually matter quite as much.
There are two exceptions. Live mouse removal costs more, as it requires specialized nonlethal traps and relocation of the mice. Additionally, while whole-house fumigation usually isn’t necessary, it is much more expensive than trapping and baiting methods.
When to Call in a Professional Mice Exterminator
Unfortunately, mice reproduce quickly, so if you have a larger infestation than a few traps can handle, it’s time to hire a professional exterminator. A professional will know how to make the best use of traps and rodenticides to take care of your pest problem quickly and efficiently.
It will still take a few days or possibly even a few weeks to get rid of the mice in your home completely, but most pest control services include follow-up visits to empty traps, check and re-bait traps. You’ll also receive some help in sealing up any entry points in your home so the mice don’t come back.
Our Top Picks for Professional Pest Control
Here are our recommendations for nationwide pest control providers who are likely to have the resources to get you scheduled quickly.
Terminix is a well-known name in pest control because of its nationwide reach and millions of satisfied customers. You can schedule mouse extermination as a one-time service or as part of a regular treatment plan.
With more than 400 locations nationwide, Orkin is almost certain to have a local branch near you. The company’s technicians are highly trained to perform inspections, customize treatment plans and offer preventative solutions for keeping unwanted critters like mice away.
Bulwark Exterminating gets excellent ratings from both its customers and the Better Business Bureau. The company offers both traditional and environmentally friendly pest control treatments, and it claims that even its traditional products are less toxic than toothpaste.
Causes and Signs of Mice Infestations
Mice typically come indoors in search of warmth, shelter or food—or all three. Like many animals and insects, they want a warm, safe place to build a nest that’s near food. Unfortunately, if that’s your kitchen, they’ll likely make your food into their food sources. Unlike rats, they don’t tend to need more water than their food provides, so leaky pipes are less of a concern, but they’ll still seek to make their nests in warm, out-of-the-way places like behind appliances or in crawl spaces.
Mice can adapt their sleeping schedules to become active whenever the least danger is present, and inside your home, that’s likely to be at night or around dawn and dusk. They’re also fast and adept at hiding, so you’re likely to spot other signs of an infestation before you spot a live mouse. Look for the following signs of mice infestations:
- Numerous small droppings, especially around food
- Holes or gnaw marks on food packaging, floorboards and drywall
- Musty or unpleasant urine odors
- Smudges along walls or baseboards
- Scratching noises in the walls
- Shredded nesting materials
Health Risks of Mice
Although rats have a worse reputation than mice when it comes to spreading disease, most sources don’t differentiate between mice and rats in discussing the health dangers posed by rodents. Mice feces and urine can also carry and spread diseases like leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, rat-bite fever and hemorrhagic fever.
Mice waste doesn’t have to get into food to contaminate your home, either; eroded mouse droppings become part of the dust, and if you breathe it in, it can cause severe respiratory problems.
Additionally, mice can travel through unsanitary conditions and track bacteria or allergens into your home. Mice can also bring parasitic insects like ticks or mites, which themselves can pass on diseases including scrub typhus, Colorado tick fever or rickettsialpox. The mice themselves don’t need to be sick to pass these infections on.
DIY vs. Professional Mice Control Methods
If you’d like to try to take on a rodent infestation by yourself, you have plenty of options for traps and bait stations. Each has its pros and cons and all will require you to handle live or dead mice for removal and/or disposal.
|Price||How They Work||Pros||Cons|
|Snap traps||$1–$3||Bait on a pressure plate triggers a metal bar, which breaks the mouse’s neck||Inexpensive, easy to find, reusable||Difficult to set, may cause injury to pets or children|
|Jaw traps||$4–$8||Bait on a pressure plate triggers jaws to close, suffocating the mouse||Easier and safer than basic snap traps, reusable||Less humane, slightly more expensive than basic traps|
|Glue traps||$3–$12||Adhesive sticks the mouse in place to die of dehydration||Easy to use, effective, disposable||Least humane, not reusable, may stick to other things|
|Live traps||$10–$25||Cage traps the live mouse for removal||Most humane, reusable||Must relocate the mouse at least a mile away from home|
|Electric mouse traps||$30–$60||Lures the mouse inside and kills it with a quick electrical shock||More humane, safer for children and pets than snap traps||Expensive, requires batteries|
|Bait stations||$12–$20||Mice eat poisoned bait||Easy to use, effective||Takes longer to work, mice may die inside walls, unsafe for pets|
Please note that we don’t recommend using rodent poison on its own outside of enclosed bait stations. This can be extremely dangerous for pets and even small children. For pressure traps, you may have to try a few trap baits to find the right one, but mice tend to like nuts (peanut butter, etc.), pet food or sweet things (syrup, chocolate).
Frequently Asked Questions About Mice
How do I tell the difference between mice and rats?
Here’s a quick comparison of these two common rodents.
|Size (including tail)||¾ oz., 6–7” long||8–17 oz., 12–17” long|
|Coloring||Light brown with gray||Brownish red or dark gray to black|
|Head shape||Pointed snout, larger ears||Wedge-shaped snout, beady eyes|
|Preferred food||Grains and plants||Fresh grain and meat|
|Droppings||Pointed ends, small (¼” long)||Blunt ends, larger (½-¾” long)|
If you haven’t yet seen a live rodent and have only found droppings, know that mouse droppings look more like uncooked rice grains and rat droppings look more like beans.
Does the difference between mice and rats matter for extermination?
Most exterminators lump these two animals together under the heading of “rodent control,” knowing which one is in your home can make a difference in the efficiency of trap setting. There are a few small differences in behavior that matter. For example, mice are more curious and more likely to go out of their way to investigate food in a trap. Additionally, traps set on the floor are unlikely to work for roof rats.
How did mice get into my home?
Mice are proficient chewers, and they can either widen existing cracks or simply create new holes with which to enter your home. They can squeeze through gaps as small as a quarter of an inch, and garages and basements provide some of the most frequent entry locations. Air conditioning and dryer vents, pipes and electrical wiring can all provide gaps or weaknesses in your home’s walls.
Even small cracks in the foundation can let mice in. It’s important that when you seal these cracks up, you either use a rodent-proof caulk or include steel wool in the gap so mice can’t just chew right through the filler.
Do ultrasonic mice repellents work?
Some products will claim to repel mice using ultrasonic sound waves that humans can’t hear but rodents can. Unfortunately, these products have limited success when used alone.