***Mention this blog post when you call ABC Wildlife, and receive a free (FREE!!) home mouse inspection***
It’s human nature to want to ignore a problem in the hopes that it will go away or procrastinate and promise ourselves that we’ll deal with it tomorrow. Lots of people do this. I do this. But putting up blinders when we don’t feel like facing something only gives the situation time to become more complicated.
Now before I start sounding like a motivational speaker, what I really want to talk about are the repercussions of neglecting a mouse infestation. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: mice are gross. They urinate and defecate everywhere they go, and failing to address a rodent control issue can lead to terrible, persistent odor, structural damage, and even disease. If there is currently a mouse problem in your house, I cannot stress how important it is to take care of it right away. ABC Wildlife can remove the mice and seal your home top to bottom so the problem doesn’t keep happening.
I was chatting with Phil, our Field Operations Manager about this, and he mentioned that he was just at a house where the mouse population was so bad that an entire wall needed to be removed because it was completely soaked through with urine and droppings.
What tipped you off that it was a rodent control problem?
I’ve been working pretty closely with a client in Deerfield who was complaining that there was a pungent odor emanating from the back corner of her house. I went out there, and it smelled like mouse urine, but it could have been something larger like a squirrel, so I wanted to inspect. I got up on the roof, and there were no large openings there or anything like that; no rub marks to tip me off. So I knew it was most likely mice.
What did you do once you determined it was mice?
Where the smell was coming from, there were these built-in cabinets, and they needed to come out in order for us to really cut into the wall. So the next day, the woman had a contractor come out, and he and I removed the cabinets. And right there on that wall, there was a big stain, so that’s where I started cutting. When I pulled out the piece of drywall, the paper face dropped out immediately, and that’s when I realized it was so bad that the contractor would need to take the whole wall out.
What did you find when the wall came out?
It was saturated with moisture and mouse droppings far worse than I’ve ever experienced in my six years at ABC Wildlife. That includes hoarders’ homes, and I’ve seen some BAD infestations in hoarders’ homes. But this definitely took the cake. It went from just above my eye level all the way to the ground. The Styrofoam insulation that they had backing as the sheathing had been chewed through, so you could see a clear path where the mice were traveling. It was nasty, it smelled atrocious, and it was an experience.
Could this situation have been avoided if the homeowner hadn’t waited to deal with it?
Definitely. I would say that is was caused not only by the homeowner failing to address a problem, but also failing to do any preventative maintenance to keep it from happening in the first place. When you have a mouse issue, it’s important to A) get the population under control, and B) seal up any noticeable gaps. Gaps can be where building materials meet along the ground or at the roof level. Sometimes it’s just siding sticking out a bit, and sometimes it’s a clear hole where appliances run in and out of the house: like vent pipes for example. If you’re not addressing those areas where mice are getting in, they will leave urine scent trails behind, making that area attractive to other mice, so the problem will just increase.
What’s the best way to deal with a rodent control issue?
We use a 3 step process at ABC Wildlife. First, we control the immediate issue, which is the population of mice. Our mouse treatment program is really successful at culling those infestations. Once the population is under control, the second step is to seal up any entry points so you don’t get a repeat infestation, especially when it starts to get colder. In the fall when it gets cold, everything starts to want to come inside, and that includes mice. The third step is sanitization: removing contaminated material, sanitizing the area with our ABC Wildlife Odor Enzyme Treatment and Ecto-Parasite Treatment, and then putting in new material.
So there you have it, folks. Don’t let this happen to your house. Call ABC Wildlife today at (847) 870-7175, and if you mention this blog post, you’ll receive a free (FREE!!) complete home mouse inspection. Our technicians are absolute experts in abating rodent control issues and know where those places are where mice are most likely to enter a building. Let us know what your rodent control questions are in the comments section, or give our office a call and ask in person. We’re excited to hear from you!
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Phil Delin is the Field Operations Manager for ABC Wildlife. He is licensed in animal and pest management by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Public Health and is a specialist in mitigating the impact of invasive wildlife on urban and suburban development.
Vito Brancato is a wildlife specialist and educator with over 15 years of animal and pest management experience. He is a certified Wildlife Control Operator through the National Wildlife Control Operators Association and belongs to the National Pest Management Association and the Illinois Pest Control Association. He is an avid beekeeper and nature enthusiast.
Images courtesy of Phil Delin and Barnaby Kerr