Mice don’t make the best roommates. Unlike bigger roommates, though, they tend not to take hints that it’s time to move along. If you need to get a mouse out of your apartment, you may have to do more than mention that it’s time to move along.
If you do have a mouse problem, the time to act is now. Mice reproduce anywhere between five and ten times in a year, with five or six new mice in each litter. It doesn’t take any time at all for two mice to turn into a big problem.
Borrowing a Cat
Cats are the time-honored solution to a mouse problem: you borrow one from your friend, leave him in your apartment and let nature take its course. It’s not the best plan, but there are a few drawbacks you should consider beforehand. First, not all cats are mousers. If your friend can’t swear that his cat has ever encountered a mouse — and came out on top — you might be better off with a trap. Bringing a cat into an unfamiliar area can have a few problems, especially if the cat feels a need to mark its territory (although plenty of people swear by the smell of cat urine as a way to drive mice away).
Scenting Your Apartment
Plenty of homeowners say that certain smells, like peppermint oil or ammonia, will drive away mice. At best, however, putting down any kind of scent is a temporary solution. The strength of a smell strong enough to drive away a mouse is enough to get rid of an apartment’s human tenants as well. As soon as the smell clears out, mice can come back. You will have more luck putting down a scent barrier around your building to keep mice out in the first place (or after you’ve driven them out and want to keep them out). Put down a heavy dose of fox urine or another scent right around the foundation of the building, and refresh it fairly regularly.
The mousetrap is a foolproof, though the least fun, method for pest control. There are a wide variety available, from the Havahart traps, guaranteed to leave your catches alive, to spring-loaded and glue traps that kill mice. It’s up to you to make sure that your trap is truly effective, though, and the matter comes down to bait. Peanut butter works well on larger critters, but mice need so little peanut butter to survive that they can just grab and go. Bait like popcorn is a good choice — it’s small enough that the mouse needs the whole thing to survive.