Wildlife Issues – How to Get Rid of Mice
It is very common to have mice in a building, and because they are hard to detect, mice can cause significant damage even before they are seen or come into contact with people. Given their rapid reproductive rate (a female can begin bearing a litter of six pups at eight weeks old), a mouse population can quickly get out of control.
Property Damage from Mice
Whether there are mice in the walls or mice in the attic, mice like to chew and will gnaw through wood, wiring and insulation. This constant chewing is necessary to keep their teeth worn down.
FACT: This damage can not only cause structural problems and higher energy costs, but may also provide an opening for another animal (raccoon, squirrel, bird, bat) to enter the attic, roof or wall. Their odours and urine may also attract other animals.
Mouse feces and urine can contaminate insulation, wood and drywall. This can further lead to rot, moisture damage, odour problems and mould.
FACT: In six months, one pair of mice can eat about four pounds of food and produce some 18,000 droppings. The average female mouse can produce five to ten litters of 5-6 babies per year.
Health Risks from Mice
Mice have a reputation as dirty animals, which is quite accurate. Mice can be carriers of disease called “ratbite fever”.
FACT: People can contract the illness from a mouse bite or through bodily fluids of sick mice. Rash, flu-like symptoms and heart illnesses can be symptoms of ratbite fever.
Mites, tapeworms and ringworms are also associated with mice.
FACT: These parasites can cause rashes and infect the digestive system. Ticks are common carriers of lyme disease, which can be transmitted to humans and pets through a bite. Symptoms include fever, headache and nausea, which can last for years without early treatment.
How to Find Mice
Attics, walls, kitchens, pantries, storage rooms and crawl spaces are all warm places where mice like to make nests. Because they burrow, mice in walls/attic can be difficult to locate. A mouse will often use holes made for plumbing or wiring to access walls and crawl spaces.
FACT: A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime.
How to Get Rid of Mice
How to kill mice is not the right question. Poisoning the mice is not a long-term solution. Mice eventually build up resistance to poisons, which means you need stronger more dangerous doses. If they die in your house or business, they will cause odour and damage. If entry areas are not identified or mouse-proofed, then others will gain entry.
FACT: The most effective method is to get rid of mice is to remove all the mice and completely seal the entire building from further entry.
Trapping or poisoning a couple of them likely won’t get rid of the mice, since more mice are living in the walls, attic, roof or storage areas.
FACT: Although mice tend to seek indoor shelter when temperatures get colder, they can continue to nest in buildings all year around and go outside to feed. Given their rapid reproductive rates, missing a couple of mice could quickly turn into a bigger problem.