Keeping Fall House Mice Out of East Texas Homes and Kitchens
November 21, 2018
If you’ve ever experienced a mouse invasion, you know how persistent the little creatures can be. You also know how easily they can make a person jump! As you’re cooking dinner they may pop out, scurrying by your feet unexpectedly. They have been known to cause more than a few scares.
House mice are the most common kind of mice to invade homes, and the fall is a very likely time for these pests to seek out your warm home to spend the winter months. House mice have short hair that’s either light brown or grey in color. They have long tails, short ears, and big feet, and they can grow to between 2 to 4 inches in length.
House mice breed very quickly. One female can give birth every three weeks! So, when you see one mouse there are likely to be many more nearby. When living inside your home, house mice can cause a variety of concerns. They will feed off of anything that’s available to them. Your pantry and your cupboards offer a lovely smorgasbord in which they can indulge and any crumbs left on floors or counters will make them happy houseguests. Not only do mice eat from your food storages, but they also contaminate them. Mice feces is known to release irritants and contaminate the air. Besides spreading Listeria, Salmonella, and rat-bite fever, their feces has also been linked to spreading hantavirus and causing respiratory concerns. Mice can also trigger allergic reactions and may bring in other pests with them such as fleas or mites.
Rodents' incisors grow continuously. The constant chewing they do to keep their teeth short means they’re always on the go. Wires, insulation, wood, and household items are all susceptible to the damage done by their chewing which can result in thousands of dollars' worth of damage! Needless to say, house mice are not welcome as companions in your home throughout the winter.
House mice can be extremely crafty when seeking their way inside homes. They have great jumping abilities and are able to squeeze themselves through the smallest of holes. If you’re wondering whether you have house mice, but haven’t actually seen a mouse, here are a few signs you should of which you should be aware:
- Mouse droppings, which will be about 1/4 inch long and rod-shaped.
- Mouse nests. Mice will burrow into insulation or other materials to make their nests. These nests and other places they dwell can wreak of urine.
- Evidence in your cupboards - food products that have been eaten, holes in packaging, or droppings in your cupboards.
- Mice paths or prints. Mice will usually create pathways by running the same way every time. You may get lucky and notice tracks, which will look like tiny 4 or 5-toed paw marks, depending on whether they are left by the front or back feet.
- Gnaw marks - one tell-tale sign is evidence of chewing.
It’s beneficial to practice prevention to avoid problems with mice. Here are a few things you can do.
- Since mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, you should make sure to seal any holes you find on the exterior of your home.
- There are many types of traps you can buy over the counter. Traps may be helpful in keeping more mice from entering, but not so beneficial if you already have a family of mice living in your home. Be careful when using these traps and place them where children and pets cannot reach them.
- Keep all food stored in air-tight containers and take the trash out frequently to avoid attracting mice to your home.
It’s common to need a professional when removing house mice from your home. Rodents are persistent. They cause costly damage and create health hazards. It’s important to take them seriously and eradicate the infestation as soon as possible. If you think you have a rodent infestation, Innovative Pest Control can help you take care of the problem. Contact us today to get started!