Encountering mice in your home can be a distressing and upsetting experience. Mice will make their way into a structure when outside conditions are no longer conducive to their living habits. Extreme cold and inclement weather force them to search for a safe location to live, and unfortunately, that safe location is frequently inside the walls, attics, or basements of houses. Mice will leave behind clues of where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to in your house. Here are some signs you might have a mouse control problem.
How do I know if I have a mouse control problem?
If you think there may be mice in your home, there are many clues that may indicate their presence. Looking for this evidence will help you determine if you are indeed confronting a mouse problem, and it will also help a wildlife specialist find the places in the structure where rodents are most active. Do any of these signs apply to your property?
Noise in the Walls and Ceiling
Mice may be small, but they are capable of making quite a bit of noise. They gnaw on electrical wire, wood, and a number of other materials to shave down their teeth, which are in a constant state of growth. Their chewing sounds can be so loud that they carry through drywall. Also listen for squeaking as well as scurrying. With mice, these sounds are likely to occur around the same time each night and in the same location. If the activity you hear changes locations, or if you hear it throughout the course of the day, you may be dealing with a different wildlife problem.
Damage to Household
If you’re able to access your attic, examine the insulation for tunneling. Mice will burrow into the insulation, tearing through it and making it insufficient to support the energy efficiency of your home. Check for chewing in wooden materials that are near the ground. Mice will leave small piles of sawdust in places where they’ve been gnawing. Electrical wires, cardboard boxes, and plastic bags containing food are also prime targets for chewing.
Mice have a visual range of only 5 to 10 feet and depend heavily on their sense of smell for navigation. Urinating and defecating as they travel creates a dependable scent trail they can follow as they explore the terrain of your home. Look for droppings along the baseboards of walls, in corners, and in the cabinet and shelves of your kitchen and pantry. Droppings are about the size of a grain of rice and are tapered at each end. If you suspect a mouse has gotten into any of your stored food, throw it away. Rodent waste carries many diseases that are dangerous to humans, and ingesting it may cause severe illness.
Staining Along the Bottom of Walls
Because their field of vision isn’t terribly acute and being in open spaces makes them vulnerable to predators, mice tend to hug walls when they journey from one place to the next. The oil, dirt, and dust contained in their fur may rub off on walls and entry points leaving dark markings along frequently-traveled paths.
A mouse infestation is a serious problem and should be dealt with as soon as the evidence presents itself. If you experience any of these indicators, contact a professional mouse control company like ABC Wildlife as soon as possible. When our technician is dispatched to your property, be sure to let him or her know exactly where you’ve been hearing or seeing activity. Our qualified mouse control specialist will conduct a thorough examination of your home, look and listen for the signs to verify a mouse presence, and partner with you to design a treatment program that will be the most effective in eliminating the rodent population from your property. Our mouse treatment program includes visits to your house over the course of several months to ensure that mouse activity is dwindling. We also seal any gaps, crevices, or cracks through which mice may be entering the structure. When rodents come into your home, you don’t have to face the situation alone. You can be confident that ABC Wildlife will offer you the best solution. Call us today at (847) 870-7175.
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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.
Image courtesy of Tim Watts via Creative Commons license on Flickr.