What does the common house mouse look like?
The house mouse is a very common household invader and can quickly be identified by their small, slender body (2 1/1- 3 ¾ inches), long tail (3-4 inches), large ears and small dark beady eyes. Their tail and ears are both covered in a layer of soft velvet-like fur. Their fur can vary in color from a grayish-brown to a very dark gray or almost black color; they have a lighter colored belly that is usually tan or whitish in color.
Are mice dangerous?
Mice are dangerous to people and property. Through their urine, feces, and saliva mice are capable of transmitting a wide variety of disease including Hantavirus, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic. They also spread bacteria such as Salmonellosis which causes bacterial food poisoning. Another risk, mice can introduce fleas, mites, and ticks which can cause serious issues.
In addition to the health threat, mice use their strong, sharp front incisors to chew through flooring, carpet, electric wire, piping, and other building materials. The end result can be minor to extensive damage, depending on how long they active in a structure.
How to tell if you have a mouse infestation
Mice are commensal rodents, meaning they partially depend on humans for survival. If there’s an opportunity for mice to infest homes and businesses, they’ll leap on it. If you’re concerned about a potential mouse problem, keep an eye ( and an ear) out for signs of a mouse infestation. Common signs include:
- Mouse dropping on the floor along walls, inside of cabinets and drawers, inside of pantries and behind appliances. Droppings are also commonly found in the attic among storage boxes and in insulation. Their droppings are small, black in color and have an oval shape to them.
- Holes chewed through food packaging that is kept in pantries or boxes kept in storage areas.
- Gnaw marks on furniture, flooring, or on boxes.
- Noises coming from inside walls or overhead in the ceiling, especially at night. Mice are nocturnal so you’re more likely to hear them after dark.
How do mice get in?
Mice are the Houdini’s of the pest world; they seem to have the ability to squeeze through holes that the size of a dime in order to enter structures. They may also use their teeth to make their own openings. Common entry points for mice include:
- Uncovered chimneys
- Screens in windows or doors
- Dryer vents
- Holes found in roof eaves and rooflines
- Spaces found underneath of exterior doors
- Cracks found in the foundation
- Openings around plumbing, cables, and gas lines
How do you get rid of mice?
Getting rid of mice is possible and we’ll discuss that but before we do, let’s be clear about what doesn’t work. Mouse traps placed improperly or with the wrong enticement. You never see a mouse walking across the middle of a room so you should never place a mouse trap there. Mouse traps that are set where mice travel will be the most effective. The number of traps is also a factor that could contribute to or prevent success. While cheese was always thought to be a mouse’s Kryptonite, really these pests are more attracted to peanut butter. Of course, ants and other insects may be attracted to it too.
So, what’s the best way to eliminate mice? Contact a pest control company that specializes in rodent control. At A-1 Pest Control, we offer mouse exterminating services that include a free inspection, an initial service, and follow-up as necessary. We also provide ongoing services for facilities that are constantly battling mice, such as dog kennels. For more information about our mouse and rodent control services for North Carolina homes and businesses, please contact us today!
How do you stop mice from coming into your house?
There are several prevention steps that you can take to help stop mice from choosing your property to invade and to stop them from being able to make their way inside.
- Inspect the exterior of your home and seal any openings found, no matter how small they may be. Caulk gaps found around windows and doors and seal cracks and crevices found in the foundation. Seal spaces found around utility entrances.
- Repair any loose or missing roof shingles and make sure that chimneys have tight-fitting caps on them.
- Remove food sources by placing trash that is being stored outside until pick-up day, inside of containers that have locking lids. Make sure that compost piles and garden areas a placed a distance from the outside of your home.
- Fix any leaky outdoor pipes or fixtures that may supply mice with a water source.
- Remove from your property areas that mice like to hide in including wood piles, piles of leaves, and piles of garbage or debris.
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