The truth is whether you have mice or rats, these animals are relentless and do what they need to seek food, warmth and shelter in your home if you allow it access. Since mice have a higher population, they are more widespread. A rat is generally larger in its body in terms of head and feet than that of a mouse. An adult house mouse is about 1-2 inches long (excluding the tail), has large ears, small eyes and a pointed nose.
A mouse typically likes cereal grains, sweets and even seeds, but generally will eat anything. They don’t need much water as they get most of theirs from food. Ultimately mice have access to food, water and shelter, they will rapidly multiply. Mice nests can be found in walls, under appliances, in storage boxes, ceiling voids or in upholstery.
Typically mice eat at two different times, just before dusk and just before dawn. They can eat up to 15% of their body weight in just one day. Mice are generally more active during the night. They are excellent climbers and can run up any vertical surface.
Signs of a Mouse Infestation
While it is more common for them to be active during the night, it is possible to see them during the day. Most often they scurry in undisturbed hiding place or along walls. You can easily identify mice by their droppings, which are small pellets that may be rod shaped with pointed ends. Some people confuse their droppings with that of a cockroach, but a mouse’s droppings should have hair embedded in them. Roach dropping generally have ridges down the sides.
Mice are known for their ability to chew on anything. Finding teeth or gnaw marks on the edges of objects or openings in random spots are tell tale signs of a mouse in your house.
Oftentimes footprints or tracks are left on surfaces from a mouse. Look for a four-toe front foot and a five-toe back footprint.
House mouse urine has a musky scent and is used to attract females or ward off males.
Mouse Proofing Your Home
Ultimately, a mouse can squeeze through any opening that is larger than ¼ inches across. Eliminate all openings that animals can enter your structure. Copper mesh is a great way to keep pests out. Seal any openings around utilities, vents and pipes too. Doors, windows and screens should always fit tightly. Make sure to use patching materials that is smooth on the surface. Mouse proof all your food in the house in resealable airtight containers.
Make sure to keep your home tidy as rodents love clutter as it is places for them to nest. Peppermint oil is too intense for rodents and they will deter from those areas. Use cotton balls with peppermint oils in areas where mice can enter your home. If you suspect mice, use box traps baited with mixture of peanut butter and vanilla extract. Rodents can get in these humane traps, but can’t get out. Repellents also can help solve the problem of mice in your house too.
There is a correlation between birdfeeders and rodent infestation. Birds are messy and spread seed on the ground. This attracts small rodents. Rodents love to live near their food source. If you have bird feeders close to your home, you are inviting rodents in. Never have bird feeders within 75 feet of your home.
Ultimately, mice can survive for 1 year to 18 months and given the right environment, they can multiple in numbers. This is why it is important to take action immediately before an infestation occurs in your home.