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Mice Are Not Loners: If You Spotted One, There Are Others Hiding

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 by Bill Cowley

Mice Are Not Loners:  If You Spotted One, There Are Others Hiding - Image 1

This year, October 20-26 has been designated as Rodent Awareness Week!

While homeowners may not get excited thinking about rats and mice, this annual weekly observance is important to promote greater awareness about all of the threats posed by rodents. Why now? With temperatures dropping and harsh weather on the way, this is the time of year when rodents seek refuge inside our homes. So, this is an opportune time to remind homeowners of the key signs of an infestation.

It is important to identify and resolve these infestations in their early stages – before populations skyrocket!  When it comes to mice, where there’s one, there’s many. A single female house mouse can give birth to up to 35 young per year, and a mouse reaches sexual maturity in just 4-6 weeks. That is one fast-growing family tree!

If you spot a rodent, you’ll probably find in it either the kitchen or bathroom since, when out and about, they are foraging for food and water. Mice usually enter from cracks or gaps around the foundation, especially openings around pipes and wiring. Rats also enter the same way, but need a slightly bigger hole. Also, if that weren’t enough, rats are excellent swimmers that can enter homes through sewer pipes, wiggling their way right out of your toilet!

Rodents do a wonderful job staying out-of-sight, lurking in your wall voids or other non-living spaces of your home like crawl spaces and attics. They usually venture out from their nests and forage for food and water in the dead of night while we are fast asleep.  Since actual rodent spottings are infrequent, it is important for homeowners to know the key signs of an infestation:

  • Droppings: Fecal pellets are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as the kitchen, cabinets or pantries, as well as under sinks, inside cardboard boxes and along baseboards.
  • Gnaw Marks: Rodents can chew through almost any type of material, including plastic and lead pipes, to obtain food or water. Gnawing on electrical wires is a major fire hazard.
  • Nesting Materials: Rodents nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. House mice like to build nests out of items like shredded paper products, cotton, wall insulation and fabrics.
  • Tracks or Rub Marks: Rodents will leave dark grease or dirt marks from their oily fur along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food.
  • Strange Noises: Hearing strange noises in the wall, especially at night, may well be the sounds of  a family of rodents scurrying about the house, between the walls and up in attics.

With rodent infestations, homeowners must not only get rid of the current infestation. It is essential to identify and seal rodent entry points around your home’s perimeter. Otherwise, you may well find yourself with ongoing rodent problems throughout the fall and winter.

Please contact us at the first sign of rodent trouble. We’ll deal with the infestation before it turns into a major nightmare for you and your family.