Mice don’t exactly make the best roommates. They move fast and reproduce very quickly, which means they have the ability to wreak havoc on your home in a short amount of time. Gnaw marks on walls and furniture, chewed electrical wiring, and damage to your personal belongings are all potential results of a rodent infestation.
Mice also carry dangerous diseases that they can pass to humans. Some common ones include:
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This severe (and sometimes fatal) respiratory disease can be transmitted by direct contact with or breathing in dust that is contaminated with rodent urine or droppings.
- Rat-bite fever is an illness caused by bacteria and can be passed on to humans with a bite or scratch. You can also contract this illness if you eat or drink contaminated food or water.
- Salmonellosis, a type of food poisoning caused by Salmonella bacteria, can be transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Keep your home and loved ones safe this winter by learning to identify, eliminate, and prevent a mouse infestation.
Here’s why mice enter your home.
A mouse infestation can happen to anyone, regardless of how clean you keep your home. If they can find a way into your house, they’ll take advantage of the free food and shelter.
This is especially true as the temperatures begin to drop, which is why it’s no surprise that infestations tend to begin in fall and continue through the cold winter months. If a colony enters your home only to find a safe, warm sanctuary, it’s unlikely they’ll venture outside again on their own.
How do mice get in the walls?
Did you know that both rats and mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime? Homeowners often underestimate how dexterous these pests can be and, unfortunately, infestations go unnoticed until more obvious signs of occupancy arise, such as mice droppings and gnaw marks on furniture.
Mice can get in the walls of your home through nearly any crack or hole found in the structure’s walls, ceilings, floors, or foundations. This includes broken or damaged window screens and vent covers.
Rodents are also excellent climbers, which means they can scale drain pipes and make their way into your home through loose shingles on your roof.
Signs of Mice in the Walls
The earlier you detect rodent activity, the easier it will be to eliminate the infestation and prevent mice from returning. Common signs that indicate your home may have mice in the walls include:
- Rodent droppings (small, dark, rice-shaped pellets)
- Noises like squeaking or scratching in the walls or ceiling
- Gnaw marks along baseboards and door frames
- Holes in food boxes and bags
- A musky odor that won’t go away with cleaning
- Greasy streaks across the floors from rodent urine
- Nests (typically composed of newspapers or cardboard boxes)
How to Prevent a Mouse Infestation
Homeowners must be proactive to prevent mice from invading their homes. Here are some ways you can keep mice from building nests in your home’s walls:
- Seal off openings. Repair broken screens, fill cracks in the foundation, and plug gaps around exposed pipes to cut off any entry points rodents may find.
- Clean surfaces and eliminate trash. Tossing old newspapers and cardboard boxes eliminates nest material for rodents. Homeowners should also be sure to wipe down surfaces and take out trash each night to ensure there aren’t any easily-accessible food sources.
- Properly store food. Aside from taking out food trash each night, homeowners should also ensure that pantry items are stored in airtight containers. Mice can easily chew through plastic bags and cardboard boxes if they smell food inside.
- Rake leaves away from exterior walls. Rodents often hide under piles of leaves for warmth and protection from rain and snow. Piles of leaves accumulating along your house will attract rodents, so it’s best to keep up with the landscaping through the fall and winter.
- Set traps. Both snap traps and poison bait traps work effectively, although poison traps can create issues for homeowners later down the line if a mouse or rat consumes the poison and dies somewhere in the walls. These traps can also be dangerous to your family and other harmless animals or wildlife if set improperly. If you’re struggling with DIY pest control options and don’t know how to get rid of mice in the walls, it’s best to call in pest control professionals.
Read more: How to Avoid Common Winter Pests
Trust CroppMetcalfe to Kick Mice to the Curb
If you suspect there are mice in the walls of your home, contact the experts at CroppMetcalfe to eliminate your rodent problem. Our trained specialists use safe and thorough pest control tactics to ensure your home remains rodent-free for the winter. Call our 5-Star pest control technicians at 703-698-8855 or schedule an appointment online today.