While the middle of January may not be the time that most people think about pest control or even pests in general, it is one of the busiest times of the year for mice. Just because you may not actually see them running around your home, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Here are some telltale signs to look and listen for:
An adult mouse produces between 40 and 100 droppings per day! Since mice have no control over their bodily functions, they are literally urinating and defecating as they walk, everywhere they walk. Look for small droppings scattered around, think of a tiny grain of black rice. You’ll see them concentrated in areas where the mice are spending the most time, your countertops, behind the refrigerator and stove, and other warm areas with food present.
Noises at night
Mice are nocturnal, so when you’re sleeping they are up and having their fun. When you hear a scratching, scurrying, gnawing or squeaking in your walls or ceiling, chances are it is mice.
Damage to your home
Mice will chew through baseboards, walls, cabinets, window and door frames all to gain access to places they want to be. Look for very small tooth marks and small wood chips in areas you see damage. There is also the damage you’re not seeing, like the wires they have been chewing on inside your walls or in the attic, 8% of house fires are caused by rodents, and most home insurance policies will not cover damage caused by rodents – including fires.
Gnawing on prepackaged foods and pet food bags
If you notice things are open, there are holes in boxes and bags, or there is suddenly dog or cat food on the floor or in drawers, keep your eyes open for droppings in those areas, it’s mostly likely from mice.
While not every home will get mice, it is important to understand that once you do get mice, you are more likely to get them again in the future thanks to pheromones in the urine of mice that are left behind even after the current mice are gone.
So next time you hear something go bump or scurry in the night, don’t ignore it. Keep your eyes and ears open and make sure you don’t have unwanted guests in your home.