We have an infestation problem with mice every autumn. I have made extensive attempts to prevent them from the entering the premises, such as blocking all openings with coarse steel wool or screening, but so far to no avail. I set spring traps both inside and outside the house and have caught many this way. I hesitate to use poison or to call professional exterminators, who I expect would use poison, because of the risk of mice ingesting the poison, then crawling to an inaccessible spot (such as in a wall cavity) and dying, there being no way to remove them. My question is: can professional exterminators use poisons other than anti-coagulants which, unlike warfarin, will kill the mice quickly so that they cannot enter or re-enter the house?
For the future, you can place a bait block perimeter guard around the property that will not be accessible to dogs, cats, chipmunks, and squirrels. Purchase 10 foot lengths of black 1%261/2 inch diameter pbc tubing. Cut lengths 12 to 18 inches, place a bait block of any mouse poison that you choose, and drive a 16 penny nail at both sides of the block in order to hold poison in place. The nail, which protrudes, can be driven into a surface, or merely left to hold the poison in place.
As to the exclusion process; steel wool is not the medium of choice. Use galvanized wire lath cut to size; placing this into the cracks and crevices. The wire can be held in place with a quick drying foam material. Use a low pressurized substance for better controlled release.
In addition, the current problem may have never entirely gone away. Have you checked your attic space for tiny thumb-wide holes in insulation, especially surrounding a soil stack or duct?
If this is a small, newly arrived, few mice, try using a shoe box sized container in which, three holes are placed; one at each end, and an additional one at one side. Within the box, place glue boards. Initially, prior to glue boards, place some bait for free feeding. Once the mice have used the box, it will be easier to catch them on a glue board.
You can also use typical traps; unset at first, by placing peanut butter, bacon, or some other attractant on the trigger. After mice have crawled over the trap, it will be easier to catch them using the same attractant, but this time, setting the trap.
Vinyl siding is difficult to mouse proof, as is aluminum. The corners that are held in place with a fastener, are always open to mice from the bottom. These should be sealed with wire as described above. Check your HVAC tubing or other inlet lines that could be used for mouse entry.
Often, the electric meter that supplies your building, provides hidden access to the home.
Removing storage from the immediate surroundings will help to reduce breeding locations. Be sure that bird and grass seeds are not stored in their original packaging, but place contents in a durable container with a tight-fitting lid.
Quick-acting poisons will not be available to you unless you create them yourself. As far as I know, these are placed under a restricted label, which prevents the home user to purchase such.
I hope to have passed along some helpful suggestions Bruce.