Since a very young age, television has shown movies of cartoons depicting mice as cute, cuddly, or funny creatures. Some older cartoons even show mice as super heroes. I once had a customer who called me in a frantic state. Her husband was from overseas and happened to be out of town visiting family. She explained to me that he did not believe in killing any creature but her house was infested with mice. Her husband had even went so far as to assign names to the mice roaming her halls and getting into her pantry.
He had forbidden her to kill these animals but because she understood the health risks of mice in her house, and being pregnant, she called me and I went to remedy the problem. I was able to eliminate her mouse infestation in one visit and she was over joyed. This article is written for those who may not understand the dangers of mice in the house. I am also going to explain how to help keep mice out so that your family can be safe and hopefully not contract (in some instances deadly) diseases.
How do mice get in my house?
Mice have an extremely inquisitive nature. They are always looking for food and trying to poke their way around to find new paths in which to find food sources. During the afternoon or early morning hours are usually the times mice are most active, they will change habits based on when it is easiest to acquire food though. I will give an example:
One time a customer of mine had an awful infestation of mice. Now let me explain, an infestation, in my book, is an extremely bad problem (7 mice or more in my book, heavy infestation would be 20+). This person had probably 15 mice living in her house from the sample droppings I had found. They were feeding their dog in the kitchen with a feeder. This allowed the pets to be able to feed throughout the day. This is something that needs to change in a mouse infested house. What happens when mice find a dog feeder is they will watch the pets. When the dogs are not feeding, the mice will sneak in and begin to take food away. I always tell my customers to feed their dogs in time slots. Give the pets only enough food for their meal and whatever food does not get eaten, gets thrown out or put away. This forces the mice to either go for traps or rodenticide.
Once the mice found this food source, they decided to move into this particular customer’s house. Mice have extremely small bladders which they really have little to no control over. In a mouse’s urine are hormones that attract other mice.
When they sleep in their nest, they will go to the bathroom and roll in the urine. When they go out foraging they will rub against baseboards and wire holes in the wall. This urine will rub off on the surfaces and thus attract other mice. Once a house gets mice it is nearly impossible to keep new infestation out because of this attractant. It is very important to try to seal around pipes and other modes of entry.
Our technicians are trained at Green Akers Pest Control LLC to be able to spot these entry points and give advice on how to seal them up. I have known of only 2 people during my nearly 30 years of pest control who were able to successfully seal out mice.
What dangers do mice pose?
Where do I begin? Mice and rats carry so many diseases that are harmful for humans. The one that comes to mind that most people think of is the Bubonic Plague. The CDC has a very interesting article on the history of the “Black Death” as it was called in 1334 where entire towns were literally wiped out from this horrible disease. The plague is a bacteria that is spread by fleas. The flea bites the rat and then bites a human. This is how the disease is transmitted. You can read more about the black plague from the CDC’s website here.
Another disease that is common to rodents is Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome. I know it is a very long term but this is the most common spread by the common field mouse. It can be spread by:
- breathing dust containing rodent droppings or dried urine
- Bites from the rodent
- Direct contact with mice through holding or petting
- The disease can also be spread from person to person after one is infected.
This is why it is so important to wear gloves and respirators when dealing with rodent nests. There are many other diseases that are spread by rodents and if you are interested I suggest heading over to the CDC and check out their information here.
How can I get rid of my rodent problem?
- Try to get up all pet food. This includes cat food, dog food, fish food, hamster food, and any other pet foods that mice can get into. Place these foods in air tight containers. Rubbermaid makes containers of various sizes and can be found at Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot and various other stores.
- Go around your home, inside and out, and try to find any holes mice may be able to squeeze through. A full grown mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Some even claim they have seen mice fit through a pencil size hole. You can use steel wool in these holes. When the mice try to pull it out it will cut them and deter them from coming through.
- Hire a pest control technician. With the recent changes to rodenticide on the market, the only real way to know you will be able to eliminate your mouse problem is to hire a professional. This ensures your children and pets won’t be able to get into any rat poison and that everything is handled in a safe, professional manner.
In closing I will emphasize, ALWAYS USE protective clothing and respirators when dealing with a mouse nest. You can call Green Akers Pest Control and we will be happy to give all the advice we can. And it’s FREE! Our technicians are always available and don’t charge to answer questions! Always play it safe when dealing with rodents. We look forward to hearing from you!