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Mice in the house

Mice are incredibly efficient climbers. They'll take any opportunity to get into your home, whether it requires climbing ladders, walking across wires, scaling tall walls, or even swimming through sewers. How can you keep such a persistent pest out?

Unfortunately, mice are fairly relentless in their constant search for a meal. Not to mention, the warmth and shelter that your home provides attracts them in adverse weather conditions. The fall and winter seasons make mice especially eager to get inside.

If you suspect a mouse infestation in your home, contact the mouse control specialists at Western Exterminator. Your specialist will eliminate your mouse problem and help you identify potential entry points to prevent a return infestation.

What does a house mouse look like?

The house mouse is one of the most easily identifiable rodents. Here are some characteristics of house mice:

  • light brown or dusty gray in color, with a light gray or cream underside
  • smooth fur
  • pointed nose
  • small eyes
  • large ears with some hair
  • short and broad feet
  • dark, hairless and scaly tail

House mice are extremely nearsighted, only able to see 6 inches in front of them clearly. They're color-blind as well. However, despite their vision issues, they are natural athletes. They can climb, run up rough walls, along pipes, ropes, and wires, and jump great distances. They can even swim sometimes if need be.

House mouse droppings

Finding mouse droppings is one of the primary signs of a mouse infestation. It can instill a sense of dread in one who discovers them. In determining what kind of mouse droppings you've found, there are some identifying characteristics. Adult droppings are ⅛-¼ inch (3-6 mm) long, and rod-shaped with pointed ends, but without ridges.

Where do house mice live?

They are thought to have originated from Central Asia and made their home in Israel 2,000 years ago, but now they are everywhere.

House mice love dark, secluded places with plenty of privacy and comfort to nest in. They make nests of paper, fabric, insulation, packing materials and cotton, often inside of walls, under floorbards, or in attics. Once they find a way inside, mice will search for an isolated location that provides warmth and close proximity to food. For that reason, we often discover mice nests behind kitchen appliances.

What do house mice eat?

House mice love seeds and sweet liquids. They feed mainly at dawn and dusk, sometimes from multiple places in a single night. From watching any number of childhood cartoons, you likely know that cheese attracts mice. But they'll eat almost anything -- even chocolate and peanut butter will appeal to mice. They absorb moisture from food, but will also drink water, especially when bulking up their diet with protein.

Discover other mice facts here.

House mouse lifecycle

"Community nests" are made up of multiple females sharing the same nest with their own broods. The nests can get pretty crowded – pregnancy takes 18-21 days, with 5-8 per litter, 8 litters per year, and 30-35 weaned per year. As a female can have a litter every 40-50 days, there may be more than one litter in the nest at a time. Maturation takes 35 days. The lifespan depends on a number of factors. When mice live indoors and with plenty of food, they may live up to 2 years or more.

However, unrelated males are aggressive, and mature house mice are aggressive toward any and all strangers. Territories are small and marked with, what else, urine. From the scent of the urine, mice can determine  the gender and identity of the exact mouse that left it behind. In the case of urine left behind by females, other mice can use the urine scent to tell if she is ready to mate. A dominant male rules over the rest of the lower-ranking community. That being said, house mice are very social; related males and females are compatible.

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House mouse damage

Besides gnawing a hole through your favorite slippers or through your wires, house mice can do other damage. A house mouse will eat and contaminate stored food, and transmit disease through droppings, urine, bites, as well as contact with cats, fleas and mites.

How to keep mice out of the house

When it comes to house mice, prevention is always better than cure. From the diseases they carry to the damage they can do to wiring, furniture, and other parts of your home, it's best to take action early.  

There are many things you can do to prevent mice. To ensure peace of mind, professional prevention solutions are also available.

  • Food storage - Store all food in airtight containers, through which mice cannot chew.

  • Sanitation - Clean underneath kitchen appliances regularly. Promptly wipe up any food or drink spills.

  • Holes - Seal any holes in pipes, roofing, or foundations.

  • Vents and chimneys - Cover vents and chimneys with wire mesh to prevent entry.

House mouse control with Western Exterminator

Overall, the key to controlling mice includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing your property. Getting rid of house mice entails monitoring the population, while removing clutter and excess storage. This allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Western Exterminator specialists are well-trained in all of the most effective house mouse control solutions.

Most rodent problems are a result of the pests seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. House mice also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings as small as ¼ inch. A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control. Once the entry points have been repaired, your Western Exterminator specialist will recommend the best solution for your unique situation.

How to catch a mouse in the house

The best way to find a mouse which is scurrying around in your home is to contact your local Western Exterminator office. Contacting us will allow one of our specialists to head out to your property and do a thorough property inspection to find all of the ways mice are entering the house. Once the inspection is done, we'll get back in touch with you with an estimate and recommendations for treatment.

Western Exterminator specialists are trained to track down mice and other rodents around your home and property. Our specialists can determine how mice are getting in and offer solutions not only to get rid of mice in the house currently, but prevent them from returning.

The first step is to reach out and contact your local Western Exterminator office. We'll help take care of the rest.


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