If you took steps to get rid of a mice infestation in your house recently, you might think the problem is over. You would assume that the pest control professionals rid your home of nasty rodents, but how can you be sure?
To know if there are mice in your house or not, you would have to know how you can tell if they were there in the first place.
Signs of a Mouse Infestation
By keeping an eye out for signs of mice being around your home, you can confirm whether each last one of these rodents has been eliminated.
The most clear-cut and obvious sign of an infestation would be that you would see a mouse running around, but mice are very cautious and nocturnal rodents, so you would be less likely to see one earlier in the day. They could live for months or years in your house without ever getting caught. If you’re seeing one, especially during the day, there is a high likelihood that your home is already infested. There’s never just one mouse, so the one you’re seeing is most likely to have a whole family behind it that you haven’t come across.
You’re much more likely to hear mice than you are to see them. There could be skittering sounds behind walls and scraping under floorboards and in closets or squeaking at night. If you make a sound, you will most likely hear them stop. If you remain silent, they will resume their activities once they believe they are safe again.
You can also smell mice. Mouse urine has a very strong smell from the ammonia, and because mice cannot control their urine, they will spread it everywhere they go, particularly close to their nest and feeding spots. It will take up quite a lot of mouse urine to build up a stronger smell. If you are smelling mice, then you should act fast because you will almost definitely have a severe mouse infestation on your hands.
Though it’s less likely for you to see the mice themselves, you might see their droppings. Mouse droppings are small, like grains of rice, and are black or brown. You can come across these droppings beneath kitchen units, in cupboards, or even in toasters and grills where they like to feast on crumbs. Mouse droppings are small, and if they are any larger than a rice grain, you are most likely dealing with rats.
If these rodents don’t have any existing ways to get around your house, they will start making them. Mouse holes are not the neat little arches you see in cartoons but are smaller and rougher than you would expect. Mice can squeeze through holes only about the size of a ballpoint pen to get through.
Mice are greasy, so when they skitter across the floor, they will leave their residue behind them. Dirt will then stick to this grease, and you will see these marks clearly, particularly around the places the mice love to visit in your homes, such as the kitchen where they’ll be able to find food. This dirt will also let you know if a hole was made by a mouse or if it was there beforehand.
Gnawed Food Bags
Bags of food, such as rice, flour, cereal, etc. are easy targets for mice looking for things to eat. Food stored away in attics and basements is particularly attractive to mice since entire families will be able to feast on it without you ever being able to catch them. These creatures can nibble on food for months or weeks at a time without being detected.
Checking for Mice
Now, you know which signs to look for to check for mice. You might not see any of these signs but suspect the presence of a mouse or two that are lounging around your home. How can you take measures to confirm their presence?
You can spread flour or talcum powder on your floor overnight, and check for footprints in the morning to determine if you have any mice in your house. If you do, you need to find out how many there are and which areas of your house they like to frequent. Mice footprints are barely visible, being only dots in the powder, about half a centimeter wide. If they are any bigger than this or if you can see clearly defined footprints, you have a rat infestation.
Mice love finding easy food. Leave some sweet food items like pieces of a cookie where you think they’re feeding to check if they’re really there. Simply leave it there overnight, and see if it’s gnawed in the morning.
If there are tiny bite marks and the cookie is still there, you have mice. If the biscuit is gone, you may be dealing with a rat problem since they are bigger and smarter and will take the whole biscuit to store away for eating later.
You can also leave snap traps lying around with bait, such as peanut butter, to confirm whether you have a mice problem. If you do, you can deal with it at the same time. The mice will fall for the bait, causing them to get caught and confirming there is a mice problem. Then, you can take steps to get rid of the other mice.
Let’s assume you’ve tried out all of these, and you think your house is mouse-free. That’s great, but your job isn’t over yet. If you’ve dealt with an infestation once, you would want to avoid having another. You would want to ensure that mice don’t enter your house again.
Seal any cracks and openings on windows and doors that mice can use to enter your house. This includes places where pipes and other similar fittings enter your house. Make sure your basements and attics, where mice are likely to make a home, are ventilated and dry. Eliminate moisture wherever you can to prevent breeding sites for pests that mice would like to catch as food for themselves.
Set up mice traps in basements and attics to catch mice that do manage to sneak in. Keep your house as clean as possible and declutter to make sure they do not have places to hide.
Are mice dangerous?
Mice can be horrifying creatures to some and cute to others. Though they are not dangerous for their bite, sting, or poison, mice can be dangerous in terms of health risks, such as the diseases they can carry.
Do mice attack you?
Though mice are generally prone to running away from humans, they can bite and attack people when cornered. Mice will also bite sleeping people if a food odor is present.
Does light prevent mice?
Mice generally prefer to avoid areas with too much light as they are more prone to being caught this way. Mice are nocturnal and prefer the dark, where they can avoid predators and contact with people.