Have you heard scratching noises or noticed an unusual, ammonia-like smell in your home? Then you may have mice in your property. Mice are usually nocturnal and can remain hidden for a long time before you even begin to suspect a problem.
Here are some common signs of mouse activity to look for in your property:
Droppings - Mice will excrete 50-80 tiny droppings per night. You may find them inside or on top of cupboards or along floorboards.
Grease marks - These marks are caused by mice 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 two inches high and half an inch wide.
Scratching noises - At night when mice are most active, you may hear scratching noises. Listen for noises between partition walls, under floorboards, in false ceilings, and in basements or lofts.
Nests - Using easy-to-shred materials, mice build nests in 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 reveal rodent tracks and tail marks. To check for activity, sprinkle flour or talcum powder and see if there are fresh tracks the next day.
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 that lingers for some time. The stronger the smell the closer you are to mice activity.
If you find signs of mice in your house, our state certified pest specialists are able to confirm the presence of mice and offer targeted and effective treatments to resolve any issues with mice.
Mice are agile and are inquisitive creatures, able to use their flexible skeletons to squeeze into the tiniest spaces. 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) to line their nests.
Kitchens & laundry rooms - Check behind all appliances, as mice can easily squeeze into gaps behind a fridge, freezer, or under the base of a stove. 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 - These areas are usually the haunt of spiders, but mice can gain entry to lower floors through air vents, especially if they are damaged.
Cavity walls - Mice will make use of hidden spaces such as suspended ceilings, crawlspaces and even under stairs and cabinets. These areas are secure and protected, so mice can persist, often unnoticed.
Where to check for mice outside a home
It's a misconception that mice are only a winter problem — house mice are active all year round. So where outside your home should you start checking for 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.
Garages - Check for gaps around door frames or holes gnawed at the bottom of wooden doors. Inspect 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 the lid and base of composters for holes and gnaw marks.
Vegetation - Overgrown vegetation, especially located near walls, may be used by mice for shelter and to nest. Vines, shrubs and overhanging branches close to a property can function as a bridge for mice to reach entry points in the eaves or on the roof.
Mice have a lot of habits that make them tough pests to deal with. However, to know for sure that you have a mouse problem, it pays to know what these habits are.
Chewing - Mice teeth never stop growing so they have an incessant need to chew. Their teeth are designed to chew through things like fruit, seeds, and grains as well as harder materials like wood and rubber.
Nest building - Mice may find any cardboard boxes, newspapers, magazines or paper lying around, perfect places to visit. Mice can get into the walls and chew through insulation, piping and the rubber lining of electrical wires, and sometimes even on the wires themselves—a major fire hazard. Mice are not eating these things for sustenance. They are shredding and chewing the materials to build a nest somewhere.
Food searching - When mice go looking for food in your home, they can chew through containers and bags. One of the first signs of mice that you might see are holes in bags or containers. Keep in mind – mice are omnivores, which means they will eat almost anything, but their favorite meals are grains, seeds and fruit. Bags of rice, seeds, flour, cereal and more can all become meals for ravenous mice.
How did I get house mice?
House mice are one of the most common pests for residents. Just because a house gets mice, does not mean it is dirty or unclean. Mice are looking for shelter, a place to nest, a place to breed, and easy access to food. If they can find those things in your home, they’ll find any way they can to get inside. If mice get close to a home, they have no problem using their strong teeth to chew through wood and even siding.
What should I do if I have 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, you need to act quickly by choosing the best solution from the start. DIY solutions cost you time and money without providing long-lasting results. Professional mouse specialists like those at Western Exterminator are your best defense.
Call the mice control experts at Western Exterminator at 800-937-8398 to get rid of mice from your home or business.