Mice are common pests, but Merrimac residents still don't know all that much about them. When you see a mouse in your home or routinely see mice, there are a few things you should know about those tiny rodents, not the least of which is how to get rid of mice in your home. Unfortunately, house mice aren't easy to get rid of when they get inside. Often, the only solution is to contact Merrimac pest control. If you're not ready to take that step yet, we understand. There is a chance you can address the problem on your own. Let's take a look at how to detect mouse activity, why it is important to know how to detect mice, two ways to arrest a mouse infestation, and how to naturally prevent future infestations. Does that sound like a plan? Great! Let's get into it.
How To Tell If You Have Mice Inside Your Merrimac Home
Knowing how to detect mice is critical. Not only does detection help you know for sure that you have a mouse infestation, it helps you to determine when all the mice are gone. Often, Merrimac residents take steps to catch mice but don't realize that catching mice isn't easy and that finding empty traps does not mean the mice are gone. The result of misapplied traps and an incomplete rodent control strategy is that mouse infestations persist, which allows mice to continue to cause sickness and damage property. Here are our best tips for locating and evaluating the evidence that mice leave for you to find.
Droppings: The best way to track and evaluate a mouse problem is to look for droppings and analyze the droppings you find. You'll find droppings near your exterior walls, behind appliances in your kitchen, in cabinets and drawers, behind objects on the floor of your pantry, and in any secluded space within your home. Mouse droppings are slightly smaller than grains of white rice. Fresh droppings are black and moist. Old droppings will look gray and crumble when crushed. When you find droppings, clean them up and inspect the location in a few days. You'll see new droppings if mice are still active in the area. Wear a mask and gloves when dealing with rodent droppings to prevent sickness.
Mouse Holes: Mice create holes in many things. These holes can provide evidence of a current infestation if you seal the holes you find. Use expanding foam in locations where you're not concerned about having a clumpy mess. Use a caulking gun if you want a cleaner patch. Look for mouse holes in exterior building materials, such as weatherstripping, door sweeps, and wood. Look for mouse holes in low areas within your home, such as underneath the overhangs on your cabinets and near the floor behind appliances. Inspect food packages in your kitchen and pantry, and inspect boxes and furniture in storage.
Nests: Many nests created by mice are hidden in inaccessible voids, but you might find mouse nests in secluded spaces, such as your attic. These nests are composed of materials collected by the mice indoors and outdoors. You might see leaves, twigs, insulation, clothing shards, paper products, and other materials all mixed together and matted down. Mice may also create a nest inside stored furniture, particularly cushions.
Sounds: If you hear sounds in your walls at night before you go to sleep, the reason is that you have mice climbing up and down within your wall voids to go from your attic to food storage areas. Not hearing these sounds does not mean you don't have mice. These little critters eat fifteen to twenty times a day and prefer to be close to food. They don't want to climb down your wall voids each night. They would much prefer to create a nest in the wall of your pantry or kitchen. As you look for holes, use your ear to listen for noises in your walls, particularly at dusk when mice are most active. If you have a dog or cat, they may let you know something is moving in your walls. They can hear things you can't.
When you find evidence of a mouse infestation, the next step is to consider a control strategy. Whether you try to get rid of the mice yourself or chose to hire a trained and experienced professional, knowing how mice can make you sick can inspire you to take action. The last thing you want to do is think of mice as harmless, little furry critters. Wild mice are not the same as pet mice.
Can Mice Make You Sick?
You betcha. There are many ways a mouse can make you sick, and it can do this without you touching it. Here are a few facts you should know.
- Mice climb in dumpsters, trash cans, sewers, and other dirty places. They pick up microorganisms in these locations, such as salmonella, E. coli, and hookworms. As a mouse moves around in your home and accesses your stored foods, it can spread germs and parasitic worms.
- The droppings left by mice are a chore to clean up. They also pose a health concern. But, not only can you get sick from touching rodent waste, you can get sick by entering a space with rodent droppings. When mice get into air ducts (which commonly happens) their dried droppings can crumble and create airborne particulates.
- Mice carry ticks and fleas and these ectoparasites can carry diseases. Some of the diseases spread by ticks and fleas are dangerous or have long-lasting health implications. A little mouse can have as many as a hundred seed ticks on its body and who knows how many fleas.
- Mice chew on many things, including wires and gas lines. One mouse can accidentally set a fire in your home. Experts estimate that 20 to 25 percent of fires with no known point of origin are likely rodent-related.
We could go on, but you get the point. It isn't good to have mice in your home. It is best to put in the effort to get rid of mice or hire someone to do it.
The Safest Way To Get Rid Of Mice Inside
There are two ways to deal with a mouse problem in your Merrimac home. You can do it yourself or hire a licensed professional. When you hire a professional, you benefit from the training and experience of your technician. At Freedom Pest Control, our technicians are highly trained professionals with extensive field experience dealing with mice. There are few things they haven't seen. So, when mice do something unexpected (which commonly happens), our technicians know how to alter your treatment plan appropriately. If you choose to take care of mice yourself, we recommend all-natural solutions to guard against the illnesses that can arise from improperly applying controlled substances.
- Clean your home to remove food debris.
- Protect food sources within your home, such as storing pantry foods in sealed containers.
- Put pet food down only during meal times.
- Keep your kitchen trash covered and remove it routinely to avoid faint smells from developing.
- Use traps to capture and remove mice. Wear a mask and gloves when doing this.
- Seal gaps around the pipes underneath your kitchen sink. A can of expanding foam can help you tackle this job quickly. Be cautious with expanding foam as it adheres to the skin.
- Seal gaps in your exterior. A caulking gun is best for this job. Use it to seal gaps around pipes, wire conduits, door and window frames, rotted holes in wood, and gaps between wood members.
- Replace protective building materials, such as door sweeps, rubber weatherstripping around exterior doors, vent covers, and screens.
- Remove leaf debris, sticks, and other organic material near your exterior walls.
- Trim landscape vegetation to remove hiding places.
- Use fencing material to keep mice from getting underneath your deck, exterior stairs, and other structural voids.
Mouse control is more about the process and less about the products. You can get the fanciest traps in the world and fail to get control of a mouse infestation. Your Freedom Pest Control technician uses the scientific method to work the problem until no rodents remain in your home. For assistance, give us a call or drop us a line through our contact page. We provide industry-leading mouse control solutions in Merrimac.
Natural Mouse-Prevention Tips For Merrimac Homes
Once the mice are gone, how do you keep them out of your home? The primary deterrent for mice is yard work. Along with removing leaves and sticks, consider other potential attractants.
- Remove clutter from your yard to make it more difficult for mice to circumnavigate your property.
- Remove wood piles and other organic hiding places near your home.
- Remove bird feeders, which offer mice their primary food source.
- Protect exterior trash in covered containers. Don't underestimate a mouse's ability to climb and jump its way into your trash.
- Perform routine inspections and seal any holes mice make.
- Use steel wool to keep mice out of your downspouts.
- Trim tree branches away from your roofline.
Keep in mind that Freedom Pest Control can also help with ongoing rodent prevention. We check for rodent activity during each service visit. Connect with us today to learn more about year-round pest control. Rodents are only one of many pests that we keep out of Merrimac homes.