Last week I found evidence of a huge “mouse party” in the basement of a very nice home.
If you look in the picture you can see some of the items they were hauling in had been caught on the wall by the spider webs.
And yes, there were spiders, too! It’s been unseasonably warm but when the cooler weather comes in –so do the mice!
Be on the lookout! They are looking for warm places to nest and have babies.
Mice are little invaders that are looking for a warm and comfy place to spend the winter and if we’re not careful, we’ll play host all winter long to a whole population of mice scurrying through the walls and stealing the food in our cupboards. How can you tell if you have a mouse problem? Here are some tips on identifying a mouse infestation.
Signs of mice in the house include:
- Mouse droppings. These appear like brown or black grains of rice; they are hard and can often be found near food sources and nesting areas.
- Gnaw marks. Mice, like many rodents, need to continuously gnaw on things to keep their front incisors from overgrowing. You may see gnaw marks on wood, drywall and many other places.
- Mice nests. Mice will create a nest out of whatever they can find; they will often use shredded paper, cardboard, blankets and insulation.
- Scurrying noises. If you hear squeaking, scurrying sounds and even gnawing noises, you could have an infestation of mice. They can be heard (especially during the night) inside walls, in attics, basements and any other places they find harborage.
But nothing confirms the presence of mice more than actually seeing these small rodents but did you know that if you listen closely you may actually be able to hear these critters roaming in the walls and in the attic overhead? Scratching and other noises are likely to occur during the evening hours as mice are mainly nocturnal creatures and will generally come out to forage after dusk.
Besides their annoying and terrifying presence, mice are up to more than you might think. Their number one mission in life is to find a mate and have a bunch of kids, several times a year! Mice are capable of reproducing at a rapid rate. A female can have up to 10 litters per year, with over half a dozen mice in each litter. That’s quite a large family living in your home uninvited!
In addition to raising their family in your home, the gnawing they do can result in structural damage to your home and potentially lead to more problems down the road. You’re probably quick to throw away anything a mouse touches or you reach for disinfectant faster than the mouse scurries into hiding. But mice can also contaminate surfaces while carrying a variety of diseases that can be harmful to humans. Mice when left unchecked are also capable of causing severe damage to a home including contaminated insulation and may increase the risk of a fire with their chewing on electrical wirings. More important they introduce serious diseases and health conditions such as asthma into your home that may threaten the health and well-being of your family.
What You Should Do:
Don’t panic — that’s the first step!
There are a variety of DIY pest control options for mice, such as traps. There are also chemicals that can be used for eradication, but be careful if you’re taking this route because improperly using chemicals can be very damaging to you and your family’s health. Be sure to keep your trees and branches trimmed around your home so mice can’t enter from different elevations. Sealing small cracks and holes around your foundation is another way to deter the pests. After all, a small hole is all a mouse needs to send you into a frenzy.
P.s. Let’s not forget how good a cat is at taking care of mice!
If you notice a mouse in your house, don’t be afraid to call in a professional. Especially if mice are beginning to invade your space, call a pest control company before the problem turns into an infestation.