Mice are nocturnal creatures, preferring to keep hidden during the day and search for food from dusk till dawn. Here are some common signs of mouse activity you can look for in your property.
Droppings - Mice will excrete 50/ 80 droppings a night, small and dark (approx. 3 - 8 mm in length), scattered randomly, check inside or on cupboard tops or along floorboards.
Grease marks - Caused by their bodies brushing against walls, floors and floorboards on regular routes. Look for dark smears around holes or around corners.
Urine pillars - In established or heavy infestations, body grease, combined with dirt and urine, builds up into small mounds, up to 2 inches high and half an inch wide.
Scratching noises - Often at night when mice are most active. Listen for noises between partition walls, under floorboards, in false ceilings, basements and lofts.
Nests - Using easy to shred materials, mice then line the nest with other soft materials. Check lofts, suspended ceilings, cavity walls, under floorboards and behind fridges, under stoves and cabinets.
Tracks footprints - Dusty environments such as unused lofts and basements can show up rodent tracks and tail marks. To check for activity, sprinkle flour, talcum powder or china clay and check the next day for fresh tracks.
Live or dead mice - Spotting a mouse during the daytime can be an indication of a heavy infestation.
Strong smell - Mice urinate frequently and their urine has a strong ammonia-like smell. The stronger the smell the closer you are to mice activity. This smell can linger for a long time (even after an infestation has been removed).
Where to check for mice inside your home
Where in your home should you start to look for the signs of mice and damage they can cause? Mice are agile and are inquisitive creatures, able to use their flexible skeletons to squeeze into the tiniest spaces, so you need to be pragmatic and check a building for mice from the very top to the bottom, inside and out. Here are some common places you might find mice hiding within a home.
Lofts, attics & eaves - mice will shred soft materials like loft insulation, paper, cardboard and any fabrics you may have stored away (from woolen scarves to lace tablecloths. They will shred these items to line their nests. Also check for scattered mouse droppings and an ammonia like smell. This can be quite strong in a confined space like a loft.
Kitchens & laundries - check behind 'all' appliances, as mice can easily squeeze into gaps behind a fridge freezer or under the base of a cooker. Any areas where pipework or cabling enters through walls from the outside offers mice a chance to sneak in, so check behind the washing machine too.
Basements & cellars - usually the haunt of spiders, but mice can gain entry to lower floors through air vents, especially if they are damaged.
Cavity walls - and other hidden spaces such as suspended ceilings, crawlspaces and even under stairs and cabinets, mice will make use of, as these places are secure and protected harborages that often go unnoticed.
It's a misconception that mice are only a winter problem, as house mice are active all year round. So where outside your home should you start checking for the signs of mice?
Sheds - check the base of wooden doors for gaps and gnaw marks. Field mice are more likely to enter sheds and outbuildings in search of stored foods, preferably fruits and vegetables.
Garages - check for gaps around door frames or holes gnawed at the bottom of wooden doors. Check around the internal door inside the garage as well, and any vents that could give entry into other internal areas.
Compost bins - compost heaps attract mice because they are warm and contain food. Check lid and base of composters for holes and gnaw marks.
Vegetation - overgrown vegetation, especially close to walls may be used by mice to shelter and nest. Vines, shrubs and overhanging branches close to a property can give mice a climbing frame from which to reach entry points in the eaves or on the roof.
How did I get house mice?
House mice are one of the most common pests for residents. Just because a house gets mice, doesn't mean it's dirty or unclean. Instead, it means vegetation has potentially grown too tall or too close to the house. Mice and rats will get inside a home through cracks in the foundation, spaces beneath doors or holes in siding and walls. Mice are looking for shelter, a place to nest, a place to breed and easy access to food.
Mice will get inside and build their nests from paper, cardboard and other materials they can chew up and shed with teeth and claws. Mice are also commonly found in areas with easy access to food like the kitchen or pantries. If mice get close to a home, they have no problem using their strong teeth to chew through wood and even siding.
Worried about mice?
If you are worried about a future mice infestation, you can take some practical steps now to prevent mice from getting indoors in the first place. But if you've found that mice are already inside your property, you need to act quickly by choosing the best solution from the start. DIY solutions cost you time and money without providing results. They lack the effectiveness that you get with a professional mouse exterminator.
Call the mice control experts at Western Exterminator at 888-674-0921 to get rid of mice from your home or business.