Mouse problems? Rats roaming free? Mice and rats account for more damage done to the insides of our homes than any other mammals in the world. Here are some tips for trapping and getting rid of the pesky vermin:
Distribute all your mouse traps around the house at once. You'll trap more mice the first night than at any other time. As a general rule of thumb, you should put out twice as many traps as you believe you have mice. Place them in groups of two or three at irregular intervals.
When choosing where to lay the traps, sprinkle talcum powder in likely places. This will help you see footprints the next day. Also try following trails of droppings if these are visible (mice leave an average of 50 fecal pellets per day!). You can also use an ultraviolet lamp to find traces of rodent urine (it appears fluorescent under UV light).
For bait use peanut butter rolled oats or attach sunflower seeds to the trigger plate with a hot glue gun.
Make a diagram of where you set your traps, so you'll remember where they all are when you go back to get them.
Let the traps sit for three days, then gather them up and do another trapping a week later.
If you're trying to trap rats in cold weather, attract them with a cardboard box outfitted with a shop light for warmth.
Cut an entry hole for them to get in and place a baited snap trap inside.
Source: Rodent-proof Your House from the Summer 2005 issue of Mother Earth News