Mouse Facts To Help You Understand InfestationsMost mouse infestations are more complex than they appear on the surface, and understanding mouse biology and behaviour plays an important role in their effective control. Here are a few things to consider before you decide how to control mice.
How Often Do Mice Reproduce?Mice breed year-round, and a female mouse can produce up to 10 litters per year, each containing 3-16 young. How long do mice live? They live for about a year to 18 months in the wild, but may live up to two years.. A mouse population grows exponentially, leading to a population explosion in no time. One of the problems with trying to trap and poison mice is that it’s nearly impossible to kill them faster than they can reproduce.
Where Do They Build Their Nests?The mice activity you see inside your home is usually the tip of the iceberg compared to what’s happening inside your attic and walls. Mice are one of the most successful types of rodents and can live inside houses because they can avoid detection. They nest, mate and breed in areas of the house that are hard to access, making it impossible to get traps and poisons in the right places to kill off the infestation.
What Do Mice Eat?Their need for food largely dictates mice's behaviour and activity. These rodents are omnivores, though they prefer high-carbohydrate food like grains and fruits. However, if your food is accessible, they have no trouble feasting on whatever they can get their little paws on. An indoor food source prevents them from having to venture outside for nourishment. Mice can survive harsh Ottawa winters because they’re able to store food they forage for in secure places that are out of plain sight. Mice with a cache of birdseed tucked away in the attic are very difficult to entice with other baits.
Why Don’t Traps and Poisons Work?Traps and poisons are far too passive and reactionary to provide effective mouse control. You might be able to reduce some of the population, but ultimately the problem will persist and resurface unless you address the root cause.
The Signs To Look ForMice are small creatures to begin with, but you might be surprised at how little room they need to wriggle their way into your home. They can squeeze through any opening that is at least ¼” wide. The first sign of these little critters most see is mice droppings in the kitchen. Once you see this sign, you can be reasonably sure you have a significant problem. Here are some other signs to look for:
- Mice droppings and urine markings: Mice move a lot during the nighttime hours and leave traces of their activities along the way. One mouse can produce up to 75 droppings daily, but you may need to look for them in out-of-the-way places.
- Chewed entry points: Rodents have teeth made for gnawing. If you want to know how to find mice entry points, look for evidence of their chewing handiwork around potential entry points. They may chew through wood, siding or other materials to enlarge a hole, making it easier to get in and out.
- Fur and oil stains: Another sign that mice are getting into your home is bits of fur and dark oil stains around holes on the exterior of your house. Some of their fur and fur oil can stick to the opening as they squeeze through a tiny hole.