House mice may seem relatively harmless, perhaps even quite adorable to some, but as a part of the rodent family, they still pose threats. The house mouse is appropriately named for its tendency to seek shelter in homes and businesses, especially within walls and attics. Despite their unassuming appearance, house mice are infamously known for their adaptability to harsh conditions and rapid breeding. One female house mouse is capable of producing up to 55-60 babies each year!
Here we’ll discuss risks, tips for prevention and the warning signs they may have taken over your abode.
There are a few signs to be on the lookout for that could indicate you have mice living in or around your building. Look for mouse droppings that may either be soft and moist or dried and solid. Droppings are typically very small and rod-shaped with pointed ends. House mouse urine also has a distinct ammonia-like smell that can be a clear indication that your home has unwanted visitors.
As house mice travel throughout a structure, evidence of their movement is often easily spotted. Rodents typically use the same pathways when on the move, resulting in easily visible trails of droppings, oily looking trails and footprints. A house mouse’s front feet leave four-toed prints and their hind feet leave five-toed prints, while their bodies leave oily rub marks on the walls along their chosen pathways.
House mice can also leave chew marks along baseboards or cupboards, which can be either rough or smooth. They also build burrows using material like insulation or paper products and may sneak food like seeds, cereals, or insects they encounter in your home or business.
Preventing house mice from invading your home or business is imperative. Not only is a rodent infestation just flat out annoying, it can also lead to several serious health risks. House mice carry bacteria, spread diseases and contaminate food. Particles of their feces and urine also have the potential to become airborne, further spreading disease and potentially triggering asthma or allergy symptoms. Because house mice defecate so often, their droppings can accumulate quickly in hidden spaces within your home, like the interior of walls and attic spaces.
House mice can also unknowingly bring in other pests with them, including fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. These extended pests can also carry bacteria and diseases.
Tips to Prevent House Mice
Mice can fit into a dime-sized space, so it’s important to seal any gaps or cracks that could provide entry into your home or business. Precautions like installing door sweeps on exterior doors, repairing damaged screens and window seals, screening vents and openings to chimneys, sealing cracks and holes on the exterior structure, and replacing loose weather stripping all help to eliminate possible exterior entry points that house mice and other small rodents may use.
Aside from blocking off entryways, it is also important to eliminate food, water, and shelter resources that may attract mice. Store food in airtight containers, dispose of garbage regularly, keep garages and closets clutter free, be sure attics and crawl spaces are well-ventilated and dry and keep shrubbery well-trimmed. If you tend to keep stacks of wood or used cardboard boxes near the building or home, consider moving items like this at least 20 feet away. By following these simple tips, you can reduce the likelihood that mice may invade when looking for food or shelter.
If you suspect a mouse infestation in your home, be sure to watch out for signs of activity such as droppings, urine staining, or damaged food containers. If you or a member of your family begins showing symptoms of an illness that is associated with rodents, promptly seek medical attention. If any events like this are taking place, call a professional pest control company immediately.
At Brock Lawn and Pest Control, our licensed pest control professionals are trained on how to quickly and safely get rid of pests in your walls, attic, or anywhere else in your home. Our exterminators serve Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, Marianna and the surrounding counties with residential and commercial services. We offer year round services and same day appointments to keep you protected when it’s convenient for you! Contact us today for a free consultation.