A mouse infestation in the house is a nightmare scenario for any homeowner. Hidden behind that tiny and cute appearance is a ton of potential for physical and biological destruction. If you spot one, then getting rid of the mouse should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Mice multiply at an alarming rate; if there is one, there could be more. So, if you suspect that your home is under a mouse invasion, this blog is for you.
Why Should You Be Concerned About Mice In Your Home?
Rodents, in general, are known to be carriers of various diseases. While not every species of rodent carries them, banking on this is not a chance you should take, especially when it comes to your home.
The Deer mouse, for example, which thrives across Canada and Northern America, is known to carry the deadly Hantavirus and Lyme Disease.
Some strains of the Hantavirus can cause Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) or Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which, when not treated on time, can prove to be fatal to humans.
This is one of the reasons why a mouse exterminator should be the first order of business if you suspect the presence of mice in your home.
Five Tell-Tale Signs Of A Mouse Infestation In The House
Mice are nocturnal animals and are extremely sensitive to movement and vibrations, so spotting one is extremely rare. The following signs will help you confirm your suspicion of the presence of mice in your home.
Let’s start with the obvious: mice droppings. Otherwise called pellets, they are a clear indication of the presence of mice in your home.
Each mouse can, on average, produce about 50 pellets a day. The more of them you find, the worse the infestation is. The most common places to look for them are:
- Near food sources.
- Dark and dingy places like the attic, crawl spaces, or the basement.
- Near holes in the walls or behind appliances and furniture.
Places with the highest concentration of these pellets are usually closest to where they nest.
Gnaw Marks and Shredded Material
Shredded materials such as paper or fabric are a clear sign of a mouse infestation.
Mice generally build nests out of these common household materials, so if you spot concentrations of shredded paper or fabric, it’s time to bring in a mouse exterminator.
Another visible sign of a mouse infestation is the presence of fresh gnaw marks on food packaging, cartons, furniture, and wires or on the drywall. That said, these marks don’t just signify the presence of mice; they can also be the handy work of other rodents, such as rats.
Scuttling or Scratching Sounds at Night
Hearing weird noises in the dead of the night? Fear not; your house is not haunted. Mice are the most active after dark.
So if you are hearing things being bumped around or scuttling noises from under the floors or above the ceiling or scratching sounds, it’s probably mice.
Foul Ammonia-Like Odour
Starting to get a whiff of a stale ammonia-like odour around your home? If so, you could have a mouse infestation.
Cats and dogs are far more sensitive to smell than humans. So, if you have pets around your home that are spending time sniffing places that they don’t usually do, it could be the smell of a rodent’s urine.
Keep in mind the more potent the odour, the worse the infestation is. So reach out to a mouse pest control service as soon as possible.
Rodents, just link ants, tend to follow specific paths to navigate around your home. Over time, these paths become more prominent due to the dust or grease left behind by their paws or bodies.
You will notice them mostly near walls, skirting, or on the floor. They are easier to locate in attics, which usually have a fine dust layer on the surface.
Found a suspected mouse highway? Sprinkle some flour and see if you see fresh marks the next day.
If you do, it’s time for some mouse control.
How To Prevent A Mouse Infestation?
When it comes to mice, the wisdom from the proverb “prevention is better than cure” is the way to go.
The following steps will go a long way in making sure that mice are out of your home for as long as possible:
Make Your Home Less Appealing To Mice
All living things look for three primary things for their survival: food, water, and shelter.
Eliminating access to these basic necessities is the first line of defence against a mouse infestation. You can do this by:
- Store all your food items in glass, metal, or thick plastic containers. Make sure they have tight lids.
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight, and clean up any food spills immediately.
- Store your garbage in cans that have tight-fitting lids.
- Check your plumbing for any leaks and fix them.
Mouse-Proof Your Home By Restricting Access
The best possible mouse deterrent to prevent mice from entering your home in the first place. Do the following to ensure that:
Inside Your Home
- Check for any holes in your drywall and patch them up. If a pencil can go through it, so can a mouse.
- Check for gaps in the door and window frames, and use weather stripping to seal them up.
- Check for holes or cracks on the floor or in the basement.
- Cover all internal vents with a fine metal mesh.
Outside Your Home
- Clean up the outside of your home, trim excess weeds, and remove clutter that will make for a cozy nesting spot.
- Make sure there are no gaps or cracks on the outside walls.
- Stow away animal feed, if any, in thick plastic or metal containers.
- Seal any gaps around plumbing going into your home.
- Make sure no pipes are leaking on the outside.
How To Deal With A Mouse Infestation?
If you are already seeing signs of mice inside your home, there are a few things you can do.
Use Mouse Traps
Mouse traps are a tried and tested method of catching mice and other rodents. They come in various shapes and sizes. If you suspect mice in your home, buy a few and place them around your home where there are signs of their activity.
Be sure to check the trap every day. The benefit of mouse traps is that they can be reused repeatedly.
Pro Tip: Place the bait in the traps for the first day or two, but do not set the catching mechanism. Let the mice get comfortable entering them. If you still see the bait in the trap the next day, relocate it. This is probably not a good spot.
If handling a trap with a live rat inside is not your cup of tea, you could try using poisoned baits.
While they are effective, a downside of these baits is that the mice could succumb to their effects in a location where you cannot access the corpse. This can start emitting a found odour once putrefaction starts to occur.
Caution: These baits are highly toxic and must be placed in an area outside the reach of your pets and children.
Call In The Professionals
Sometimes, it’s best to leave things to the professionals when all else fails. Mouse control services often have the experience and expertise to eradicate an infestation from the roots.
One of the methods they may use is mouse fumigation, which involves filling your house with a toxic gas that kills the mice. It is a sure-shot way of getting rid of serious infestations.
The professionals will also have access to regulated commercial-grade products not accessible to the general public. They are equipped to deal with the infestation without putting themselves or your home in harm’s way.
Summing It Up
Mice are a nuisance, and they can pose a severe health hazard to your family and pets. If you suspect a mouse infestation in your home, taking action quickly is crucial.
That said, they are also resourceful and resilient creatures and can put up a fair fight. If you have given it your best shot and are losing the battle, don’t hesitate to call in a professional and let that do what they do best.
If you live around Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey, or Langley areas and are looking for the best exterminators for mice, get in touch with Ridall Pest Control.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
You can find a good mouse exterminator by asking family and friends or looking up local classifieds online. However, if you are located in the British Colombia region, Ridall Pest Control is your best bet.