Mice in your house often go undetected. Where do you think that phrase “quiet as a mouse” comes from, after all?
They are small and sneaky and can squeeze through dime-sized openings to find little bits of food to eat and all sorts of materials to make their nests.
But just like any mystery, there are always clues you can spot that let you know mice are playing where they shouldn’t: in your home.
Want to protect your home from a mouse problem? We understand. The trick is understanding mouse behavior, why they are attracted to your house, and what you can do to remove them and keep them out.
There’s a Mouse in the House
Well, first of all, let’s talk about what you’re looking for when you’re trying to figure out if there are mice in your house.
Mice are typically light brown or grey with whitish bellies, ranging in size from 2.5 to 4 inches long. And those tails grow to the same length or even longer than their bodies. Mice have ears that are large and round.
Let’s look at what attracts mice to your home.
What Makes Your Home Attractive to Mice
Mice are always on the hunt for food and water, shelter and protection.
During the fall and winter, they seek warmth and escape from the outside elements. In the spring, they are looking for places to nest and grow their families. Your home, garage or shed can provide all of their needs.
And grow they do. Usually, there’s no such thing as having only one mouse. A female mouse can have anywhere from five to 12 babies in one litter. And she can have between five and 10 litters a year. Do the math: That’s a lot of mice. Your suspicions just became a full-on mouse problem.
Signs There are Mice In Your House
Mice move along walls, avoiding open spaces. They are most active between dusk and dawn, but you can spot the evidence of their comings and goings anytime.
And, when it comes to mice, there is one big sign you have a mouse problem in your house: poop. Yep, each mouse can drop up to 75 of those little black pellets a day. And it’s not like they clean up after themselves.
Another sign is holes and debris from gnawing those holes in the dark corners of kitchens or pantries.
If you find little caches of pet food or birdseed behind appliances or random materials like paper, cotton balls or twine in random, hidden places, mice are likely causing these imperceptible disturbances as they nibble food or attempt to build nests.
Are Mice in Your House a Big Problem?
Sure, mice can be quiet, tiny home invaders, but they can also make quite a bit of noise when scurrying through your house or in your walls. So nuisance noise is the first annoyance mice bring to your home.
Next, add the droppings, nesting materials, food crumbs and urine they leave scattered about. Unlike those mice in the fairytales, mice in your house don’t usually help clean up after themselves. And these things contaminate your countertops and pantries as well. Remember, you prepare food and eat there. Not a great combination.
Mice are also constant gnawers, filing down their continuously growing teeth. So they gnaw your wood and walls and can even chew on electrical wires, leading to repair costs.
If the feces and holes and mess isn’t enough, mice have also been linked to some diseases. Additionally, they can also bring other pests like fleas and ticks into your home, exposing your family to a whole host of additional diseases and infestations.
Keeping Mice Out of Your House
Now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s talk about getting rid of mice and keeping mice out of the house. There are some measures you can take to make your home less attractive to mice.
Because, let’s be honest, mice aren’t something that go away on their own. Once they are comfortable and have access to a food source -- and we’re talking crumbs here, not an extra large pizza -- they and their quickly multiplying family are there to stay. And you thought your in-laws’ large family was bad …
When it comes to getting rid of infestations, there are some steps you can take to prevent mice, as well as some DIY options for control. Finding the right mouse exterminator can also help. Having a knowledgeable partner to confirm your suspicions and help tackle the problem can increase your odds of eliminating your Central or Southern MD mouse problem for good.
What You Can Do To Prevent Mouse Problems
There are some simple things you can do to deter mice from your house.
Repairing or sealing any holes or cracks that provide mice with easy entry to your home or garage is step number one. During our inspection of your home when we’re checking for mice infestations, Natural Green Systems Lawn & Pest Control experts look for probable points of entry inside and outside. If we find holes up to a few inches in diameter, we’ll seal them with caulking and copper mesh. Mice don’t like to chew on copper mesh, so it’s a great tool to keep them from coming back through their regular entry points.
Next, since mice are attracted to cereals and grains and even pet food and birdseed, ensuring these foods are stored in hard plastic, metal or glass containers with airtight lids can keep mice from seeking food initially or returning to where they found a food source.
Because mice seek nibbles, crumbs and spills left behind from cooking, regularly cleaning floors and countertops to eliminate these temptations is also wise.
If you find nests, remove them and clean up after them immediately. This is something we do during our service call as well. It’s another important step in the process of getting rid of mouse problems.
Bringing In A Mouse Exterminator
While you can try some typical do-it-yourself methods for mouse control from the local hardware store, this job is not for the faint of heart.
Like we mentioned above, you must remove nests and clean up mice messes since they aren’t doing it for you. Then, you must fill in cracks and crevices they are traveling through.
The next step is placing rodent bait stations or snap traps to eliminate mouse activity. This is not the time to be squeamish about killing mice. Remember, they are bringing filth and disease into your home.
Snap traps can be placed in enclosed spaces, garage corners and behind appliances -- anywhere you’ve noticed activity. You want to place traps at right angles to walls with bait nearest the wall. Indoors, these can be tricky if you have other pets and don’t place them properly. Essentially, when a mouse triggers the trap’s spring mechanism, a metal bar snaps, killing it.
Glue traps can be placed in similar locations to snap traps. Mice that encounter the traps are immobilized by adhesive. Mice can’t move and eventually die.
You can also use bait stations, but they must also be placed properly to be effective. These are usually not recommended as a DIY option because if used incorrectly they can be dangerous to pets. Mouse exterminators in Central and Southern Maryland, like Natural Green, use bait stations that are pet- and tamper-proof so they are safer for use inside your home. They also precisely place them and check on them because the bait does need to be replaced regularly to ensure they are working.
Depending on the type of infestation you have and your preferences, you can use one or a mix of these various strategies to remove mice from your home.
Looking at all of the strategies, techniques and knowledge necessary to control your mouse problem, you can see why do-it-yourself mouse control can be a bit unpredictable.
Get Rid of Your Mouse Problem For Good With Natural Green in Central and Southern Maryland
Tired of mice gnawing through your walls, stealing your food and leaving behind a mighty mess. This is one house party that will never end without a fight.
We know how frustrating mice in your house can be. It’s the last thing you want to add to your to-do list.
Natural Green recommends an inspection and then, if mouse problems are found, we will tackle the problem with monthly visits for three months and then quarterly from there to ensure the problem is gone … and stays gone.
On top of that, we can also offer other pest control services -- a single solution to eliminate all of your pest worries.
Ready to stop the mouse madness in your Central and Southern Maryland home? Request a free quote today. We’ll review our options together so you can make the best choice for you. Then you can sit back and enjoy your home -- mess and rodent free!
Image source: mouse eating