Mice Infestation

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Mice infestation

Although mice can live outdoors, mice, in general, are attracted inside our homes for shelter and food during the fall and winter season.

Generally, mice won’t be seen during the day as they are nocturnal, and therefore looking for signs of them - such as mouse droppings - may be a safer bet to confirm if you do have an existing mouse infestation problem.

Looking for the evidence they leave behind rather than the actual mice, is also often far easier than trying to catch a glimpse of the rodent to identify the species invading your home.

Do you think you have mice? Then don’t waste time. Call Ehrlich at 1-800-837-5520 for a free mouse inspection of your home. A technician will thoroughly inspect home for all signs of mice and provide you with a recommended pest control program.

Signs of mice in your home

Of course not all mouse infestations are exactly the same. Nevertheless, there are a number of common signs and indicators you can look for to help determine if you have a mouse problem in your home.

Mouse droppings

Usually the most easily identifiable sign of mice in any home. Mice produce a lot of droppings throughout the day and they're usually found along walls, in cupboards or under sinks. They are the size of a grain of rice, pointed at one or both ends and typically brown to black in color. The average length of a House mouse’s dropping is ¼ inch.

mouse droppings on white carpet

Dirty smudges

Look for dirty smudges on floors or baseboards. Mice tend to run alongside walls as they don’t have great eyesight and they tend to stick to the same route too. Over time the increased contact from their fur and body along the same stretch of wall leads to distinctive marks. You might also notice small patches of urine along the same route.

Distinctive smell

Noticed a funny smell recently? The presence of mice may also be established through a distinctive ammonia-like smell (very strong urine smell) that will be particularly obvious in more enclosed areas such as in cupboards. The smell helps mice orientate inside a home as it is often stronger along established routes and acts as a marker for their territory.

Mouse damage

Mice damage can include damage to furniture and wiring as well as to stored foods and other readily available food sources, leading to food contamination from their feces, urine or fur, which may cause Salmonella or rodent related diseases.

Mice have teeth that grow continuously and they need to gnaw on wood, plastic, cables and other hard materials to keep their teeth shorter. This is also the reason why mice can be seen as a fire hazard, as they are able to chew through electrical cables causing equipment malfunctions and power shortages.

In terms of food damage, they can make up to 20-30 visits per day to an identified food site. Adults will consume between 3 and 4 grams of food in one day and they prefer cereal grains, seeds, nuts, meats and candies. It is also important to note that they are fond of foods high in fat too, such as nuts, bacon, butter and sweets.

mouse damage from chewing on a cord wire by an outlet

Scratching noises

Listen out for unusual or unfamiliar noises, especially at night when mice are most active. You may hear scratching noises in the walls or noises coming from ceilings above your head as mice scurry around. You might also hear them squeaking or gnawing.

Mouse nests

Keep a look out for nests. Mice build nests with shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests tend to be in hidden places such as behind fridges, voids in walls, ceilings, cabinets and storage boxes etc., and relatively close to food sources. Nests will often contain young mice.

A mouse nest made of straw with baby mice

Live or dead mice

Spotting a mouse during the daytime can be an indication of a heavy infestation.

Where to check for signs of mice

Where in your home or business should you start to look for the signs of mice and damage they can cause? Mice are agile creatures, able to use their flexible skeletons to squeeze into the tiniest spaces, so you need to be detailed and check your building for mice from the very top to the bottom, inside and out. Here are some common places you might find mice hiding within a property:

  • Attics and lofts - mice will shred soft materials like insulation, paper, cardboard and any fabrics you may have stored away (from wool scarves to lace tablecloths) to use to line their nests. A quick way to tell if mice are present is to check for scattered mouse droppings and an ammonia like smell. This can be quite strong in a confined space.
  • Kitchens and laundry rooms - check behind all appliances, as mice can easily squeeze into gaps behind refrigerators and freezers or under the base of an oven. Any areas where pipework or cabling enters through walls from the outside offers mice a chance to sneak in, so check behind the washing machine too.
  • Basements and cellars - usually the haunt of spiders, but mice can gain entry to lower floors through bricks and vents, especially if they are damaged.
  • Cavity walls - check other hidden spaces such as suspended ceilings, crawlspaces and even cupboards. Mice will make use of these places because they are secure and protected locations that often go unnoticed.

Worried about a mice infestation?

You can take some practical steps now to deter mice in the first place and prevent a mouse infestation.

For an existing problem right now, you can rely on Ehrlich to get rid of mice safely and effectively.

Take advantage of Ehrlich’s pestfree365 plan to help guard your home against unwanted mice and many other common household invaders.

Call Ehrlich Pest Control free at 1-800-837-5520 for further advice on mice or to arrange a free pest inspection.


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