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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:

Seeing Mice

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 trails through attic insulation

Mouse trails through attic insulation indicate high traffic.

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

Mouse droppings and damage below a bathroom sink

Mouse droppings and damage below a bathroom sink.

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.