Mice and Mouse Control
When mice enter your home, they create havoc. Little by little, they chew up parts of your house and possessions. They ruin food and carry disease. Besides that, they startle everyone as they seem to appear out of nowhere to dash from one hiding place to another. For all these reasons, mice control and prevention help you enjoy your home more.
Have you ever wondered why scientists use mice to study human behavior? Cost and convenience play a part, but other factors make them ideal subjects, as well. For one thing, mice show much more intelligence than many other animals. Second, their behavior resembles human behavior in many ways.
In short, mice exhibit an impressive level of craftiness and motivation. Therefore, to eliminate mice from your home, you first need to outsmart them. At OMNIS, we have all the expertise required to get rid of mice and banish them from your home for the long term.
Facts about Mice
Most people have some experience with mice. In fact, mice number among the most common household pests in Colorado and around the world. However, consider these facts you might not know about this pervasive pest.
Mice have small greyish, brownish bodies covered in fine fur and light-colored bellies. Experts call the males bucks, the females does, and the babies pinkies or pups. Depending on the type of mouse, they usually range from one to seven inches long. They have long, smooth tails about the length of their body and head combined.
You can distinguish mice by their large ears and pointy faces. Mice have some impressive capabilities, too. They climb, swim, shimmy across cables, and jump as high as a foot to 18 inches into the air.
Mice can live outdoors or in buildings, homes, or other human-made structures. Outside, they burrow into the ground to make their nest. Yet, they have no problem making a home indoors, either. For example, you might find mice living in your kitchen, behind your walls, or in your attic, garage, or basement. Sometimes, mice make burrow holes about one inch in diameter and nest behind the holes.
Also, mice prefer to live somewhere that no one disturbs them. More importantly, they like to live between 10 and 30 feet from a food source. Besides, they get enough hydration from their food, which allows them to live in a spot without a water source. Plus, they like to nest in warmer areas of your home.
Mice love cereal grains and seeds best. However, they will eat nearly any food they can find. As omnivorous creatures, mice eat the same foods humans eat, like fruits, sugary treats, snack foods, and even meats. They also enjoy munching your pets’ food. Perhaps even more disgusting, they sometimes eat other mice if there is no other food available.
As nocturnal creatures, mice tend to do their dirty work at night. While you try to sleep, they forage for food and eat what they find, build their nests, and generally run rampant through your home. Mice have poor eyesight, but they do not let that hold them back. Instead, they lean on walls and follow them to streak across a room.
Yet, mice do not need a wall to find their way. They learn their way around your home very quickly and remember the routes to food sources, escape paths, hiding spots, and of course, their nests. Mice chew on papers, books, as well as wires and cords, wood, drywall, insulation, and other materials that make up your home. Remember, though, that mice do not eat these things. Instead, they use them to build nests. Also, they gnaw things to sharpen their teeth.
Mating and Lifespan
Wild mice only live about one to one-and-a-half years. However, a female mouse can become pregnant at four to seven weeks of age. Then, she can produce a litter of four to a dozen babies every three weeks. The maximum, mathematically speaking, comes to nearly 200 baby mice per year, although the actual number usually falls between 35 and 80 mice per year from one female. Still, if you think of how many mice each of those babies contributes, the potential number becomes almost astronomical.
Self-Help Mice Control
Many people try to get rid of mice on their own. In light of mice’s ingenuity, speed, and short gestation period, you face an uphill battle. Even so, with enough knowledge and determination, you might have some success. The following steps can help you control mice in your home.
Recognizing Signs of Mice
Of course, as the first step in any pest control problem, you need to recognize the signs of a pest intrusion. Look for these signs of mice:
- Urine and droppings with pointed ends and less than 1/4 inches long
- Gnaw marks on doors, windows, baseboards, cabinets, and packaged items
- Burrow holes about 1 inch in diameter
- Trails and smudges where they run
- Sounds of squeaking, gnawing or running
- Mice nests made from shredded materials
Getting Rid of Mice
Self-help mice control takes persistence and know-how. Use the following methods to eliminate mice from your home:
Deny them food.
First, you need to make sure the mice cannot find any food to sustain them in your house. This difficult feat requires you to keep your home clean constantly. Remember, although they eat many times every day, they can survive on small amounts each time they dine. That means you cannot leave any crumbs or store food on your counter. Beyond that, do not rely on flimsy packaging. Place all items in jars, metal containers, or your refrigerator or freezer. Otherwise, the mice chew through the paper or plastic bags or cardboard boxes.
Use traps intelligently.
Most people consider traps the best method of removing mice. You might ask, then why do they fail so often? Usually, the problem lies with the bait and how, when, and where you set them. Many people bait their mousetraps with cheese. However, other foods tempt mice more and stay on the trap better. Instead, use a snap trap or newer single-kill plastic mousetrap.
In either case, set the trap with some fragrant and sticky food, such as peanut butter. Rather than setting a few traps for a long time, set aside a few days for intensive trapping, covering much of the mice’s territory. Place them near the mice’s nests or along their usual paths. Set the traps at night and check them first thing in the morning. Then, remove any trapped mice from your home immediately.
Resort to rodenticides if necessary.
As a last resort, consider using rodenticides. Whenever you use these substances to kill mice, practice extreme caution to protect your family and pets. Most critically, always follow the manufacturer’s directions precisely. Finally, remove any dead mice immediately because exposure to poisoned mice can indirectly result in pets and children receiving that toxic substance.
Preventing Mice Infestations
Once the mice are gone, you need to keep mice outside. Follow these steps to prevent mice from coming into your home:
- Seal off any entry points, including around doors and windows.
- Keep the door closed as much as possible.
- Repair any holes in walls and screens as well as cracks as soon as you find them.
- Seal any openings around your stove, sinks, and dishwasher.
- Plug spaces around pipes.
- Make sure all vents are intact and leave no space for mice to come inside.
- Keep your home clean and free of crumbs.
Pest Threat Level
Threat Level 8/10
If you think mice are cute, consider the threats they bring into your home. For one, they cause destruction wherever they go as they chew up your home to build their nests. On top of that, they can create a fire hazard as they chew on cords and wires. Moreover, mice can transmit dozens of different diseases. They ruin your food and leave crumbs and droppings, making your home unsightly and unsanitary. No one wants their guests to see a mouse in their home. Even worse, you may fall or trip if a mouse startles you.