One of the most common problems during the winter months that plagues homeowners is rodent infestations. As the weather turns cold, many pests hibernate, but mice don’t. However, mice move inside if they can during the winter, and your home is usually their ideal target. Mice can squeeze through holes as small as a quarter-inch wide because they don’t have collarbones, which can make it easy for them to get into your house unnoticed. If you have an infestation, you will eventually notice some telltale signs that mice are near. Here are six of them to watch for.
Perhaps the most common sign that you have mice is if you see rodent droppings around your home. Mice will leave small, black droppings that look like grains of rice in the places that they eat, breed, and nest. Droppings are commonly found near food in the kitchen. You may want to consult with a pest removal company once you’ve seen droppings, especially if you see a lot of them in multiple areas. A lot of droppings could mean a lot of mice. However, your biggest concern should be that mice are known for carrying disease, which means that you will need to clean and dispose of the droppings carefully so as not to spread bacteria.
Mice are nocturnal, so, if you have an infestation, you will most likely hear them moving around at night. Listen for scratching, climbing, or scurrying, particularly in the walls. Mice can climb and jump and use the walls to travel from one area of the house to another. Professional pest removal companies can find and seal points of entry that mice may be using to get into the walls of your home.
Holes, Teeth Marks, or Shredded Material
If you notice holes in clothing, teeth marks on wires, or other shredded material, mice could be to blame. Mice frequently chew or shred clothing, newspaper, insulation or other materials to make bedding. They prefer to sleep in dark, seldom used places, such as drawers, cabinets, or behind the refrigerator. They also have teeth that continue to grow and need to chew on hard things to wear them down. You may notice teeth marks in wood, plastic, and wiring. You may even have power outages because mice are chewing your electrical wiring. This can pose a fire risk, so don’t wait to call pest removal professionals if you notice teeth marks.
Mice eat the same types of food that you do, especially fatty foods—bacon, butter, and cheese are some of their favorites. They will also eat just about anything in your pantry, and will go back to the same area as many as 30 times a day once they find food. If you notice missing food or holes in packaging, you could have mice. Be sure to throw the food out—mice can contaminate your food with diseases, like salmonella.
If you notice bad smells in your home, especially in small, enclosed areas, you may need rodent removal. Mice use their musty, ammonia scent to find their way back and forth to places they like in your home. You may even notice a trail of smudges or smears from their fur or feet on the floor, along baseboards, or on walls. Their scent will also draw other mice into your home, so don’t wait to call in a professional exterminator if you can smell them.
Dead mice in your home is a definite sign that you may have a rodent infestation. Unfortunately, it’s unusual to have just one mouse. Mice often come in multiples. If you see a live mouse, and it’s during the day, it could even indicate that you have a large infestation. If that’s the case, you will want a professional that knows how to eradicate the problem.
While the thought of mice climbing your walls at night, eating your food, and burrowing in your clothes can be upsetting, you don’t need to worry—mice infestations are one of the most common pest problems in the world. It may take some time, but a professional pest removal company can find the mice, remove them, and help you prevent future infestations.