When it comes to pest control, mice infestations are no laughing matter. Mice can cause serious damage to buildings, spread disease, and contaminate food. Getting rid of mice after an infestation has begun is not an easy task, which is why it is best to hire a trained professional. There are several methods of prevention a homeowner can take advantage of to help minimize the risk of infestation. But first let’s take a closer look at the mice that can cause so much havoc.
Types of Mice Commonly Found in the Home
There are three species of mice that create pest issues for property owners. They are the house mouse, deer mouse, and white-footed mouse. Each species has a slightly different behavior, diet, and reproduction cycles. This is why enlisting the help of a pest control professional is so important. They are trained to identify which species of mouse is causing the pest problem in order to execute a successful extermination plan.
Mice Reproduction Cycles- A Growing Problem
A small mouse problem can quickly turn into a large one. The house mouse will breed year round inside buildings and homes. The females will generally have 5-10 litters per year with litter sizes ranging from 3-12 pups. A deer mouse typically scales back its reproduction in the winter, and litter sizes range from 1-11 pups. The white-footed mouse has roughly 2-4 litters per year with a litter size ranging from 2-9 pups.
To prevent mice from entering your home all cracks, crevices, and holes larger than a pen cap should be sealed with cement or a mixing compound. Since mice are capable of chewing through wood, it is not advised to use this material to seal any gaps. Keeping food stored in glass or metal containers with tight lids, cleaning dishes immediately after use, and cleaning up any crumbs or morsels from tabletops or floors are also good rodent control practices.
Signs of an Mouse Infestation
Mice are primarily nocturnal and are quick to flee from dangerous situations. For this reason, if you see a mouse, there is likely already a large infestation in the home. Other signs include finding mice droppings, spotting footprints and tracks left in dusty locations, seeing nests in burrows or wall voids, chewed debris such as paper, food, plastic, or wood, and gnaw marks along the edges of wood or hard materials. Home owners may also hear noises such as gnawing and scratching within walls or attics, sounds of mice scurrying from one location to another, or even smell unpleasant odors from a dead mouse or urine and fecal deposits.
Damage Caused by Mice
Mice can cause serious structural damage inside homes, apartments, offices, and any other building. By nature, mice will chew on just about anything that can be useful for building their nests or as food. They have also been known to gnaw and burrow into furniture to create the perfect hidden nest. Insulation is also fair game. They will tunnel into insulation inside walls and attics either to make a home or gather soft materials for their nests. Mice infestations also pose a serious fire risk. They will chew on the insulation around wires, or even build nests in large electrical appliances which can cause the appliance to short circuit, malfunction, or start a fire.
Getting Rid of Mice Infestations
Once a mouse control problem has started, it is hard can be hard to effectively eliminate the problem on your own. It is even harder to keep the mouse infestation from occurring again. Mice are elusive creatures that can quickly catch on to various types of mouse traps and other extermination techniques. Bringing a pest control professional in as soon as you notice the first signs of infestation can save a lot of headaches in the long run. Pest control professionals are trained to use integrated pest management techniques that are designed to combat the infestation and prevent a new one from reoccurring. If you prefer to tackle the problem on your own here are a few tips to get you started:
- Utilize Plenty of Mouse Traps
Mouse traps are a tried and true way to get rid of an ongoing infestation. Classic wooden snap traps are effective for light to moderate mouse populations. Keep in mind most people underestimate mice infestations. It is a good idea to lay many different types of traps to give you a better chance of catching all of the mice. Utilizing a combination of bait traps, multiple-capture live traps, and glue traps in conjunction with wooden traps can provide much better results. Be sure to lay enough traps. It is not uncommon to lay a dozen or so traps for one mouse…or what you think is one mouse. Remember if you see one mouse, there are likely many more.
- Bait with Mouse Friendly Food
You can use whatever food the mice have been eating in your home for bait or mouse favorites such a peanut butter, dried fruit, or chocolate. If food doesn’t seem to be working, try using nesting materials such as feathers or cotton balls. Be sure to replace the bait every two days so it is fresh.
- Mix Up Trap Locations
It is a good idea to move your mouse traps every few days, particularly if your results begin to decline. Unlike rats, mice are naturally curious so moving a trap can be enough to pique their curiosity and result in a capture.
- Bait Stations
Bait stations, also known as bait packages, are sealed packets containing meal or pellets. They often come packaged in plastic or paper wrapping. This allows mice to easily gnaw through and get the fresh bait. Once the mice feed on this bait they will start to die. While helpful in getting rid of mice, to ensure the safety of you, your children, and your pets, bait station products are best handled by trained pest control professionals.
Remember, dealing with mice infestations is no easy task. If you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated remember, OPC Pest Control is here to help.
Give us a call today at 518-877-6425 or fill out the form below to set up a consult with one of our trained rodent control professionals.