What You Need to Know About Mice
The Fall time is almost here and with the cooler temperatures, typically brings in the mice seeking warmth, shelter, and food for our long winters. If mice are problematic for you every year or you see droppings every once in a while around your home, it is important to understand some information about mice and how they may be causing more damage than you thought.
The common house mouse measures about 3 ½ inches and weighs less than an ounce. Mice have lived up to six hears; however, most have a life expectancy of less than one. They produce young year round with an average litter of six being reared every 50 days. Two mice can grow into a major problem in only a few months. What’s more, mice can:
- Run 30 feet straight up a block wall
- Jump 12 inches high
- Jump from eight feet without injury
- Squeeze through an opening the size of a dime
- Thrive at temperatures no warmer than 14 degrees F.
While mice seem harmless enough, they create a number of problems. One mouse feeds 15 to 20 times each day, consuming five to ten times its body weight in a single month, creating nearly 1,400 fecal droppings.
Mice have been known to:
- Damage both dry goods and stored food
- Gnaw telephone and security alarm wires
- Cause odor problems from urine soaked nests in walls
- Carry fleas, mites, and other parasitic pests
- Contribute to asthma in children
- Carry various bacterial and virus based illnesses
In addition to the nuisance of hearing mice scampering inside walls and attics, a number of medical maladies have been caused by contamination related to mice, their fecal droppings and their urine.
Salmonella food poisoning, infectious jaundice, rickettsial pox, meningitis, tapeworm, hantavirus, asthma and a number of other diseases can all be associated with mice.
What to Do: Eliminate conditions which support mouse activity
- Move bird feeders away from your building or home. Bird seed, especially sunflower, is a favorite for mice.
- Use catch traps under bird feeders.
- Do not leave pet food outside.
- Move wood piles, firewood, or debris away from foundations.
- Avoid storing anything on the ground near your building or home.
- Do not allow garbage to overflow from trash containers.
- Keep trash collection area clean.
- Trim weeds and grass near foundations.
- Avoid planting heavy seed-bearing plants near foundation.
- Trim tree branches that touch outside walls and the roof. Mice use them to find their way into attics.
- Seal cracks around foundations, around windows and doors and openings around pipes and utility lines. If you can fit a pencil in a cracks, a mouse can squeeze through it.
- Install door sweeps under doors.
Professional Treatment: It is necessary to address both outside and inside areas in mouse control programs. Professional outside feeding stations are often required to eliminate mouse activity outside a structure. Rodent baits should be used judiciously inside a structure to avoid accidental contact by children and pets. Multiple catch mouse traps and snap traps are effective when properly placed along mouse runways. Inside services usually require an initial treatment with one to three follow up visits depending on the problem. Preventive maintenance programs such as our Eco Guard and Eco Premium plans are often highly recommended or even necessary to help detect and prevent mouse activity in the future.