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 lifecycle 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.
Identifying a mouse infestation
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.
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. Pestrol’s range of mice control products include:
- Pestrol Rodent Free. This device uses a combination of electromagnetic, ionic and ultrasonic technologies to irritate mice out of your home. It’s chemical free and safe for both you and your pet.
- Pestrol Mice Multi-catch. This trap provides the perfect solution for mice control in areas where chemicals and dead mice cannot be tolerated. It’s made of strong steel and can trap more than one mouse at a time.