The house mouse (Mus musculus) is considered one of the most troublesome and economically important pests in the United States. Although cute and squeaky in the wild, mice are a dangerous nuisance in the home. Almost all homeowners know the feeling of unease that accompanies finding mice or rodents in your home. Whether in the kitchen, attic, basement or dining room - a rodent sighting can incite surprise and fear in even the most composed homeowner.
Seeing even one mouse or sign of a mouse in your house can mean that there are many. Some signs of an infestation to look for are:
Droppings, fresh gnawing and tracks indicate areas where mice are active.
Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter.
Droppings – a rat’s are 12mm long and often tapered at one end; a mouse’s are roughly half the size and thinner.
House mice have a characteristic musky odor that identifies their presence.
Prevention and Control
Effective mouse control involves sanitation, mouse proof construction and population reduction. The first two are useful as preventive measures. The traditional way to fight mouse infestation is with traps. Inquisitive mice can't help but check them out, especially if there's bait. "Mice are very curious about the new things in their environment," says Jim Fredericks, director of technical services for the National Pest Management Association.
Snap traps are generally humane but unpleasant. Live traps may appeal, but ‘dumping’ the animal in the wild is likely to lead to its death. Also, if you don’t take it at least 2km away, it may well arrive back home before you.
If traps don't take care of your mouse problem, maybe it's time to switch to chemical warfare. Poisonous baits sold in pellet form, or in newer putty formulations, turn the natural tendency of mice to gnaw and nibble against them.
Sound and Electronic Devices. Although mice are easily frightened by strange or unfamiliar noises, they quickly become accustomed to regularly repeated sounds and are often found living in grain mills or factories and other noisy locations. Ultrasonic sounds, those above the range of human hearing have very limited use in rodent control because they are directional and do not penetrate behind objects. Also, they lose their intensity quickly with distance. There is little evidence that sound of any type will drive established mice or rats from buildings because they rapidly become accustomed to the sound.
If the problem persists, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Snap traps are generally humane but unpleasant. Live traps may appeal, but ‘dumping’ the animal in the wild is likely to lead to its death. Also, if you don’t take it at least 2km away, it may well arrive back home before yo