Air ducts are convenient places for mice to scamper around in; they're difficult for other predators to enter, making it a sort of sanctuary for the mice. It also provides the convenience of travel to and from different points of your premises. Getting rid of mice scampering through air vents can be difficult because of such a small space and its maze-like structure. One way for you to capture these mice is by placing mouse traps inside the vents.
So what's the best way to use mouse traps inside vents? You want to scatter multiple mouse traps with attractive baits at each entrance and gap where a mouse may scamper through. Catching them at the access points is one of your best options for getting rid of mice in your air ducts.
Learn More: Do Mouse Traps With Fake Bait Work?
The ideal mouse traps to use are lethal, snap traps. These mouse traps are lightweight and can kill a mouse instantly. Mice caught in no-kill traps such as glue boards or cages have been known to scream in stress and pain. These noises might echo throughout your vents, which may make those around you very uncomfortable.
There is also a chance of mice gnawing their limbs to get free from glue traps -- what trappers call "wringing off." This may lead to having your rodent problems left unsolved.
One of the best baits that you can use for your trap is peanut butter. Contrary to what others may think, cheese may actually be an ineffective bait for mice. The mouse may easily swipe it away from the trap and avoid getting caught altogether.
Peanut butter, on the other hand, is a spread. Mice need to linger and lick on the peanut butter since it cannot so easily be swiped away. The longer that the mouse interacts with the bait on the trap, the higher the likelihood that they will get caught in it.
It also has other benefits for catching mice. It’s fatty, packed with carbohydrates, and has an attractive smell that mice, with their powerful noses, can pick up on.
A study found their sense of smell is used in a number of ways: avoiding predators, looking for mates and social partners, and especially tracking food supplies and sources. Since dryer vents and air ducts move air around, it will help the smell of the food spread, attracting mice in the process.
The same study, however, found that once mice have gotten used to where the food is located, it will no longer attract them as the first time that they smell it. In this case, it would help to swap baits often to keep the smell novel for them. An alternative bait that you can use is pet food, which is rich in protein and tends to be aromatic as well. You can also use cotton balls with your bait. These will get stuck in the mouse's teeth, forcing them to linger on the trap for longer.
Read More: Are Mouse Traps Harmful to Humans?
Since air ducts tend to be spacious, the ideal locations for placing a mouse trap are at the common entry points or where you have seen evidence of mice activity. Mice are known to follow the same routes to and from their nests. One way to tell if a mouse has been around the specific area of the vent is if you spot food crumbs near it.
Where there are mouse droppings is another good place to put your trap. Mice are known to be coprophagous, meaning that they treat their own feces as a food source. This means that they are likely to return to where they have laid their droppings.
Placing traps near sources of water, such as if the vent entrance is near a leaky pipe or puddle, would also be recommended. Vent entry points near cardboard boxes are also recommended areas to place your traps; mice tend to gnaw on cardboard like they do with electrical wiring.
Taking preventative measures is always the best remedy for any rodent infestation. It’s always a good idea to check on your air vents as often as you can to ensure that there is no rodent activity going on in your premises.
If you did use traps, it's also more important to check on them daily. Dead mice emit a foul smell that can easily spread around your premises through the air vents.
Meanwhile, an average house mouse can get up to a height of about 5 centimeters. This means that they can wriggle their way into some very small holes and gaps. If your vent grate has larger openings, you need to cover it to prevent more mice from passing through.
To tighten the security of your vent cover, you can use a wire mesh to cover the air vent's grate openings. This way, air can still flow but the holes in the mesh are too small for mice to squeeze through.
Learn More: 3 Good Alternatives to Glue Traps for Mice
If you are spotting more signs of mice -- droppings, food crumbs, cardboard and other nesting materials strewn around -- near your air ducts, that could be a sign of a more serious mouse infestation. Seeing a mouse during the day could mean that there are far more roaming around at night that you simply never get to see.
Dealing with an infestation in your air ducts alone can be tricky. The mouse nest may be deeper than you might be able to reach and the job more tedious for one person. If you truly want to have your peace of mind back, it may be time to contact professional pest management services such as Pinnacle Pest Control.
We guarantee that we will be able to remove all the pests that are causing you trouble in your premises. We provide our top tier services to help and protect both our residential and commercial clients by removing dangerous, potentially virus carrying pests.
Through our use of IPM, or integrated pest management practices, we assure you that our pest management is safe for you, your family, your colleagues, and the environment. If you are interested in learning more about our services or want to schedule a visit, simply contact us through our website.