Use these hints to recognize a mouse infestation in your home
Mice. They’re tiny and live for only a year at the most. But what they lack in size and longevity, they tend to make up for in shrewdness, speed, and an expert ability to remain just out of sight. So how can you tell if they’ve decided to take up residence in your home — and in large numbers, no less?
Let's take a look at the following telltale signs that will reveal if you have a mouse infestation in the one place you want them the least:
- The presence of mouse droppings:The average mouse is responsible for no less than 50 droppings per night at the very least and just under 100, at the most. And they have no compunction about leaving them anywhere. Fresh droppings tend to be dark and are a sure indicator of their presence. Dried droppings tend to be lighter colored and brittle. Dropping size can be an indicator of age and the presence of different sizes shows that both youngsters and grown ups have made themselves right at home in your house.
- Musty odors: Mice have a habit of leaving urine trails wherever they go which will cause an unusual musty odor in your home. The smell tends to be particularly potent in closed spaces or when large numbers of them happen to be present. What's more, all that body grease, debris and waste matter tends to produce small mounds when the population has reached a considerable size.
- Shredded material: Have your favorite magazines and books or even outfits begun to get mysteriously shredded? Have you come across miniature strips of paper and clothing in dark corners? If your responses to the above questions are positive, you're most certainly looking at a nest building effort. Mice are very capable of multiplying at an alarming rate and choose to do so too, which is how a mouse infestation can occur quickly. One mouse is capable of giving birth to 10 litters per year, each containing between 6 -12 baby mice. At the very least that would mean approximately 60 mice born each year. And each of them will reach full adulthood in merely 6 weeks. Such prolific multiplication calls for cozy nests in concealed spots and for suitable material to create them with. Nothing is out of bounds: not that favorite plush seat, that autographed novel or even your favorite woolen scarf.
- Unusual behavior in your pets: Has your cat or dog begun to pay close attention to a spot in your home they previously ignored, constantly checking it out at every opportunity? Such curiosity may indicate the presence of mice. After all it's no secret that our furry friends are far more adept at picking up on these things than we are and waste no time in playing detective to ferret out these unwelcome critters invading their turf.
- An encounter in broad daylight: Mice are elusive creatures which are extremely skilled at staying hidden. The fact that they're nocturnal also means that coming across one in broad daylight ought to be highly unlikely. But what if you did spot a diminutive figure scurrying across your polished wooden floors at top speed or pausing to stare at you halfway through nibbling on your favorite cookies before swiftly engaging in a vanishing act? According to experts, such a random encounter is a sign of a flourishing population that might just be about to explode. Taking prompt action would be highly recommended in this instance to prevent the rodents from causing further damage to your home and inconvenience to its residents.
What to do if you have a mouse infestation
If your responses to the above questions have been positive for the most part, it's highly likely that several small rodents have taken up residence on the premises.
And in light of the dangers they pose to the comfort and well-being of your household, taking action to restore your home to its former mouse-free state is highly recommended. But how do you go about doing just that?
There are several options when it comes to getting rid of mice. These include:
- Calling in professionals: Enlisting the help of pest control companies can be an excellent means of getting your home back to being both odor- and rodent-free. However it's worth noting that doing so may involve considerable expense which may make considering other alternatives worthwhile.
- Setting up mouse traps: As smart as mice are, they have a reputation of being too inquisitive for their own good which makes mouse traps an efficient means of handling an invasion of these small rodents. There are various options to choose from such as snap traps or electronic traps. And to ensure you have the information you need right at your fingertips, we've written an article on them which you can read right here.
- Rendering your home mouse proof: The last thing you deserve while discouraging the current resident population from getting comfy in your home is another sneak invasion. Taking steps to make entry to your home very difficult and even impossible for mice will ensure that such an eventuality never arises. Possible measures in this regard include keeping food in tightly closed containers, sealing all points of entry and even enlisting the aid of a furry friend or two.