Know Your Pest: Mice


Sep 25, 2017

Know Your Pest: Mice

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Think you’ve got mice? You’re not alone. The National Pest Management Association estimates rodents invade 21 million homes across the United States each winter. 
 
If you think a mouse can be a simple fix, think again. In only one year, one mouse can breed 10 litters of five or six babies. Those 60 offspring can start reproducing in as little as six weeks. That means that you could have a huge population of mice in just a few months.
 
Don’t let it get to that point. Your trusted pest control company is breaking down everything you need to know about how to get rid of mice in the house so they don’t cause damage to you, your home or your loved ones.
 
Here’s how mice can damage your home. 
 
Mice don’t exactly make the best roommates. Because they move fast and reproduce so quickly, they have the ability to wreak havoc on your home in a short amount of time. Some of this damage can have an impact on your home’s:
 
  • Structure: As mice make their entrance through your home, they’ll be sure to gnaw through your walls and floors.
  • Personal belongings: When you have mice, it’s very common to find your furniture, clothes, bedding, toys or any other items that come in their way shredded or ruined by urine. 
  • Electrical wiring: Once mice start chewing on your wiring, you have a major fire hazard on your hands. They’ll often build their nests in large electrical appliances or chew through wiring, which can cause the appliance to short circuit and even catch fire. 
Do mice bring along any potential health risks?
 
Not only do mice droppings, fur and urine smell and look unpleasant, but they contain dangerous diseases that can pass to humans. Some common ones are:
 
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: This is a severe (and sometimes fatal) respiratory disease in humans. Humans can catch this by being in direct contact with or breathing in dust that is contaminated with rodent urine or droppings.
  • The plague: While more common in developing countries, the plague is a deadly bacterial infection that your family can still contract by touching an infected rodent.
  • Rat-bite fever: Rat-bite fever is an illness caused by bacteria. An infected rodent can transmit this fever with a bite or scratch. Humans are also susceptible to it if they eat or drink feces contaminated food or water.
  • Salmonellosis: Salmonellosis, a type of food poisoning caused by the Salmonella enterica bacterium, can be transmitted by eating or drinking food or water that is contaminated by mouse feces
 
If you suspect you or your loved ones have contracted an illness due to mouse infestation, make sure to contact your doctor right away.
 
How do mice get in your home?
 
A mouse infestation can happen to anyone -- no matter how clean your 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. That’s why it’s no surprise infestations tend to begin in fall. If a colony enters your place only to find a safe, warm sanctuary, it’s unlike they’ll venture outside again on their own. 
 
So how exactly do they invite themselves in? Mice typically enter homes through cracks or holes found in the structure’s walls, ceilings, windows, floors or foundations. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t recognize mouse holes until other signs of infestation appear (like droppings or gnawing damage). This is because their body shape allows them to fit through holes you’d naturally think are too small for them. 
 
Mice can also enter your home through the sewer lines. If your drainage pipes aren’t properly sealed, mice could even make their way into your home through your sink or bathtub drains.
 
How can I identify a mouse infestation?
 
Because mice are nocturnal, it can be hard to pinpoint if they’re in your home. There are certain clues, however, that mice leave behind. Common signs you have a mouse infestation are:
 
  • Droppings: These are small pellets, about ¼ inch long.
  • Noises: Mice tend to congregate in walls and make screeching or scratching noises late at night.
  • Holes in bags: Since they’re searching for a meal, holes are commonly found in food boxes.
  • Footprints: Also on the smaller side, mice footprints are usually less than half an inch long. 
  • Nests: Mice like to make nests out of soft material such as insulation or newspaper.
How to get rid of mice in the house
 
There are various at-home methods for mice removal. This can involve cleaning up your home, sealing any possible entryways and laying out store-bought traps. 
 
If done improperly, these baits can actually be dangerous to your family and other harmless animals or wildlife. If you’re struggling with your DIY options and don’t know how to get rid of mice in the house, it’s best to call in the pest control professionals.
 
In some situations, a technician will use chemicals for elimination. If this is the case, he or she should be able to advise you on any possible adverse effects. There are non-chemical and other humane options, though, and your pest control company should be able to provide you with that option. 
 
It’s time to kick out the mice in your home.
 
You don't have to live with mice in your home. Call CroppMetcalfe, the Five-Star pest control experts, at 1-877-740-6657 now for a free rodent inspection or schedule a service appointment online.