How to Identify and Manage a Mouse Infestation
Mice in cartoons are often portrayed as adorable creatures who live in tiny well-decorated homes inside of your walls. Even the mice you see in pet shops can be pretty cute. When there are mice in your house, however, “charming” is one of the last words you might use to describe these rodents, especially since any mouse can carry pathogens that may cause disease and can damage things like wiring and insulation.
Learn how to identify a mouse infestation and how to manage a potential problem.
How to Know if You Have Mice in the House
Of course, the easiest way to know if you have mice in your house is to actually see them. However, mice are nocturnal and tend to shy away from humans, so this is a fairly rare occurrence.
However, there are several signs that these critters have moved in. Here are several indicators that mice may have decided to live with you:
- Night sounds that include gnawing, squeaking, scampering or scurrying
- Mouse droppings or urine
- Nests made of paper, insulation, fabrics or other materials they can find inside
- Insulation that has been disturbed
- Ducts that have been chewed or gnawed
Keep in mind that other rodents or animals could be responsible for droppings, sounds or nests, too. To know for certain, schedule a free inspection with Terminix.
What Diseases Do Mice Carry?
Mice don’t actually carry diseases, but they do carry pathogens that can cause disease in humans. You don’t have to be bitten by a mouse to become infected. Something as simple as handling a dead mouse or breathing in dust contaminated with rodent urine or droppings is enough to put you at risk at contracting certain rodent-transmitted diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How to Help Prevent a Mouse Infestation
There are some steps you can take to help reduce the chances of mice in your house:
- Eliminate food sources by keeping a tidy home. Vacuum regularly and wipe crumbs and residue off of counters.
- Store food in glass jars and airtight containers. This goes for pet foods, too. Also, secure all indoor and outdoor trash cans.
- Walk the perimeter of your home and check for holes
- Have a professional inspect the roof and seams between roofing and siding or brick.
- Plug holes with wire mesh or quick-drying cement (mice can chew through caulk and other rubber or plastic fillers, so they’re generally not effective)
- Keep flowers, shrubs, vines, tree branches and other vegetation trimmed at least 18 inches away from your home to help eliminate bridges to your house.
- Maintain a clean yard by picking up any fallen fruit, cleaning out your summer vegetable garden after it’s gone to seed and making sure to keep debris piles far from structures and your home.
- Contact Terminix to learn about Rodent & Wildlife Services services
How to Treat a Mouse Infestation
Unfortunately, if you see one mouse in your home, then there may be more in your walls or attic. Traps and other DIY methods can be effective to an extent, but can be dangerous and/or ineffective without the help and knowledge of a professional. A trained Terminix technician can assess the pests in your home and work with you to customize a treatment and prevention plan. In the long run, working with a professional could save you endless time and a lot of headache.