If you can fit a pencil into a small hole in your wall or foundation, a mouse is capable of entering your home and watching as you scream and sprint for the door. Actually, that experience might be just as terrifying for the mouse as it is to you. Either way, a mouse in the house is an unwelcome surprise that you shouldn’t leave to chance. Here’s what you need to know about combating the problem and getting rid of the unwanted pests. Who They Are: Typically, a mouse you see in your home will be a light brown or grey color and about 3.5 inches in length with a tail as long as its body. Don’t be fooled by their size — mice can squeeze through tiny cracks one-quarter of an inch wide and surprise you when you least expect it. Mice are also characterized by two small incisors that must be kept short throughout their lifetime. This leads to the consistent gnawing that can damage your home and the items inside. Sure, mice are generally happy to be outdoors, but when your home presents ideal living conditions, like a favorable temperature and an adequate food source, you should expect unwanted guests every now and then. What They’re Doing: 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 time 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. Be careful of your surroundings when you’re aware of their presence, but don’t be surprised if mice often appear when you’re out and about. Mice are typically more active during the nighttime hours. 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. 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. Plunkett’s Pest Control is always on call and ready to tackle your mouse problem. Our trained professionals have been in the business for over 100 years and have the expertise to take care of the problem quickly and effectively. Give us a call and we’ll gladly send the pesky rodents out the door for good.