Mice are small warm-blooded animals that are found in almost all parts of the world. They are some of the most destructive pests you could have in your home. Mice gnaw at virtually anything within reach from food to plastics and wire insulation. They chew through walls, floor joists and can even damage your home’s insulation.
In addition to the damage they cause to your home, mice also pose a health hazard to both you (the human) and your pet. According to the CDC, mice can spread up to 35 diseases either directly or indirectly. Directly the diseases are spread through bites or coming into contact with their faeces, urine or saliva. Indirectly the diseases are spread through pests that feed on mice such as mites, ticks and fleas. And yes, mice also introduce these other pests to your home. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/index.html)
Reproduction And Life Cycle Of A Mouse
Mice breed quickly, which makes them that much harder to control. The males court females by emitting ultrasonic calls in the range of 30 kHz – 110 kHz. After copulation, the female goes through a gestation period of about 19 -21 days before giving birth to a litter of between 3-14 young. Newly born mice reach sexual maturity in about five weeks. This means that a small infestation will get out of hand within a few weeks.
Ideally, a mouse can live for up to three years, but due to exposure to harsh conditions in their typical lives, mice live up to an average of one year. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_mouse)
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So You Have A Mouse Problem… Now What?
Once you have definitively discovered that you have a mouse problem, the next thing that you need to do is find a way to get rid of mice. Mice can cause a wide range of issues including structural damage to your home. Mice spread diseases through their faeces and the parasites that they carry, and they also carry bacteria and viruses.
One of the more serious dangers is that you may breathe in particles of mouse saliva, urine or droppings which can be released into the air if you try to sweep up any mouse “evidence”. If you plan to clean up any droppings or nesting materials, spray them down first with a disinfectant and wear gloves and disposable mask.
Mice are a nocturnal animal with very poor eyesight, but they do have an extremely sharp sense of hearing and smell. These senses allow them to easily sense predators and locate food sources. Colder weather drives many animals to seek warmth inside your home and if they find a source of food, you are going to have a difficult time finding a way to get rid of mice.
Identifying A Mouse Infestation
There are certain signs that are a definite indication of a mouse infestation. If you find mouse droppings or see items that have been chewed you have probably got a mouse problem. You may be able to hear mice moving around in your walls at night.
Most of the time you won’t actually see a mouse because they are so fast that they scoot at light speed through rooms and you may only see a flash of something and wonder if your eyes are deceiving you. By the time you realize that you may have seen a mouse, it is too late.
Remember, if you see one mouse, you probably have a lot more than that. Where there is one mouse, there are many and mice can multiply very quickly. A single female can produce 10 litters of six babies per year and those babies are ready to reproduce in just 30 days!
Mice are nocturnal creatures. This means that they only come out to feed at night making it difficult to spot the actual pest. You’ll, therefore, have to rely on other signs to identify a mice infestation. These are:
- Scratching noises coming from the walls, under decking or under the floor as mice scurry around.
- Mice droppings are dark in colour, granular shaped and about 3-6 mm long.
- As I mentioned earlier, mice gnaw at things. The damage they cause is a clear indicator of an infestation.
- Ripped food packaging.
- Mice usually build their nests in warm, hidden places using shredded materials such as fabrics and newspapers. Their young ones are often inside.
- Mice leave an ammonia-like smell that is particularly strong in enclosed spaces such as loft spaces and under decking.
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Why Do You Need to Get Rid Of Mice?
Mice are destructive and can cause an electrical fire by chewing through wiring. They can destroy insulation, fiberglass, foam and can gnaw through a variety of materials including doors, furniture, trim, cabinets and the framework of your home’s structure. The cost to repair this damage can add up quickly and if you are trying to sell your home, you won’t have much luck once the infestation is discovered by a potential buyer.
Mice waste more food by contaminating it than they eat. What you will discover are packages of food with holes chewed in them which is an indication that mice have been into it. You will need to throw those items out that have been contaminated by mice to avoid the risk of becoming ill.
How Do You Get Rid Of Mice?
One of the first things that people think of is poison, but this is not a very safe or effective method, especially if you have pets. The mouse eats the poison and dies and then your pet eats the mouse which puts your pet at risk of becoming sick.
Poisoned mice often crawl off somewhere to die a slow and painful death, usually in an inaccessible place like the walls of your home. Soon you may notice a very bad smell from the mice that are dead in your walls. This is one of the main reasons that you do not want to poison a mouse, because it is impossible to remove the mice from the walls of your home once they die without making holes in your walls.
The starting point is to find areas where the mice are getting into your home. You will need to seal as many cracks and small spaces as you can – including areas around pipes, doors, vents, windows and wires. If pipes cannot be blocked off, you can put mesh wiring over them or add steel wool inside of the pipe. Place weather stripping around doors and install a chimney cap if you have a chimney in your home.
Another important step to get rid of mice is to clean your entire house. You will need to get rid of any clutter or garbage that is lying around. Make certain that all food that is lying around is in sealed containers, in a freezer or bagged up. Pet and livestock food should be stored in airtight containers. If you compost, be sure to place the box far away from your house.
Place peppermint oil saturated cotton balls around areas of your home where you think mice are getting in. Mice do not like the odour and will go to great lengths to avoid it.
Pestrol has suitable solutions to get rid of mice!
Mice are attracted to you house by food. Eliminate all the food sources and mice will not have a reason to stick around. To eliminate the food sources, you should:
- Keep your house clean by regularly vacuuming, doing the dishes and cleaning up food related messes.
- Store your food in strong air-tight metal or glass containers.
- Keep your bins tightly closed.
In addition to these measures, you should check possible entry points where mice could gain access to your house and seal them with mesh wire.
Although the likelihood of these measures working is high, it is not guaranteed. Furthermore, they won’t work if the infestation has already taken root. For quicker results, professional mice control products should be used.
If you think that you have mice, take action right away. The longer you leave the problem to develop, the worse it will become. You certainly don’t want to be dealing with a mouse infestation that is out of control. Pestrol has a variety of solutions that will definitely get rid of mice.
View our range of mice control products.