2ms2
2ms2
  • Hometalker
Asked on May 20, 2012

Hi. So I am moving to an apartment in a nice, clean building. However, the previous tenants told me that they had mice.

UpStateMarcioWilgesCapernius
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Answered

I checked out the apartment carefully and saw no signs of vermin, but the previous tenants advised me to "seal up all the holes around the apartment." How would you mouse proof an urban apartment? In NYC, all buildings have mice or bugs.
Mouse
Mouse
28 answers
  • Walter Reeves
    on May 20, 2012

    I'd buy 6 mousetraps, bait them with peanut butter and put four in the kitchen and two in the utility room. Put the trigger end closest to the base of the walls in each room. Mice run along the wall base, so that's where you'll catch them if any are present.

  • 2ms2
    on May 20, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.

  • 2ms2
    on May 20, 2012

    That is a good suggestion, but how would you seal up an apartment?

  • 2ms2
    on May 20, 2012

    Would you (whoever you are out there in Hometalk land) hire an exterminator to come and spray before moving in, or would that be ineffective?

  • Sandra R
    on May 20, 2012

    Check all the pipes coming into the apartment. If there is the slightest opening they will come in. you can put steel wool in the openings and then fill with foam sealant. This includes sink, tub, washer, stove line , refrig. line, etc Good luck and good mousing.

  • Becky H
    on May 21, 2012

    Sandra R. you stold my answer. Those are the very words an exterminator told me when we moved into our home.

  • Meg S
    on May 21, 2012

    my husband says to use steel wool inside the holes...they wont eat it and they wont want to touch it....its in the back of our dishwasher ...an old guy did it back in the 70's....

  • 3po3
    on May 21, 2012

    Hi Chaya, haven't seen you on Hometalk for a while. Welcome back. I also second Sandra's suggestion. We had a problem in an apartment where I lived once, and I couldn't believe the critters that got into the place through the tiny gaps around the kitchen pipes under the sink. Also, consider yourself warned and until you are sure you have sealed off the place, take care with your food. They will chew right through bags of rice, flour, etc. To avoid sharing all those dry goods, I recommend putting them in sealed plastic or glass jars. They will keep longer that way, too.

  • Gaps around pipes should be sealed using steel wool. If you push it in far enough if the hole is fairly large, you can then use plaster or fast setting spackle to clean things up a bit. Also spray foam works wonders sealing off holes that bugs can enter through. But first put borax power into the hole. You can use a turkey baster and it will blow the stuff into the small opening. Then seal using slow rise foam. It is difficult to stop all the things that go bump in the night, but with some effort you should be able to keep most if not all out. Remember, rodent and roaches like heat. So pull fridge out and clean well. Lots of bait traps, snap traps and roach traps should help. I find using a glue trap checked every few days can catch a lot of creepy crawlers as well. I would also consider the use of a professional exterminator as well. Check with the landlord to see who they use. They can help you a lot knowing what is really around in the building.

  • Jeanette S
    on May 21, 2012

    If you live in a building that is infected, you have a battle before you. You have to seal up entryways...that is a given. Borax is a MUST! A safe solution to bugs is spray them with window cleaner...non toxic and can be safely used in kitchen. It is particularly good for ants because the first ants you see are the scouts. Stop them and you can control things. Every so often we see a dozen or so ants in the kitchen. We spray...then do so for the next few days and then we stop seeing them.

  • You're in the city...so you'll never mouse or rat proof it. Years ago, I live in DC and was sitting on a wall in front of my apartment watching a large cat walk my way....until I realized it was the biggest rat I'd ever seen!

  • 2ms2
    on May 21, 2012

    Thanks so much for your advice! OK, I will seal up openings around pipes and spray/sprinkle Borax. I also will call an exterminator to come in before I move in.

  • Donna McCrummen
    on May 21, 2012

    Steel wool is your answer. I'm NYC born and raised and lived there most of my adult life. Cockroaches can be a bigger problem. Seal everything up us tight as you can, use the traps baited with peanut butter as suggested above then hire a weekly extermination service. It's best if the whole building is done weekly if they will pay for it. Good luck. BTW, I now live in the country (well, not country but not suburbs either) and I have all other sorts of vermin. Squirrels and chipmunks are rats and mice with furry tails and cute stripes. They are just as destructive and carry disease too. So enjoy the city life!

  • BrightNest
    on May 21, 2012

    Did you know mint is good for keeping mice away? Mice (and other rodents like squirrels) are allergic to mint. Good place to start if you prefer an all-natural and humane approach. Details: http://bit.ly/w0TAGt

  • Jan M
    on May 21, 2012

    I didn't know that. That is a good thing to remember. There is mint growing all around my place and I have been yanking it out. Think I will have to re think that from now on.

    • Capernius
      on Apr 28, 2015

      @Jan M Depending on your frame of mind, mint can be both a blessing & a curse... a blessing if you like the smell of it, like to use it for cooking/baking/Drinks/etc., but also a curse to those that dislike it for whatever reason. The curse part comes in part because of the root system....The plant is like a dandelion, in the way that it grows back no matter how many times you try to kill it.... Personally, I LOVE mint & would have no problem letting it take over the yard.... I have 5 plants in pots in my windows as I write this.

  • Rebecca D
    on May 21, 2012

    Clean sills or openings. Wipe a strip of Petroleum Jelly over it!

  • Penny T
    on May 22, 2012

    Chaya, I agree with all the comments about the steel wool. You can buy it at Lowes or Home Depot. Just stuff it any holes in the walls, under the sinks and in the cabinets. If you only use expanding foam the mice can just chew through it. Also set out sticky traps. They are not as messy as snap traps and you can just throw them away instead of having to remove the mouse corpse. And they will catch anything else (bugs) that may find their way inside. I even caught a bat on one once. I have lived in the country for years and had an ongoing battle with mice. Also, a cat is a great deterrent to rodents. I have had one for 9 years now and have yet to see the first mouse or mouse dropping.

  • Su T
    on May 22, 2012

    in researching (mice in garage) I found out that those critters can get in with 1/4 inch opening and they don't like peppermint as some have said in comments above. Sealing every opening is a must to keep them out. Good luck!

  • Rebecca D
    on May 22, 2012

    The critters like mulch too ! I know, any yardener doesn't want to hear that! There's a sonic device that detours them, plugs into a wall socket.

  • Jeanette S
    on May 23, 2012

    One thing you want to be sure of...do not leave food out! Get a sealing type container even for cat or dog food. I recently read that roches LOVE cardboard so eliminate as much of that as you can. Boxes stacked around is food for them! Get plastic containers for books, papers, stored clotes, etc. You may not be able to completely eliminate these creatures, but you can control them! Go on line and see if you can purchase dried mint to place around.

  • Pam H
    on May 24, 2012

    We moved to a farm over 6 yrs ago and the mice were HORRIBLE! We tried mouse traps with peanut butter and even tried melting chocolate and putting it on the traps. The damn things figured out how to get it off with out setting off the traps. We found that after making sure everything was sealed good with steel woo and or expandable foam, Decon was the only way we could keep them under control. This past winter was the 1st time we had NO mice at all, but that is due to the fact that we now have 9 outdoor farm cats. I would suggest using Decon. People always worry about pets getting into it, so place it where they cannot reach it. We had one of our dogs get into it. We took her to the vet and he told us that it will NOT kill your pets. If they ingest too much and get sick, they will vomit it out. Rodents cannot vomit, so that is why it stays in their system and kills them. Good luck, in my opinion, there is very little that is worse than having mice!!

    • D,W.TAYLOR
      on Dec 21, 2014

      @Pam H Pam I thought I was having the same problem. It ended up being ants that were eating debate food. One night, I spotted them little suckers like a buffet line. They were so light they didn't set off the traps, but eat all debate

  • Straight Nails Construction
    on May 31, 2012

    Sorry I missed this one... looks like a good blog. Steel wool IS your answer... and for more than just small mice. Woodpeckers don't like them either, so if a reader has a problem with woodpeckers and cedar siding, I use the same example. Be careful with expanding foam, as there are three different types, and some expand more than others.

  • Laura G
    on Jun 18, 2012

    Chaya, Steel wool in the holes for mice and boric acid powder for the roaches. You just sprinkle it around the edges of your rooms and in cabinets. If you don't want to sprinkle it, mix a stick of butter, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of boric acid, mix together to form a paste. I used an old ketchup squeeze bottle to fill up the straws. You need to cut drinking straws in half to make it easier. The roaches will be drawn to the sugar/butter, take a taste and will die almost immediately. You can place these straws around the perimeter of the room or cabinets as well. I've used this method and it has worked successfully. Boric acid is not harmful to humans or animals so it's a cheap and great option. Also, remove all boxed food items from your cabinets, bugs are attracted to the glue used to seal the boxes. I have all the boxed/bagged food items in great snap lock containers.

  • Z
    on Jul 15, 2012

    Not time to read all the comments, but what we do to keep them out is put drops of pure Peppermint Oil (I'll check this with my husband tomorrow and make sure I'm right on that, but I know it's not essence) on cotton balls and place them strategically around our home. This is a tried and true by us. Our home is located in a country neighborhood surrounded by corn and bean fields so the mice was rampant the first winter we lived here. Since I prefer to keep them out than kill them my hubby did some research and found this idea. We've not had a mouse in the house since. It has nothing to do with the four cats either. We've only had them four years and the house is now eight years old. You can find the oil in any health food store. In fact if you ask them they'll most likely know you need.

  • We sealed every hole we could find and put food in tupperware or other sealed containers...worked very well. We ordered material made for this from www.thebugstore.net

  • Capernius
    on Apr 28, 2015

    If you can have pets there, get a cat....a VERY BIG cat.... otherwise, stuff every hole you find with steel wool AND peppermint.... preferably the herb & not the candy. Although the candy would prolly last longer...or do both if you can. cat & the stuffing. Good Luck!

  • MarcioWilges
    on Jul 6, 2015

    I would say that you need to really inspect your apartment before the removalists bring all your things in. Once you have cupboards and carpets and bed frames and other things all up in there, it's going to be impossible to find exit and entry points. OR ask your landlord to do something about it pronto!

  • UpState
    on Jan 13, 2016

    Keep the apartment very cold for about 5 to 6 hours...put out warm cheese in the middle of the room...they'll all come out in a little while and will be slowed down by the cold...then smash them with a hammer or heavy flat-soled boots.

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