Mice look cute, but they can be dangerous to have around. Mice can damage your home and be hazardous to your health. They can destroy the insulation in your home and chew through walls and on electrical wiring that creates a fire hazard. The droppings and urine that mice leave behind can spoil your food and transmit bacteria that can be dangerous. This occurs as they crawl over your countertops and food prep areas. They can also contaminate your food as they chew through packaging. Your home provides mice with water, food, and shelter, and as temperatures start to drop, they will want to join your family. The National Pest Management Association found that 45% of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter! A-Tex Pest Management offers helpful tips below to keep mice out of your home this cold weather season.
How to Keep Mice Away
Preventing an infestation is always an easier than trying to get rid of one. Mice spend most of their time looking for a way to get in as they search for food, water and shelter. The best way to keep mice out of your home is to practice good sanitation practices, keep food preparation surfaces clean, keep food tightly sealed, eliminate clutter and keep trash sealed in tight fitting containers. You also need to:
1. Seal openings to your home. Mice will use any opening they can find to gain entry to your home and can squeeze through and opening as small as the diameter of a dime. Seal these openings and replace loose mortar around the foundation.
2. Store firewood correctly. Mice like to hide and nest in piles of wood. Firewood needs to be stored away from your home and above the ground to prevent nesting.
3. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. Trees and shrubs that are close to or touching your home make it easy for mice to hide and get into your home, so keep them trimmed.
4. Check weather stripping. Make sure any weather stripping is intact and doesn’t have any gaps that creates an opening for mice.
5. Check screens for damage. Screens on windows and utility vents needs to be free of tears and opening to protect your home from mice-
What are the Common Signs of a Mouse Infestation?
• Droppings. The most common sign you have mice is droppings. Mouse droppings are 1/8-1/4” long and will be found in places where food is stored. They can also be found along the paths they travel.
• Gnaw marks. Mice can chew through just about anything. You probably have mice if you notice gnaw marks in your home.
• Rub marks. Mice tend to travel the same path over and over again. You may notice dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards.
• Tracks. Dusty environments can show mouse tracks and tail marks. You can also sprinkle some powder in areas you suspect mouse activity to see if tracks appear.
• Noises. Strange noises in the walls at night is a good indication that mice are scurrying around.
• Nests. House mice tend to build their nests out of shredded paper products, packing materials, wall insulation, and fabrics. If you notice these materials throughout your home, you will need to call in the pros.