How to Know if you Have Mice?
Human beings have been living with and among mice for centuries. Most often regarded as a pest, mice are found all over the world and their success can be attributed to their intelligence and genetic makeup. Our close relationship with mice began when human beings moved away from hunter gatherer to agrarian societies. Mice figured out pretty early that it was easier to eat the food stored by humans than finding food on their own.
Since then, mice have been a source of stress and discomfort for many humans. For some, the very thought of a mouse running across their counter is enough to drive them crazy. Mice have been successful in part because of their amazing ability to reproduce. Mice reach reproductive maturity in just weeks and a female mouse is capable of producing up to 10 litters per year with 5-6 babies born each time. At that rate, even a very small mouse problem can quickly get out of hand.
Mice frequently live inside the walls and attics of homes to be near to food sources. Mice are omnivores, meaning that they will eat just about anything to survive but mostly prefer grains and seeds. Tucked away out of sight, mice build nests and store food.
Mice are active mostly at night and in most cases will shy away from well-lit areas. They are able to come and go quietly and can go unnoticed for years. As a result, most homeowners are unaware that behind their walls they may be playing host to a party of furry revellers.
Here are just some of the ways that homeowners learn they have a mouse infestation:
Witnessing a mouse scurrying across the floor is by far the most definitive way to discover a mouse problem. Mice are not solitary animals. Seeing a single mouse in the living space is only symptom of a larger problem taking place in your basement, walls or attic.
Mice are low in the food chain and for safety prefer to remain in dark and confined spaces hidden from potential threats. A mouse will only venture into an open space as an act of desperation, usually because food has become scarce.
Droppings and Urine
Mice urinate and defecate continuously throughout the day leaving behind droppings wherever they travel. House mice produce an astounding 50-75 droppings per day. Homeowners suffering from a mouse infestation will find mouse feces in cupboards, below appliances and everywhere else the mice have travelled. They are typically black in colour and shaped like pellets with pointed ends. Their urine can stain and leave behind nasty odours.
Mice are most often heard in evening and at night when the house is quiet. Scratching and scurrying heard from ceilings and wall voids in the dead of night tends to amplify. For this reason, the sounds produced by mice are often mistaken for much larger animals like raccoons and squirrels. In some cases the squeaking produced by mice are heard.
One way to tell if you are hearing mice is to tap your hand on the wall where you hear the noise. In most case, the noises will stop temporarily only to begin again shortly after.
Gnawing and Chewing
Like all rodents, mice must continually chew and gnaw to wear down their incisors. For their size, mice have incredibly powerful teeth capable of chewing through food packaging, plastic and even wood. Mice will create circular holes 1 ½ inches in diameter to access food and form openings to travel. Their chewing of electrical wires can create serious fire hazards.
Tunneling and Nests
Mice create their nests by shredding and gathering fibrous materials like paper, cushions and insulation. Golf balls sized holes in your attics insulation indicate mouse tunneling. Mice prefer to nest in warm areas like your attic or near appliances that produce heat including stoves, dishwashers, furnaces and water heaters.
If you suspect that your home has a mouse infestation, give Skedaddle a call. We guarantee to get rid of your mice and prevent their return. Call 1-888-592-0387 to find out about our unique mouse removal solutions.
How to Remove Mice
Mice infestations are one of the hardest wildlife problems to solve. Many people mistakenly believe that a mouse problem can be quickly solved with a few traps and some poison (Link to Why traps and poison don’t work). This approach ignores the roots causes of infestation and is far too simplistic to provide real results in the long-term.
The most effective way to permanently keep mice out of your home is through exclusion. This process requires more work and may take longer but it is the only effective solution. While there are many things homeowners can do to help, the experienced eye of a trained professional can save you a lot of headaches.
The first step to getting rid of mice is to perform a complete top to bottom exterior inspection of the home. Without identifying how the mice have entered the home, no amount of poison or traps can stop all the other mice in your neighbourhood from returning. Mice are very small rodents capable of squeezing into any crack or crevice larger than one 1/4-inch.
For this reason, the inspection must be extremely thorough. Using a flashlight your Skedaddle wildlife technician will begin by inspecting the entire base of your home, gradually working up the walls and eventually up to the roof. Mice are excellent climbers and will very often find their way into a home through areas that are well above ground level. It is important to check the garage interior as mice will often chew or slip past garage door weather stripping to get in.
Active mouse entry areas are identifiable by a number of features:
Droppings and Urine Stains
When inspecting your home for exterior mouse entries be on the lookout for droppings. Mice produce 50-75 droppings per day. These droppings will accumulate in areas where mice are spending time, especially near nests, food sources and along travel routes. Collections of droppings near access points to the interior of your home are an excellent indicator.
Fur and Staining
Mice have very oily fur that helps them squeeze into tight spaces. Well-used mouse entry points will be surrounded by a distinct recognizable brownish-gray staining. Mice will also leave fur behind as they push themselves through a hole.
Mice will very often chew exterior building materials to either create a brand new entry to expand an existing crack of crevice. Mice chew circular holes through thin aluminum, plastic and wood. These holes can often be identified by tiny gnaw marks that are 1/32-inch wide.
Click here to learn see where mice commonly enter homes (Link to How to Keep Mice Out)
The Removal Process
To remove the mice still inside your home, Skedaddle installs one-way doors over the entry points. One-way doors allow the mice to exit your home as they normally would in search of food, only to lock them out in the process.
As part of Skedaddle’s multi-faceted approach we will then identify and seal any potential mouse entry points on your home. Click here to learn how Skedaddle Prevents and Protects (link to How to Keep Mice Out) against mouse infestations.
The mice inside your home will have stored food in the walls and attic. To speed up the removal process it is important that all food sources inside the home are properly secured. This forces the mice to exit and the home, humanely getting rid of your mice in a matter of weeks.
If you have tried exterminators, traps and harmful poisons and cannot seem to rid yourself of mice be sure to call Skedaddle today. We will customize a program guaranteed to humanely solve your mouse one and for all.