Old homes are, in essence, very old. They are crumbly and damp and most of the structure is usually heavily damaged from age. Wood gets warped over time, floorboards chip, and the foundation cracks and falls apart. Unless your house is an old British palace with a solid stone foundation and walls ten feet thick, you are going to, at some point, experience an indoor infestation. The most common infestation in old houses is mice. They are long-term residence and they do not pay rent. When a mouse family moves into a home they move in permanently. Unlike rats who live outside and constantly need to drink water to stay wet and moisturized, mice can go for years without water and will survive on crumbs so small you can’t even see them. Mice take up residence generally at the bottom of a home. They quickly multiply and slowly move up to the next floor and so on. Eventually, they will be living on every floor of the house and every wall and every hideaway. They will continue to multiply and invisibly hunt for food as mice do, they will ruin your home with feces and fill your insulation with urine. Their urine and feces can cause many dangerous illnesses so if you have had them for years you should go to a walk-in clinic right away to get a blood test and if you feel ill you should go straight to the hospital, preferably in an ambulance, if you have Hantavirus, the most common virus caused by mice, then you will want to get help right away. however, this illness has not occurred in the west in years.
Mice will never leave your home once they are inside a wall or space where they can live. They breed very quickly and grow quickly. If you have them in your home there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. They can find entrance ways almost anywhere and the house does not have to be old to be infested. The most common way a mouse will get into a house is through an open door. So keep your doors shut if you don’t want mice. If you have tall grass cut it very short. They travel through tall grass and hide in gardens and bushes near your home to find or make an opening. To prevent them you will want to make sure you get rid of any plants or detritus around your home. Any garbage or bits of wood will give them a place to hide while they make an entryway.
If you already have them then you should still do all the above but now you will have to get rid of the infestation in your home. There are many ways to do this including domestic grade mouse poison. Snap traps, capture traps, glue traps and zap traps. Glue traps are messy and dangerous, caught mice will starve and eat each other, it’s not a fun sight. It is best to use snap traps in combination with powerful rodenticide bait in bait stations. You can buy all of this at a hardware store. Do not be afraid to buy dozens of snap traps and a bucket of poison. This could take a while.
Now it is important to mention that mice can die in the walls. This should be prevented by using snap traps but can also be done safely. Rodenticide poison, both commercial and domestic dehydrates mice and causes them to desiccate. This makes it safe for them to die inside a wall. Mice have nearly no water in them, so the poison is very effective. This means you can use poison to kill them instead of traps. They will die in the walls and leave no smell and no bacteria.