When the seasons change from the warm summer months, to the cooler months of Autumn, is the same time mice like to find a warm place to live. In fact, their goal is to find a snug place for the entire winter, rather than just a temporary hideout.
It’s a fact that with the cooler months, mouse infestations tend to become more plentiful. While they can be cute, mice do harbour harmful diseases that we can catch, and they can be responsible for untold amounts of damage to the infrastructure of a home or business.
Why Do Mice Enter a Home?
The main reason is to find a warm, cozy place to hole up for the winter months. Along with looking for a place to live, the optimal winter mouse home must also provide them with food and materials to build their nests.
In fact, mice chew through just about anything including wood, particle board, cardboard, insulation and even electric wires. Mice have also been known to chew through food containers in their search for something to eat. As they chew and search, mice leave behind urine and droppings that can contaminate kitchens and other areas.
How Can I Tell if There are Mice Present in My House?
One of the first signs of a mouse problem are their droppings. These are small and strongly resemble the broken end of a pencil tip; however, they can also be the size of a poppy seed if baby mice are about. Droppings that are new will look dark and moist. As they age, droppings become dry, grey and easily fall apart.
Mouse droppings are generally found near food sources, in cabinets, drawers, under the sink and in other areas that are hidden from sight. Some homes even have long rodent runways, that the mice use as a kind of highway to get around your home.
Most droppings will be found where the mice are actually living and raising their young. So, plenty of new droppings can be a sign of a new or active infestation problem.
Another sign is chewed up insulation or other soft materials, which are used to create nests. Gnaw marks may also be found on food packaging, wood used to construct the house, and more. If you the gnaw marks seem larger than what’s normal for a mouse, this could be an indication you have a rat problem.
If you only see mice or droppings occasionally, then you may not yet have a mouse infestation problem. However, if you happen to come across rodents during the day, then you more than likely have a mouse infestation problem. By this time, it may be necessary to call in a professional rodent extermination service.
When you have more mice, then you may end up hearing them in the walls or even in the cabinets. This is usually during the night, when the house is very quiet. You may be able to hear their little toenails as the mice scratch and climb around the walls. Doesn’t that make you shiver?
Other Signs of a Mouse Infestation
You may also notice these additional signs of a mouse infestation:
- Strong, foul odour: if you have a cat or dog, they may become excited if they smell a rodent is in the room or area. This is because rodents, including mice, have a very strong, distinctive odour. To us, this odour doesn’t smell good at all. The smell has been described as stale and may indicate a large infestation issue.
- Mouse runways: these are sometimes difficult to see, but if you suspect the presence of a mouse runway, then take a flashlight and shine it on the area. You may see signs that include footprints, urine stains, droppings, or even smudge marks from the mice passing that way. If you’re not sure this is a mouse runway, put down some flour and check it in the morning. If you notice long swipes through the flour, then this is probably where the mice have dragged their tails on the way through.
- Mouse nests: all rodents use paper and soft materials to build nests. They also resort to using dried plants, fabric and other materials to make a warm nest. If you come across an area such as this, which includes droppings, odour, food, and gnawing, there’s a good chance your home has been infested by mice.
- Outdoor signs of rodents: some rodents, including mice, may be attracted to garbage and trash. They can use these materials for nesting or even eating. It’s always a good idea to check trash and garbage areas for signs of rodents. Look for piles of food, droppings and other signs that indicate mice or rodents. Moving these piles of trash or garbage away from the building can keep rodents from entering your home or business.
Preventive Measures Against Mice
There are a few things you can try to rid your home of mice including:
- Plugging all holes and small openings near doors and windows, or even cracks in wood with steel wool. This works because mice hate the feel of steel wool.
- Keep your yard free of garbage, trash and other types of debris
- Seal and store all pet food; never leave open pet food or pet food bowls out in the yard.
If your efforts don’t work, then it’s time to call in a professional pest remover to take care of your mouse problem.
Call Allen Pest Control and we’ll be there quickly to help tackle your mouse infestation. We’ll come out and perform a free survey, then share the results of the survey with you. We have a variety of methods that can work to take care of the mice currently in your home and prevent further infestations in the future.
You can count on us to provide you with a written quotation, along with contracts and service agreements. You don’t have to worry about any hidden charges or fees, and we’ll never start work until you give permission to do so. Our provide rapid response pest control services that are discreet and we’re available 7 days a week. Give us a call, and we’ll be to your home or business as soon as possible to take care of a mouse infestation.