It is a dark and stormy night. You’ve popped the corn, iced the tea, and settled into your favorite chair for a relaxing night of Netflix. As you immerse yourself in the latest Hollywood zombie flick, you hear a faint scratching noise coming from the kitchen. With white knuckles and bated breath, you creep warily into the darkened room, flipping the switch on your flashlight and hoping that you’re just imagining things. That’s when you see it. You see the reflection of two tiny, beady eyes staring back at you from your countertop. It’s a mouse. 0.8 ounces of disease-ridden vermin, feasting on your leftover birthday cake on the counter, and grinning viciously at you with those giant, evil fangs…
Sounds like the stuff of horror movies. It’s really not. Mice are a pest that needs to be dealt with but it’s best to keep a cool head when doing so. Here are some points to bear in mind.
But my house is clean?
When mice come invade your home or business, it does NOT mean you’ve done anything wrong. They are scavengers and they find food and shelter wherever they can. If your place looks appealing, they will be excited about a visit. Mice are explorers and are always on the lookout for shelter, water, and food. If you have an unwanted guest, it doesn’t mean your place is dirty or messy. It’s just a target of opportunity for a mouse.
Signs You Have Mice.
There are several indicators that can help you determine if you have a mouse problem. Mouse droppings are about the size of a kernel of rice. Droppings that are much larger than that could mean you’re looking at a rat infestation instead. If you have any amount of dust, or even flour on your floor or counter, you may even be able to see their footprints. Mice are a gnawing rodent, so be alert for evidence of chewing on wood, electrical wires, food packaging, or even loose paper. Also, if you listen carefully, usually around dawn or dusk, you may hear mice or rats scampering behind the walls, inside crawl spaces or in cabinets.
Having these rodents in your home is a definite health risk. Not only can they carry a variety of diseases, they can spread other germs and bacteria through their contact with your food. The bacteria can be spread in their droppings, urine, or even through their bite. Mice and rats have been known to gnaw through electrical wires, and that can potentially cause a structure fire. Also, when mice decide to move into your space, they can bring fleas, ticks, and other uninvited parasites with them.
There are several things you can do to help prevent a mouse problem. Always store your garbage in rodent-proof containers, and refrain from throwing table scraps into a compost pile, as that will attract unwanted attention. Make sure you don’t leave food for your pet outside all the time, as this is an easy meal for a rodent. Your bird feeders should always be rodent proof and keep the seeds from accumulating on the ground. Keep the yard clean, free of debris and places where a mouse could nest.
Leaf piles, lumber, firewood, and even dense shrubs and plants can become a rodent’s multi-family housing unit. If you have fruit or nut trees, make sure you keep them cleaned up off the ground, as they are a natural food source. Make sure you also avoid leaving any standing water, as mice always love a nice, refreshing drink.
RELATED: Do Mice Have Bones?
You should periodically perform a thorough examination of your home to see where rodents could be gaining access. Holes in baseboards, screens, and any gaps for plumbing or electrical wiring can become highways for mice to travel. Watch out for cracks in your foundation, and any gaps near your air vents or attic. A mouse can squeeze itself through an opening the size of a dime, so be on the lookout for the tiniest of holes. All it takes is a single mouse to ruin your evening. Don’t let yourself become a victim. This is one horror movie that can actually have a happy ending.
The Modern Difference
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