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January 1, 2018
Mice may be seen as cute little animals to some, but they’re nothing short of distressing when they show up as unwanted pests. As shelter seekers who enter Virginia buildings in large numbers, they also bring a number of concerns with them – most notably, the potential for disease and destruction. Knowledge is power when it comes to this malicious rodent. To keep your home or business healthy, follow our expert advice.
First, you need to know exactly what kind of rodent has infested. You may think you have mice, but it’s best to investigate more closely to make sure you don’t have their close relative in the rat instead. The two rodents may share many of the same characteristics, but mice are quite different in a few notable ways – making them especially difficult to stop.
It doesn’t help that mice are well-equipped to intrude. They’re natural Olympians: As strong runners, climbers, jumpers, and even swimmers, they’re experts at getting indoors and finding nesting spots. Their strong senses of smell, touch, and taste also give them a boost, heightening their awareness and food-finding skills. All of this means it’s up to you to avoid a mouse takeover.
If you have a mouse in your home, more often than not it’s going to be a house mouse. They’re the most likely species to be found in urban and suburban areas – in our region, Richmond and greater Washington, D.C. Deer mice are also a threat, but more so in the rural countryside.
It’s important to be proactive against mice, as what you don’t know may, in fact, hurt you. They’re constantly chewing, leaving destroyed wood, drywall, and wiring (a fire hazard) in their wake. This habit helps them craft their nests, chewing everyday items like newspaper and clothing into beds. Mice also leave behind droppings and urine, and they’re likely to contaminate food – and perhaps even you.
To escape extreme weather and outdoor predators, mice won’t hesitate to take full advantage of your comfortable indoor conditions. This then brings their risks into your home or business. Mice are stingy little creatures, and the easier it is for them to infest, the harder things will be for you in return. Their presence isn’t always obvious; be attentive, and look for the following signs:
If you do have mice, try traps – they’ve worked for hundreds of years, after all. Place them in high-risk areas: where you’ve noticed the warning signs or places with abundant food, like the kitchen. Because this rodent is curious, there’s a good chance they’ll flock to the traps. This DIY method only contains smaller infestations, but it’s also a way to tackle a mouse problem before it gets out of hand (with their short reproductive cycles, it can happen quickly).
While proactive measures may help eliminate the mice that are currently around, they’ll keep coming back if you don’t take the proper preventative measures. This means removing the incentive that your home or business provides in the first place (food and shelter), and keeping them from getting in at all.
As mentioned earlier, mice love carbs; but they’ll eat just about anything – sweets, dog food, and even garbage. The problem isn’t simply that they aren’t picky eaters. Rather, it’s that we give them instant access to food, without which they wouldn’t survive. Seal containers (including your trash can), wipe up spills, and don’t leave food sitting out.
Mice also rely on nesting areas to support indoor infestations. Because they prefer dark, secluded spots, basements and attics are prime real estate – they usually provide plenty of clutter (papers, cardboard boxes, etc.) to construct nests. Mice don’t typically nest further than 25 feet from food sources, meaning wall voids and cabinets may also be at risk. Clean and declutter potential habitats to prevent mice from settling down.
In addition to removing sources of food and shelter, sealing off entry points is an effective way to keep mice away. Fill any holes they’re capable of fitting through, and invest in chimney and vent covers. Doors and windows are our connection with the outdoor world, and they’re often mice’s connection with the indoors as well. Keep them shut and properly sealed, adding weather stripping along doors and replacing any window screens that are broken.
If you have an ongoing mouse problem, it’ll take more than a few traps to save the day. At Connor’s Pest Control, our expert technicians provide smart, thorough care, as we understand just how problematic this pest can be. Covering homes and businesses across Virginia and offering year-round protection, we take a targeted approach to eliminate mice in full. Contact us to get protection against mice and all of their associated threats.