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Mouse Control in your Home

If you've ever had a mouse infestation in your home, you know how urgent it is to get them out. Rodent control problems include food contamination, damage to property, and risk of disease. House mice, deer, and white-footed mice are the most common to find around your home in Eastern Massachusetts this winter, and now is the time to get rid of their food sources, block their entry points, and implement other effective control methods to get rid of them.

Control Mice: Identify Mice Problems

Signs of Mice

Mice are nocturnal, though you can spot a house mouse sometimes during the day. You're unlikely to see one unless it comes running across your floor, which is unlikely. But here are some signs you're likely to notice if a mouse has invaded your home.

  • Prints. Mice will leave tiny paw prints in dirt or spilled flour.
  • Droppings. Mouse feces are the shape and size of a grain of rice. Look for these in pantries, cupboards, under furniture, or in out-of-the-way places.
  • Sightings. As mentioned, the probability of a sighting is low. However, house mice occasionally exhibit diurnal behavior as well as nocturnal, depending on the needs and challenges of the environment.
  • Nests. Mice build nests with shredded paper, soft bits of wood shavings, or wall insulation.
  • Pilfered Food. Mice are omnivores, so they will look for and eat anything they can. They will chew through flour bags, gnaw through plastic, scavenge crumbs, and lap up leftovers. Mice return to delectable food 20-30 times in a single night.
  • Gnaw, Chew, or Scratch Marks. If determined enough, a mouse will chew a hole through a wall. When desperate, they will go to almost any length to penetrate to a food source.
  • Nocturnal Noise. Nocturnal habits rodents exhibit include squeaking, scratching, scavenging. Mice demonstrate extreme curiosity when confronted with an unfamiliar object in its established territory.

Mice versus Rats

  • Young rats are sometimes mistaken for mice. Rats have a rounded body, thicker tail, and a larger head than mice.
  • A house mouse has rounded ears.
  • Rat feces are usually rounded at the ends, cylindrical or pellet-shaped. Roof rat feces is often pointed at the ends.
  • Mice feces is roughly the size and shape of a grain of rice with a dark brown or black color.
  • Rats are not as curious as mice and fight one another for food and territory rights. Mice explore their homes with boundless curiosity and are more likely to nibble a newly-placed trap than a rat, whose natural suspicion of newness in its environment causes it to avoid a new trap, smell, or other sensation.

Get Rid of Mice Attractants

Food and shelter are any rodent's priority, and your Eastern Massachusetts home is the perfect spot for it. Heed these directions to reduce mice attractants.

  • Seal Stored Food. Dry goods, especially pet food, attract rodents quickly. Store your flour, sugar, spices, and other non-refrigerated goods in airtight containers. Pet food and birdseed are especially prime attractants. Gather berries, vegetables, and fallen fruits from your yard as well.
  • Sanitize Often. Rodents are less likely to remain in a home with a regular sanitation regimen. Although the myth that rodents are attracted to filth is untrue, the cleaner your home, the less likely an unwanted pest is to remain.
  • Reduce Harborages. Trim tree limbs five feet from the roof. Trim bushes and shrubs at least one foot from the house siding. Rake leaves and fallen branches. Place 1/4 inch screening around compost piles (especially food waste compost) and firewood piles. Place both these piles at least 20 feet from the home and at least one foot off the ground.
  • Water Leaks. Keep drains, water pipes, attics, crawl spaces, pantries, and cupboards well-ventilated, dry, and leak-free. Mice like to nest near water and food sources, so it is crucial to keep these areas dry. Mice are known to lap up standing water.

Seal Entry Points

Because of their body shape and soft cartilage, mice can fit into a gap as small as 1/4 inch, which is smaller than the diameter of a dime. Keep in mind that total mouse entry blockage is unreasonable, but do your best to exclude rodents from these more obvious places that most homes. Use steel wool, silicone caulk, copper mesh, and 1/4 inch (or smaller) steel screens to seal the following areas:

  • Gaps in siding, especially if the siding is within one foot from the ground
  • Cracks and crevices in the foundation or around sill plates.
  • Window wells
  • Gaps around in ground-level windows
  • Gaps or cracks around garage doors and shed doors, especially if they contain seeds or pet food
  • Gaps or cracks around the cellar doors, especially if it contains food
  • Replace and maintain weather stripping and door sweeps under exterior doors

Eradicate Mice Populations with Professional Pest Control

Home remedies exist that can help. You can set traps, live traps, good old peanut butter mouse traps, snap traps, rodent baits, bait stations, mouse bait, and glue boards. Don't try to trap or bait a rodent without professional help. Use proper sanitation procedures when removing a dead mouse from your home: Wear gloves, place it in a sealed plastic bag, sanitize the area, dispose of it properly in a dumpster, and ensure that other objects don't come in contact with it.

Our Pest Professional Technicians are trained and ready to help you eradicate rodent control problems around your home. Call today for a free estimate. We work hard so that you don't have to worry. Restore your peace of mind with Fox Pest Control. Pests ... it's what we do.

Posted on December 2, 2019.

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