It’s that time of year again. When the temperatures dip, and residents start turning up the heat inside, rodents and pests take solace in the warmth of your home. As a homeowner, mice aren’t just a nuisance, they’re a hazard to your health. Mice can carry diseases and for your own safety and comfort, it’s important to recognize the signs and take action if there’s a mouse infestation in your home.
Fortunately, when mice do move in they let you know it. Indications you may have mice.
1. Musky Odor – What stinks in here? Would you believe mice? Mice leave behind a strong ammonia-like smell that is easily detectable. This odd scent will usually be found in corners and along the lower floorboards where they establish routes to help them navigate your home. Call it a scratch and sniff GPS but if they’re getting to know your home, you know they have no plans on leaving on their own.
2. Gnaw Marks and Shavings – Mice frequently trim down their teeth, and they don’t need to visit a dentist to do so. All they need are walls, baseboards, and cupboards. This also helps them to create access points to food storage. If you spot wood shavings on the floor, bags with small holes chewed out and gnaw marks on your walls you know you’ve got a mouse.
3. Nests – Mice don’t just look to stay warm in your home in the winter, they build nests and breed – often. Mice will build nests in the corners of cabinetry, dark areas and inside your walls. They can have large litters up to 10 times a year, so one small mouse can result in big problems for a homeowner. If you uncover a mouse nest, even empty, take precautions. Have it removed and begin an inspection and extermination process immediately.
4. Droppings and Urine Stains – If mice are present, their droppings will be too. Mice excrement look like small black beads, and along with urine stains can be found anywhere mice are running around. In particular, the places where they congregate the most – near the food pantry.
5. Noise – Find yourself saying “did you hear that?” That’s because mice are in no way quiet squatters. Rattling noises as they run past pots and pans, tapping on hardwood floors, scratching sounds in the walls and even high pitched squealing can be heard when you have mice. So listen closely…you may need an exterminator.
Mice will not only run rampant in your home, but they will damage furniture, chew through wiring and can pose inherent danger to occupants.