Mice might be cute in cartoons, but they are dangerous and destructive little creatures. Our homes might unintentionally invite mice in, and they become a full-blown infestation. Without recognizing the warning signs, you might not even know when mice are burrowing into your home.
Sometimes, the first sign of a mouse infestation is the visible damage the rodents cause. They can fit through a hole the size of a dime, and you might not see them until you’ve found evidence of their existence.
How to Identify Mice
Once you’ve spotted a rodent in the house, be sure to identify it. Different kinds of pests may bring different risks to your home and health. Still, mice are among the most common and are easy to identify.
Mice are small with round ears and long thin tails. They range in color from light brown to gray to black. Mice are much smaller than other rodents (such as rats) and have shorter snouts and whiskers. These rodents scavenge and eat food that they find, creating nests in corners or dark spaces.
Female mice reproduce remarkably quickly and can produce a new litter about once a month. If you see one mouse in your house, you probably already have an infestation.
Signs of a Mice Infestation
Of course, there are more signs than just seeing the mice. You might not even see the animals before you notice that something is out of place. Here are some of the common signs of a mouse infestation:
- Bite marks on corners of doors, wooden windows, or food containers
- Mouse droppings: small, round, brown pieces that look like dark pebbles
- Rub marks: They come from the oil in the mouse’s skin and are visible on walls and baseboards
- Scurrying or scratching noises in your walls and floors, especially at night
- Urine smell, especially near food storage, signs of chewing, or other disturbances
Any of these signs could mean a mouse or rat infestation. The extent of the damages often indicates the extent of the infestation. The more droppings and scratches you see, often the more mice there are in your home.
Damages Mice Cause
Mice can cause irreparable damage to you and your family’s health. Some mice carry diseases that cause long-term damage to your body. Some may lead to brain disease, oxidative damage, and respiratory issues. Mice spread disease and infections by contaminating surfaces and food products.
Even uninfected mice cause damage in a home, however. They can ruin plants, dig up your gardens, tear apart your walls and insulation, damage electrical wires, and eat the food in your pantry. At the very least, they will make lots of noise, which can cause you to lose sleep and become anxious and irritable.
Helpful Mice Prevention Tips
Of course, it’s always better to prevent an infestation than to have to deal with mice in your home. Take these precautions to keep mice from coming in in the first place:
- Clean kitchen surfaces after every use
- Do not let dirty dishes pile up in the sink or on countertops
- Ensure that trash cans are covered and get rid of any trash around your home
- Fix plumbing and fixture leaks
- Get rid of old cardboard boxes or other clutter in storage rooms
- Keep pet food and bowls clean and stored when not in use
- Use wire mesh or foam to fill holes in the walls and foundation
- Wipe up crumbs and spills as they happen
- Hire a professional exterminator to mice-proof your house
What to Do If You Have a Mice Problem
Even with all these precautions, mice could still find a way into your home. It’s difficult to control mice with DIY methods once they’re in your home, so it’s essential to get professional help if you see even one mouse. The professionals at Phenom Pest Protection can visit your Columbia home and take care of the problem.
Contact Phenom Pest today for an expert analysis of your risks and current mouse problem. Don’t let the rodents ruin your home — call the professionals first!