Did you know that a house mouse is able to walk on a thin wire or squeeze itself through an opening or crack that is no wider than a ballpoint pen? It doesn’t take a very big opening before the mice find a way into our homes.
These nimble rodents like to build small nests in cozy, dark spaces – kitchens, garages and attics are favorite nesting spaces. And they live in groups, breeding quickly which can lead to an unfortunate mouse infestation if they decide to make your house their new home.
What are some signs of a mouse infestation?
Homeowners learn that they have been infested by mice in different ways.
A mouse might run across the living room ¹oor, just as the family is settling in to watch a
favorite TV show.
In the quiet of night, the small rodents might be heard running inside a wall or above the
It could be that food packages, like cardboard cereal packages, suddenly have small marks
on them from being chewed.
Or they may notice that droppings appear in a cupboard corner or even worse, on the
A true mouse infestation however, is when you discover the mice have been breeding in your
house. Once they have
Could it be that you have only a mouse or two in your home?
Homeowners commonly believe that having one or two mice running around the attic at night is
not an urgent problem. Consider this: a female mouse might give birth to up to 10 litters a year,
each containing up to 6 mice. One or two mice multiply quite quickly into 50 or 60 mice: it is
wise to act upon the 1rst signs of a mouse infestation. Even one mouse would be problematic,
as it is capable of leaving 9,000 droppings in one year.
What are the health risks associated with a mouse infestation?
Mice are carriers of bacteria, diseases, parasites and viruses. If your house has become
infested by mice, the mice are leaving patches of their urine behind them, perhaps on a coffee
mug in a kitchen cupboard or on a wooden cutting board on the counter.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention un the USA and the NHS in England, human beings can contract
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) from breathing in dust that has been polluted with house
mouse droppings or urine. LCM is a viral infection with symptoms that mimic the symptoms of
many other illnesses: fever, lack of appetite, headaches and nausea. If left untreated, LCM can
cause neurological disease – which means it will affect your brain. About 5% of mice carry this
disease. While not a high number, are you willing to take that risk?
Is it a property risk to have mice living in your home?
A mouse can walk on a wire as if it were a tightrope; it can also chew through a wire.
Unfortunately, a wire that has been chewed through can cause a 1re. Squirrels and other
rodents will also chew through wires in your home, creating a risk of 1re. A professional
exterminator will assess your home for damages due to your mice infestation; it is crucial that
you have any damaged wires fixed immediately.
Should you tackle your mouse infestation yourself?
The 1rst question I would ask is how long have you suspected the mice have been living in your
house? If it has just been a few days, you could try to deal with it on your own. Set a few traps in
the area where there is the most activity and see if you can catch the mice on your own. It’s at
least worth a try.
However if it has been several weeks or more than a month, and you haven’t been successful in
removing the mice from your home, it’s time to call in the professionals. Hiring a mouse control
expert or a mouse exterminator is best unless you have a background in dealing with mice
Why? Exterminators know how to rid your home of mice; it is that simple. Mice exterminators
know how long it is likely to take to kill the mice in your home. They can identify the places
where the mice are likely living, and they are trained to use chemicals and traps in safe ways.
After the Infestation: Do exterminators do the clean up?
Many human beings do not want to deal with the small carcasses of mice that have been poisoned, or that lay in traps: it can be an unpleasant task.
A good professional exterminator not only traps or poisons the mice; she cleans up the nasty mess that can be left behind, leaving you completely out of the process.
Be sure to ask this question when you interview your pest control experts. It’s best to know the scope of their service ahead of time.
How can you stop the mice from moving back in?
Homeowners usually breathe a tremendous sigh of relief when their exterminator informs them
that the mice are no longer infesting their home. Though after the initial relief, a signi1cant
question raises itself: what ift the mice come back? Your mouse exterminator should have the
capacity to assess your home and pinpoint how the rodents gained access to your home – and
be able to fix most problems.
This is another great interview question when you are deciding which pest control company to
select. Ask them what type of prevention services they offer. Can they seal the entry points?
What types of materials do they bring with them to patch any holes. If they do not do the work
themselves, see if they can offer a recommendation for a good handyman. Or if someone in
your house can do the work, can they provide you with a shopping list and detailed instructions
on how to secure your home against a future mouse invasion.
Helpful Hints to keep the Mice Away
- Do not panic if you suspect that you have a mice infestation in your house. It is unpleasant
to hear mice scratching about within a wall or in an attic, but this is a problem that can be
dealt with in an efficient manner.
- Many homeowners worry about the possibility of becoming ill, as a result, of having mice
in their living space; this is a reasonable concern. If you are extremely busy at work, why
not hire a reputable cleaning company to clean your house? You will have the peace of
mind that comes from knowing all surfaces have been disinfected.
- If you have time, it is wise to do a thorough cleaning of your home after a mice infestation.
Not only will you feel better, you will destroy any remaining germs or bacteria.
- If you sometimes leave your garage door open while you are, say, working on your lawn
mower, consider closing it. A mouse will often take the opportunity to run through an open
door when no human is watching.
- If you have lots of clutter in your basement or attic, get rid of it. Mice love to nestle in dark
corners among long-forgotten debris – they are much less likely to settle in a neat-as-a-pin
- Check your ¹oors for buildups of dust; if you do not regularly sweep, vacuum, or mop a
part of your ¹oor – perhaps under a corner table or a heavy chair – you are unintentionally
creating an inviting space for a mouse. Clean and vacuum your entire ¹oors often.
- If you have a cat or a dog, you might leave its food out at all times for its convenience. You
should know that rodents, like mice, like to nibble on pet food; if you put away your pet
food in a sealed container, after your pet has eaten, you will be less likely to attract mice.
- Ask your mice exterminator to recommend some steps you can take to make your home
less appealing to mice – and be sure to follow the advice you receive. A simple step like
carefully sweeping up all crumbs in your kitchen every night can keep the mice away.
Don’t panic if you 1nd you have mice living in your home, just take quick action. As long as you
are fast about it, you can get rid of the mice for good. Follow our 5 point plan to get rid of mice
or call an exterminator. Just take action. Follow the steps we have laid out and you will 1nd
yourself living mouse free in no time.
- Anon (n.d.) A Mouse Infestation in your House: Health Risks and Solutions.
How to Get Rid of Mice [online].
Available from: http://how-to-get-rid-of-mice.com/mouse-infestation/
(Accessed 22 September 2016). [online].
Available from: http://how-to-get-rid-of-mice.com/mouse-infestation/
(Accessed 22 September 2016).