One of the most commonly requested pest control services is mice removal. When they find their way into your home, they can wreak all kinds of havoc—from eating your food and gnawing your belongings to spreading bacteria and disease. To help you keep rodents at bay, here’s a closer look at where they may be hiding, what they may be doing, and how you can prevent them from invading your space.
What Are Some Common Rodent-Friendly Locations?
Mice are attracted to food, so it makes sense that they love the kitchen. They tend to make a beeline for cabinets, pantries, and other areas where dry foods, like cookies, chips, and popcorn, are stored. They may also hide in cabinets under the kitchen sink, especially if there is a garbage can stored there.
Rodents often end up in the attic after sneaking into your home through cracks and holes in the ceiling or exterior walls. The attic is appealing to them because it’s dark, frequently empty, and has insulation that can be used as nesting materials.
It’s essential to contact a pest control service immediately if you suspect you have mice in your attic; since rodents can chew through the electrical wiring, having them in your attic can be a fire hazard.
Like attics, unfinished basements are prime real estate for rodents because they’re dark, dingy, and often empty. They tend to offer desirable nesting materials, such as newspaper and cardboard, and usually provide excellent entryways into walls, which mice use as passageways to travel to different areas of your home.
How Do Mice Get Into the House?
1. Cracks in Floors & Foundations
As burrowing animals, rodents have extremely flexible skeletons that can squeeze through some pretty small spaces. Most adolescent mice can fit through holes the size of a pen, for example, while most adult mice can make their way through openings the size of a dime. This means that mice can creep through cracks in your home’s foundation and floors that may seem too tiny to be an issue.
2. Plumbing & Pipes
Mice are drawn to pipes because they smell like fat, grease, and other food remnants. They’re also attracted to insoluble items, such as wet wipes and sanitary napkins.
As a result, rodents often enter homes through sink and bathtub drains that are not properly sealed. They may also find their way into your home through small spaces and gaps around your plumbing and oven gas lines.
3. Gaps in Windows, Ceilings & Under Doors
Because mice can jump up to 12-inches high and run up the sides of buildings, it’s essential to keep your windows shut or equip them with tight-fitting metal screens.
You also need to be extra vigilant about sealing gaps in your windows and ceilings, even if they seem too small to be problematic. It’s also a good idea to keep a door sweep under all your exterior doors.
What Are Common Signs That You Have Mice?
One of the most common signs of mice is their droppings, which typically appear as small brown specs shaped like rice grains. They’re often found in kitchen cabinets, under sinks, and in other areas where food or garbage may be stored. If you see these droppings, whether they look new or old, call a pest control service as soon as possible.
2. Holes in Food Packaging
Mice have sharp teeth that can easily gnaw through plastic, paper, and cardboard food packages. If you notice small holes in your cereal boxes, popcorn bags, and other dry food packaging, it’s most likely a sign that you have mice.
3. Gnaw Marks
To gain access to food, rodents will gnaw on just about anything, including household objects, such as cords, wires, shoes, and pieces of wood, plastic, vinyl, and aluminum. Their gnaw marks are small—usually about the size of a dime—so you’ll have to keep a close eye out for this common clue.
4. Foul Odors, Scratching Sounds & Strange Pet Behavior
While strong odors typically indicate large mice infestations, your dog or cat may pick up on subtler smells that you do not notice. If you see your pet paying special attention to a specific area in your home, it might be because they detect the smell of mice. They may also be responding to nearly imperceptible sounds of mice scurrying along floorboards or inside walls.
Why Is Immediate Pest Control Necessary?
If you think mice have invaded your home, it’s important to arrange for pest control services as soon as possible. In addition to being a nuisance, rodents can carry bacteria and transmit a wide range of diseases that can be harmful to humans and pets.
Rodents can also cause significant and costly damage to your house. They can create a fire risk by chewing on live wires and cords, and their ability to gnaw through almost any material—including wood and soft metals—can result in serious problems in your home’s structure.
What Can I Do to Keep Mice Out of My House?
Keeping your house as clean and clutter-free as possible will help prevent rodents from hiding and nesting in your home. Store all your dry foods in airtight containers, and sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly to keep your floors clear of crumbs and other food debris.
Regularly check the areas around your pipes for gaps or holes, and stuff them with steel wool (one of the few materials mice will not try to gnaw on) until pest control arrives. Install sweeps on exterior doors and make sure your windows and door screens do not have cracks or gaps.
It’s also important to avoid keeping cluttered, messy piles of material in your basement and/or attic, especially when it comes to common nesting items such as newspaper and cardboard.
If you think you may have mice in your home, Target Pest Control in Rochester, NY, can help. For more than three decades, this family-owned business has been providing residents throughout Monroe County with superior pest control services, from mouse removal and bedbug treatment to cockroach and spider infestation solutions. Visit their website for more information and call (585) 427-7175 to arrange for a free estimate today.