Unwanted Guests: Have Mice Invaded Your Home While You Were Away?

Picture it: you come home from a perfect vacation and something about your home feels…off. A few small things aren’t where you left them, some food is spilled in your pantry. Something has happened while you were away. Now instead of recovering from your jet lag, you’re trying to find out exactly what could have caused this.

What Are The Signs Of Mice In Your House?

You may find that what you’re experiencing is more common than you might think. Mice are notoriously sneaky when humans are around but make themselves right at home while you’re gone.  Here are some of the signs that you aren’t the only one who has been making the most of your time away from home

Chewed Food Packaging

Mice are food-motivated creatures. When they can smell food, they’ll try to chew through packaging to get it. Sometimes they are successful in this endeavor and may make quite a mess of cereals or grains, but other times the clues are more subtle. Check the corners of your cardboard, paper, or plastic food packaging for tell-tale gnaw marks.

Appearance of Mouse Droppings

 Mouse droppings are typically around ¼ of an inch long with a tapered end, like a seed or grain of rice. Fresh droppings are black but fade to brown within a week. Older droppings may appear grey. Mice can poop up to 75 times per day, which means even one or two mice in your house can leave a lot of evidence over a relatively short amount of time. Mice are drawn to food and water sources, so be sure to look in your pantry, cupboards, drawers, and under the sink for droppings.

The Smell of Urine

In addition to being prolific poopers, mice also produce pungent urine. Mice urinate continuously throughout the day, leaving a scent trail along their most traveled paths. Mouse urine breaks down over time and releases ammonia, creating a strong, acrid odor. The more established the infestation, the more intense these smells will be, so if you can detect an odor, it’s time to call a professional.
Learn more about rodent smells

Appearance of Mouse Urine

Mice urinate constantly, leaving behind trails of yellow staining. The urine often mixes with dust before it dries, forming crusty, foul-smelling stains. The stains may be easier to spot on different materials, but is visible

Mouse Nests

Mouse nests are typically 4-6 inches in diameter and are made of anything relatively soft that a mouse can get their hands on. While you may not find the mouse nest right away, you may be able to see signs that a mouse has been actively making one. Check newspapers, magazines, and fabric for signs of ripping and gnawing, as it can indicate that mice have been scouring your home and belongings to find nesting materials.

The Sound Of A Mouse Infestation

You know the phrase “quiet as a mouse”? It’s surprisingly inaccurate. Mice can make a lot of noise. They can often be heard from dusk to early morning as they move around, gnaw, and even audibly squeak within your walls. Pay close attention to noises you may hear in your walls or kitchen. It could be a sign of a mouse infestation. 

Mouse Tracks in the House

Many people don’t think to look for mouse tracks. Since mouse tracks are less than half an inch long, they are easily missed if you’re not paying attention to them, but tracks are a great indicator of the presence of mice in your home. Mice tend to follow the same paths and stay within 25 feet of their nest, which means that you may even be able to use their footprints to find the source of a nest. Mice most commonly travel along walls or behind furniture

How Do Dogs and Cats Act When They See Mice?

Many people don’t think to look for mouse tracks. Since mouse tracks are less than half an inch long, they are easily missed if you’re not paying attention to them, but tracks are a great indicator of the presence of mice in your home. Mice tend to follow the same paths and stay within 25 feet of their nest, which means that you may even be able to use their footprints to find the source of a nest. Mice most commonly travel along walls or behind furniture

Can You Have Mice With No Signs?

If you have mice, there will always be some signs. The issue is, that sometimes those signs can be easily missed until an infestation is already well established. If you see a mouse, but have not noticed any of the signs above, it’s best to call a professional immediately for inspection

How Do I Keep Mice From Infesting?

If you plan on going away, there are some ways you can make your home less inviting for mice.

Seal Your Food

Mice can’t eat your food if they can’t get to it. The packaging you
bought it in likely won’t cut it against mice. A mouse can chew through almost
anything it puts its mind to, but some materials will slow them down more than
others. We recommend using thick, tight-sealing plastic, glass, or metal containers.
Don’t leave any food out on the counter or mice WILL find their way in.

Seal Your Whole House

It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Seal any potential entryway that mice can enter your home through with steel wool, copper mesh, and caulk. Keep in mind: a mouse can fit into a hole the size of a dime. It’s important to be as thorough as possible to prevent mouse infestation. It’s often best to enlist the help of a professional (link to rodent exclusion).

Installing door sweeps can also prevent rodents from entering your home through the cracks under your door.

Take Your Trash Out Before You Go

Your trash can be a food source for mice. Remember to take your trash out if you’re leaving for longer than a day or two. Be sure your trash can has a firmly sealed lid to prevent rodents from entering.

Vacuum Your Floors and Wipe Down Counters

Don’t leave them a crumb!  Vacuuming and cleaning counters help prevent mice from finding even the smallest morsels of food to sustain themselves.  Mice can only go 2-4 days without food, so if they haven’t had time to store extra, they may look for another place to live.

Get SMART

SMART is an environmentally-friendly pest control solution that uses state-of-the-art technology to monitor and manage mouse activity in your home.  If the system detects any mouse activity, we promptly alert you and schedule a visit to assess the situation before it escalates into a full-blown issue. No more surprises—just peace of mind knowing that any potential problem will be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Learn more about SMART

What Happens If My House Is Infested With Mice?

Mice can infest quickly and cause serious risks to your health and home, so it is crucial to act immediately. Modern Pest Services offers tailored, effective rodent control so you can protect your home while focusing on the important things, like enjoying your trip!

Ready for a cutting-edge, hassle-free solution for keeping your home mouse-free? Schedule a home analysis today and see the difference for yourself. Click here for a free quote