Have you ever read the children's story about the city mouse and the country mouse? It's the one where two mouse cousins visit each other's homes and get a taste of how the other mouse lives and eats. While this is a cute story, it is not reality. Once a "city mouse" moves into a home, he won't go on vacations to the countryside. He is there to stay, no matter the season. In today's blog, we are talking about how you can know that you have a mouse infestation, what's wrong with having mice in your home, and how to keep mice out.
How To Know You Have Mice
Mice are quiet, sneaky creatures. If they establish a nest in a wall of your pantry, they can come and go and find food for months or years, undetected. It is important to know the signs mice leave behind, so you can take care of an infestation quickly. Some signs of a mouse infestation are:
Droppings: Mouse droppings are dark-colored and about the size of a piece of rice. If the droppings are old, they will be lighter-colored, dry and crumbly. If they are fresh, they will be darker and sticky.
Urine smell: If there are enough mice living inside the walls, in the attic, or in other hidden locations, their ongoing urination will begin to cause a bad smell.
Chew marks: Mice need to chew constantly to wear down their ever-growing teeth. You may notice gnaw marks on baseboards, furniture, or other items.
Sounds inside walls: If mice are nesting in the attic or in the walls of your bedroom, you may hear noises in the evenings. Mice are nocturnal so they are waking up when most people are trying to go to sleep. Sounds include scratching, gnawing, or scampering.
What's Wrong With A Few Mice?
If you see a mouse or two and think they are not a big problem, you may want to reconsider that thought. A couple of mice can quickly turn into a large infestation. Did you know that mice breed even faster than rabbits? It's true. And if you are seeing mice out in the open in the daytime, this is an indication of a very large infestation. Mice usually only come out at night. If they are out in the daytime, this means that food is scarce and some of the braver mice are coming out when they normally would not.
Mice problems wouldn't be so bad if all they did was steal food. But they also can spread disease-causing organisms when they steal your food. Some of the diseases mice are known to spread are hantavirus, bubonic plague, salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever.
Additionally, mice can do more than damage items when they chew. While they may chew on and damage individual items, they have the ability to destroy all the items in your home. How? Mice chew on wires in wall voids, and this can spark a fire.
How To Keep Mice Out
Since mice are prolific breeders and they are known to cause trouble inside homes, it is important to take some steps to keep them out. Here are some helpful tips.
Declutter your property: Mice need places to hide from predators. They will prefer a yard with objects lying around.
Remove food sources from your yard: Mice will eat lots of things, such as fallen fruit, pet food, birdseed, bugs, and more. Remove as many food sources as you can to make your yard less attractive to mice.
Remove standing water: All pests need water. Pick up items that collect rainwater, unclog gutters, and address other conditions that allow water to collect.
Seal entry points: Do a detailed inspection of the outside of your home and seal up all gaps and cracks you find. An adult mouse can squeeze into a hole the size of a nickel.
Keep things clean: If mice get in and they can't find any food sources, they may move to a home with more food options.
How All-American Can Help
It can be difficult to get rid of mice. When mice move in, your best bet is to get professional assistance to get rid of them. Remember that the service team members at All-American Pest Control are here to help. Reach out to us anytime. We know how to deal with city mice and country mice.
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