Skirting boards or – if we’re lucky or unlucky enough, depending on your opinion of mice – we see them scurrying out of the corner of our eye. For some people, the sight of a mouse is enough to make the skin crawl and drastic action is often the first step.
However, McKears’ approach of setting up surveillance has a number of advantages over traps and bait. Firstly, mice don’t always take the bait and traps can lay empty for weeks before they claim a victim. So that means the entire household is waiting for either the snap of a trap (often followed by the upsetting sound of a mouse squeaking) or the whiff of a mouse decaying somewhere inconvenient after taking the bait. Neither approach is an exact science
With surveillance, especially motion-activated night vision surveillance, we get to see exactly where the mice are entering our home. It’s normally, through tiny gaps in the walls or skirting or via the plumbing, so setting up cameras in the kitchen is a great first step. The footage will show you exactly where the mice are coming from. Once you’ve noted the entry and exit points that the mice are using, you can get to work blocking them out.
A spokesperson for Online Spy Shop, a surveillance equipment retailer, said that their firm gets lots of inquiries from people asking about using spy cameras to identify where their pest problems are coming from.
The spokesperson said “the best way to figure out the entry point for pests is to film at night when mice are more likely to be active. You can tell where they’re gaining access from by the direction in which they enter a room. They’ll typically run back the way they came, so even if you don’t see them come in, you can see them leave. Once you’ve got an idea of their entry point, you can check for holes and other signs of activity like droppings and chewed up nesting material
The best way to do this is with wire wool and silicone gel. Wearing a pair of gardening gloves, tear up or cut the wire wool into small pieces. Then use a screwdriver or knife to stuff it into the holes you identify at the various entry points. If you can fit a screwdriver into a hole, it’s big enough for a mouse. Once you’ve stuffed in enough wire wool to fill the hole, squirt in a generous amount of silicone gel. This will bind the wire wool with the masonry or timber. It will also make it impossible for the mice to chew through. ”
Once you’ve filled in the holes you suspected the mice are using, continue to monitor your spy footage for a few more weeks. You may find that you still see some activity. This either means there are other points of entry you need to block, especially if the mice are filmed coming from new directions, or it means you’ve inadvertently trapped a couple of mice inside the home by filling in the gaps. If you have, then put down a couple of humane traps for a few days, baited with peanut butter or chocolate.
Carry on checking the camera. Once you get two clear weeks of no mouse sightings, you can consider the problem to be solved. But it’s always worth checking periodically, especially in the run up to winter, to ensure no new infestations have occurred.