Finding a professional exterminator for mice infestation is easier than you'd think.
The big question every homeowner faces before he decides on calling for an expert's help revolves around the actual cost of hiring a professional mice exterminator.
Deciding as to whether or not call for a mice exterminator can often be a challenging one, especially for first-timers. This article will help you decide effectively on the different obstacles one may face in seeking professional help in dealing with mice infestation.
Should You Call for a Mice Exterminator?
Perhaps this is the first and most basic question one should face when it comes to dealing with mice infestation.
Should you or shouldn't you call for a mice exterminator?
Mice infestation does significant damage to your home's structure—apart from making your day to day life miserable. The problem, however, can come in various levels of severity and your decision on calling for a professional mice exterminator depends on your analysis of the situation at hand.
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Why Should I Make the Call?
Just because took out a single mouse doesn't necessarily mean that you can deal with the problem effectively all by yourself.
Mice are clever pests and they have a staggering birth rate. Disturbingly enough, they are also known vectors of various infectious diseases. In fact, all it takes is a single pair of mice to explode their population inside your walls, attic, or in the garage within a short span of time.
Mice exterminators are trained and experienced professionals who are equipped with the needed skill-set and equipment to effectively put an end to any mice infestation. Acquiring professional assistance can also help you save valuable time and effort in dealing with the problem.
When Should You Call For an Exterminator?
As mentioned earlier, mice have an overwhelming birthrate, and time is a very critical factor in dealing with the infestation effectively.
As much as you want to try and deal with the problem on your own, the infestation can easily get out of hand much faster than you think.
How bad does it have to get?
A responsible homeowner must have an eye for spotting mice infestation—especially when it comes to the point where the problem requires immediate professional attention.
Telltale signs that you need to pick up the phone include droppings scattered across key areas of your house such as the kitchen and bathroom, bite marks on wires and furniture, and smudges across walls. For a few more tips on how to discern whether you've got mice (or other rodents) crawling through your home, check out the video below.
Coming across a live mouse in plain sight in broad daylight also tells you that the infestation inside your home has gone out of control, as mice generally like to stay hidden. If mice are driven to public areas, that means that their population has skyrocketed.
Can you do it myself?
Like any other responsible homeowner, your first instinct in dealing with the problem is probably to try and control the situation on your own, right?
Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but unfortunately, it won't be that easy. In fact, the moment you realize that you have unwanted guests in your house, it's already too late.
Mice are nocturnal animals. This means that they try to steer clear from our plain sight by day and become more active at night. Spotting even a single mouse in your kitchen or in your living room simply means that nesting areas throughout your home have become too congested to accommodate everyone.
And this, unfortunately, is equivalent to an infestation that only a professional exterminator can effectively handle.
How Much Does a Mice Exterminator Cost?
Mice exterminators may differ when it comes to charging their clients from the services they provide.
Most frequently, however, the total cost may run anywhere from $400 to $1,000 depending on the size of the concerned property and severity of infestation. This figure is broken down into three major stages below.
The very first step any mice exterminator will take is to conduct a thorough inspection of the area or property, checking for nesting sites, live mice, and entry points.
This initial visit will cost the client between $50 to $300. This figure is directly proportional to the size of the property, which is why there's such a wide gap in the average.
Inspections are initiated in order to come up with a thorough analysis of the problem at hand. Take a look at the video below for a sample inspection conducted by a mice extermination specialist.
After conducting careful evaluation on the scope of the problem, the exterminator should be able to provide you with a quote on recommended treatment solutions.
The treatment cost usually ranges between $200 to $600. This full treatment includes setting up traps and baits, sealing up entry points, clean up, and repairs.
Extended Treatment Cost
In cases where infestation is severe, exterminators may recommend for the extended version of their services.
This comes with a contract defined by a monthly or quarterly visit of the hired exterminator. Extended treatment is often initiated to make sure that mice are eradicated for good and to prevent recurrence of infestation.
This typically adds a $300-$600 figure to your total bill.
Important Details to Discuss with Your Mice Exterminator
Upon calling for professional help, it is imperative to know the critical details that are needed to be discussed. This will help curb the total time and cost in dealing with the infestation.
Mice establish their nests near food and water sources. They can stealthily creep into different places of your house through a network of tunnels they have created inside your walls, in the attic, along your venting systems, and in your basement.
How long has it been?
Take note of the exact date you have first identified signs of mice infestation. This will help the exterminator determine the level of severity in your case and come up with a set of solutions more accurately.
Don't be too shy to tell the person on the other line that the problem has been existing for quite a while already and if you have tried to deal with it on your own before.
Scratching and squeaking sounds
A very obvious sign that your home is infested with mice is the sounds that they make in your walls and in your attic—especially at night.
You know the ones...the trademark squeaks you hear inside the walls that send a chill down your spine when you first realize that you might have mice living rent-free in your home.
Determine the exact spots these sounds are coming from and disclose it to the exterminator. This will help your pest control specialist determine the best spots in placing the needed baits and traps.
What do you smell?
When locating vermin, it helps to make good use of your sense of smell.
Another major sign of mice infestation at home is the presence of a foul smell because of rodent filth and droppings. Keep in mind: this nasty smell is strongest near or around the nest.
Any missing food?
Basically, there are only two major reasons why mice invade your home—shelter and food.
These rodents are sneaky thieves with a huge appetite. They can easily smell food and snatch it away before you realize they've even made their way inside your home. Mice can easily gnaw or squeeze their way to your treasure chest full of treats.
How to Screen a Mice Exterminator
Though it's a little on the embarrassing side, mice infestation is quite a very common household problem.
In turn, there are a lot of mice exterminators out there and quite frankly, each and every one of them will claim that they're the best solution to your problem.
So, here are some pointers from us to you on how you can effectively pick out the best candidate in a single phone call.
When faced with an annoying pest problem such as mice infestation, your top priority would be to hire a mice exterminator that can deliver results.
As much as possible, avoid an exterminator with questionable credentials. Instead, go for a reputable exterminator with fully a licensed, insured, and bonded crew in the field. With these professionals, you can rest assured that your mice infestation problem is in skilled and knowledgeable hands.
Ask for a personal recommendation from friends, relatives, or neighbors who have recently hired a professional mice exterminator.
This way, you can easily narrow down your top choices through people you can trust. Your loved ones wouldn't steer you in the wrong direction, and they certainly wouldn't give you any misinformation.
Experience is everyone's best teacher. And in the battle of overthrowing stubborn unwanted guests, an experienced exterminator is the key to getting the results you need.
Ask the company for the length of their professional experience in the industry, as well as the number of clients they have satisfactorily serviced.
It is unavoidable for professional exterminators to employ the use of rodenticide in handling mice infestation problems.
Ask the company the specific type of chemicals they plan on using in your residence and identify their toxicity levels. Take note of the product name and its registration number.
If you happen to have pets or children at home, it is best to go for an exterminator that can offer non-chemical alternatives. Consult with your prospective choices about these concerns and work out an agreement that is suitable for both parties.
Another important question you can throw to the exterminator is whether or not they offer a guarantee of their services.
In terms of mice control, this often means that if mice are not successfully exterminated after the first treatment, the exterminator will guarantee another treatment in order to finish the job.
Companies that can guarantee the best results are those that are confident with the effectiveness of the solutions they offer.
Number of treatments
The total cost of mice extermination directly depends on the total number of treatments to be used on your home.
After conducting the first visit, you can ask the exterminator on the number and types of treatment they are planning to initiate prior to solving your mice infestation issues. A good exterminator can easily answer this question accurately as well as length of time needed for the entire process.
Taking Care of Pets During Treatment
Most pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family, so it's imperative to secure them throughout the duration of mice extermination conducted in your own home.
Most pest control specialists recommend to secure pets in a room or area which is not being treated for mice during the extermination process. In severe cases where rodenticides must be deployed, we recommend having pets stay in another location while the chemicals linger in the air.
Put them in kennel
If you happen to have a pet carrier, it is best to secure your four-legged buddies in these small but pet-friendly shelters.
Cats and dogs can be very curious and their inquisitiveness can pull them dangerously close to harmful chemicals the exterminator might use on your property.
Keep them in a separate room
If you don't have a kennel at home, you can still keep your pets out of harm's way by confining them in a separate room.
Make sure to keep them secured and comfortable in a room that is not scheduled for treatment. For safety's sake, ensure that the door stays closed or have someone look after them while you're busy pointing the exterminator in the right direction.
What To Do When the Exterminators Leave
The exterminators have already done their part and leave for the day. Now what?
In case you find yourself at a loss of what to do after the exterminators leave your home, here are some suggestions you can consider:
- open doors and windows as soon as you get the green light from the exterminator to eliminate any possible chemical smells
- inspect previously identified entry points to make sure not a single gap or hole has been missed
- de-clutter and organize your home to prevent missing new mice in the future
- do some extensive cleaning (except in areas where baits and traps have been placed)
Should You Tell Your Neighbors Anything?
The problem with mice infestation is that it doesn't end in your home. In fact, it only takes a single curious mouse from your neighbor for the infestation to recur on your property. If you're having mice infestation problems, chances are that your neighbors are having the same issues and some of them could still be unaware of it.
Complete eradication of these annoying household pests is a neighborhood effort. You can tell your neighbors when you have recently had a mice extermination in your home, severity of infestation, and how long you have been trying to deal with the problem.
The Bottom Line
Calling in a specialist may seem like a tall order, but it's a necessary evil when you're faced with a house overrun by mice.
Make sure you know what to look for in an exterminator so that the trained professional you choose can get the job done right. Additionally, know the warning signs of mice and their infestations so that they don't tear up your home before you have a chance to make the call.
By reading through our guide, we want to educate you on the facts about mice and their infestations so that you can become an informed consumer and understand how best to combat these invasive pests.
Other Mouse Guides
Curious about other mouse related articles? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.