If you catch a mouse infestation early, you may be able to get rid of the pests yourself rather than having to rely on an exterminator. After all, most infestations only start with a few mice—it's after they've been allowed to breed that you have a real problem. As you attempt to rid your home of these creepy critters, follow these tips.

1. Use peanut butter, not cheese on the traps.

The idea that mice love cheese is mostly a myth. While hungry mice will go for cheese, there are other foods far more appealing to them—like peanut butter. Smear a little peanut butter on your mouse traps, and you're sure to catch the little buggers.

2. Use more than one trap.

Mice don't usually fly solo. If you have one, you have a few. Setting one trap at a time might take you many nights to catch them all. Plus, they might breed before you get a handle on them. Instead, set four or five traps each night. Keep setting them until you've gone at least a week without catching any new mice.

3. Set the traps in a contained space.

Perhaps you have heard mice running across the floor at night. However, the middle of the floor is not the best place to try to trap them. They have to feel pretty confident to venture out in the open space, and peanut butter might not be enough to tempt them. Instead, set the traps in a confined area, like along the wall, inside a cupboard where you've seen the mice, or in a corner.

4. Keep your garbage contained.

If the mice have another appealing food source, they might just ignore the peanut butter on the trap. So, while you're working on exterminating the mice, be very careful to keep all garbage contained. Take the trash outside every night. Do not leave any food scraps or dirty dishes sitting on the counter, either.

5. Be quiet.

Mice roam more when the house is quiet and they do not feel threatened, so make sure everyone in your family knows to be quiet on the night you're trying to trap the mice. Keep the TV volume low, don't play loud music, and avoid yelling.

If you can't get rid of the mice using the tips above, contact a pest control company in your area that has experience with mice extermination.

Share