Not only is the house mouse one of the most bothersome pests in the United States, it can be one of the most damaging as well leaving you with expensive repair bills. Although mice live and thrive outside they are considered commensal rodents which means they share space with us and survive in part because of this close association. Homes and outbuildings, farms and commercial facilities are all susceptible to infestation because of the food, water and shelter opportunities these environments offer. Mice eat and contaminate our food supply; they cause structural damage to our homes and out buildings, contaminate insulation, chew through electrical wiring and will even cause damage to furniture and household items such as appliances, books, and clothing. They also have the ability to introduce allergies and other serious health conditions into your home. And because they are prolific breeders, a couple of mice in your home can quickly turn into a major infestation if left unaddressed.
What Are The Signs Of A Mouse?So how do you know if a mouse has moved in? There are several signs.
- Mice are more likely to establish a nest in your home or property during the fall and winter months as temperatures begin to drop. Common areas to find a mouse nest include attics and storage areas.
- The sight of mouse droppings is an obvious sign that a mouse has taken up residence in your home. Mouse droppings are small, black and oval bead shaped.
- Fresh gnawing marks as well as prints and tail drags in dusty areas are also tell-tale signs of mice activity.
- Squeaking, running and gnawing sounds coming from the walls and ceilings during the nighttime hours when mice are most active.
Tips For PreventionTo help prevent a mouse infestation a few simple steps can be taken to ensure the safety of your family and pets.
- Eliminate their food source by storing people and pet food in tight sealed containers, keeping trash in containers with secure lids and removing bird feeders from your property
- Inspect your home for small openings and seal cracks in the foundation, holes around utilities and other openings that are bigger than ¼ of an inch in diameter.
- Repair torn screen doors and windows, and install chimney caps to keep mice and other invading rodents out
- Keep storage areas organized and your home free of clutter
- Trim shrubs and weeds that are close to your foundation and keep firewood off the ground away from your home and outbuildings