Getting Rid Of Mice: Expert Strategies For Effective Mouse Control For Houston Homes
Mice are known for making noises in walls as they scratch and claw their way up and down in wall voids to go from attics to kitchens. But mice don't always make noises. There is a reason people say, "Quiet as a mouse." In most cases, mice don't make noises you can hear. If you've detected mice in your Houston home because you heard them, you may want to thank those mice. As annoying as it is to have them scraping and bumping, it is far worse to not hear them at all. But where silent mice really get you is when you apply mouse control and stop hearing noises. You may think you solved your problem, only to have them continue to impact you in secret ways. Join us today as we give you an overview of mice. We'll look at how to detect mice early so you can deal with them before they cause trouble and how to know for sure they're gone. We'll quickly look at what sort of things mice do in your home and why it is important to make sure the mice are actually gone. Then, we'll give you some tips that will help you mouse-proof your home. Before we begin, we want to quickly remind you that your Modern Pest Control team is here for you if you need us. You can connect with us through our contact page to tell us how these tiny rodents are causing trouble and learn about service options and pricing. We offer industry-leading pest control and advanced solutions for pest control in Houston. We'll help you find the answers to solve your mouse problem.
Signs Of A Mouse Infestation: How To Spot Them Early
The warning signs of a mouse infestation are often hard to find because mice travel in secluded spaces within a home. But some signs only require a simple check because they leave them right under your nose. Here's what you need to know to stop mouse activity early.
Droppings: The best way to detect and track mice is to look for droppings. Mice leave them as they explore. Fresh droppings will appear black, moist, and shiny. Old droppings will look gray and crumble when crushed. Always wear protective gloves and a mask when cleaning up droppings.
- Check under your kitchen sink towards the back. Mice often get into this location by squeezing out of a wall void using the gap around a pipe.
- Check in the back of your kitchen drawers. If you have cabinets that are open behind, mice can chew a hole out of a wall void, scale the back of a cabinet, and go right into your drawers. They are fond of tiny, wooden spaces and will make a nest if a drawer is rarely used and if there are no disturbing sounds – such as cooking and dishwashing nearby. A home that is vacant for even a couple of weeks can have mouse nests appear in drawers.
- Check shelves where food is stored. Mice are amazing climbers. They can scale surfaces that are bumpy and jump from one platform to another. It is likely that they can easily get onto your food shelves. When they do, they'll leave droppings behind the packages.
- Check the floor of your pantry. When mice get into your pantry, they're sure to leave droppings behind objects on the floor, as these little rodents run along walls and prefer to stay hidden.
- Inspect the junk pile in your storage room, closet, or your garage. Mice love tight spaces and are attracted to junk piled on the floor. You'll find their droppings clinging to clothing, blankets, and other fabrics.
- Inspect your attic. Mice love unfinished attic spaces because they're drawn to soft materials. They'll use fiberglass, loose-fill, and batt insulation to make nests. As they crawl on insulation, they'll leave their droppings for you to find.
Nests: Mice take insulation, wallpaper, clothing fibers, and other collected materials and use them to create a soft nest. If you find a ball of super soft materials stuck in a tight space, you've found yourself a mouse nest.
- Look inside the drawers of furniture stored in your attic, storage room, or garage.
- Look in the recesses, cracks, and crannies of your attic.
- Check the space above drop-down ceilings.
- Check behind your heater inside your boiler room.
- Check behind your oven.
Holes: Mice make many holes with their strong teeth. The holes they make can help you track their activity inside your home. As you look for holes, keep in mind that an adult mouse can get through a hole that is slightly larger than a dime.
- Get down low to the floor of your kitchen and look for holes under cabinet overhangs.
- Slide your oven out and check the wall behind it near the floor.
- Check the base of your door frames.
- Check around pipes and electrical wire conduits.
- Inspect your food packaging. These holes don't need to be the size of a dime. The mouse can get the food out using a much smaller hole.
It is good to find signs of mice in your house early because mice can cause harm. It is also critical to inspect your home after attempting to remove mice, so you know that mice are no longer presenting a danger to your health and property. Let's take a moment to quickly evaluate the risks of not dealing with mice early and effectively.
The Cost Of Delayed Mouse Removal: Health Risks And Property Damage
If you wait to address a mouse problem, it can cost you in many ways. Mice are far from harmless little woodland creatures. They can make you sick and damage your property in surprising ways.
Here are a few risks to consider.
- The worst outcome of a mouse infestation is a house fire. Mice are known to chew on wires and gas lines. If a fire is sparked, it can present a serious danger.
- When mice climb in unsanitary places, they pick up invisible germs. These cling to their fur and are left on surfaces mice crawl over. Mice also contaminate food when they get into food packaging.
- When mice leave their droppings in your home, they can present a health risk. Droppings dry, crumble, and become airborne. In the air, the fragments can cause respiratory issues. There is also the risk of contracting histoplasmosis with some species of mice.
- Mice pick up ticks, fleas, and mites as they explore exterior environments. When they get into your home, they can spread the tiny organisms. Seed ticks are the size of a pen tip, and one mouse can have as many as a hundred of them on its body. When seed ticks mature, they drop off the first host and search for another. If they do this in your home, they can present a health concern as ticks are known to spread a long list of human diseases.
- Mice chew holes in stored furniture, soak them with urine, dirty them with droppings, and more. They can completely ruin furniture and other stored items.
- In attic spaces, mice also damage and contaminate insulation. The contamination done to insulation is often impossible to clean, and replacement is required.
One little mouse can cause big trouble in your house. Imagine that one mouse reproducing an army of mice in your home. A female mouse can produce five to ten litters in a year, with 3 to 14 pups in each litter. That is 15 to 140 mice that will come from that one female. The pups she gives birth to can start making pups of their own in as little as six weeks. It doesn't take long for a mouse problem to grow.
Mouse-Proofing Your Home: Sealing Cracks And Removing Attractants
If you checked your home and you didn't discover a mouse problem, it is best to keep it that way. There are many steps you can take to prevent mice from getting into your home. You'll need a caulking gun, some water-resistant silicone caulk, a can of expanding foam, and hardware cloth.
- Start by sealing pipe penetrations. Check outdoors first, and seal around the pipes that enter your home through your foundation wall. Then, go indoors and seal around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
- Perform a check around your entire exterior and use expanding foam to fill in any wood holes. Mice are particularly attracted to rotting wood.
- Inspect your window and door screens for rips and other damage. Apply simple patches where needed.
- Check all the way around your exterior doors. If you see light passing through, adjust your doors or replace the sweeps and weatherstripping.
Once you seal your exterior, it is time to consider what may attract mice to your home. The more mice you have, the greater your chances of having these little critters get inside. You can reduce mouse activity by altering conditions that promote that activity.
- Do you have clutter in your yard? Mice use objects on the ground to navigate. They do this by feeling them with their whiskers and the hairs on their bodies. Pick up as much clutter as you can to make your yard harder for mice to explore. They don't like open and uncluttered spaces.
- Do you have bird feeders? You should know that a little mouse loves birdseed as much as the birds do. Any seed that falls to the ground will invite mouse activity.
- Do you feed the squirrels or have trees that drop nuts? Mice eat nuts, too. Remove the nuts as much as possible to deter activity.
- Does your trash receptacle have an odor? If it does, it could attract mice. Wash your receptacles with soapy water to remove the smell.
- Do you have a clogged gutter? Consider getting your gutter cleaned. When water runs down your roof and pours over the side, it soaks the ground. Oversaturated ground takes longer to dry, and puddles can form. These puddles give mice water to drink.
If you take steps to reduce the things that attract mice and make it harder for mice to get into your home, you can avoid the many problems that come with having mice in your home. But, of course, these methods aren't going to help you much if you already have mice in your home. What is the best way to get rid of mice? Let's take a look at the expert strategies a licensed professional will use to address a mouse problem.
Professional Mouse Control: Why Expertise Matters
The reason that most people have such a hard time getting rid of mice is that they don't really knowhow to deal with a mouse infestation properly. Mouse control isn't simple or straightforward. You can't just lay a few traps down, catch a mouse or two, and call it a day. Mouse control is a process. It begins with an inspection to track mice, consider entry points, evaluate the conditions encouraging mouse activity, and other essential factors. A technician will then use this information to form a trapping or baiting plan. Baiting is done on the outside of structures, and trapping is used to remove mice from interiors. The traps are placed according to tested strategies to prevent mice from avoiding or outsmarting them. During the process, the technician monitors the results and performs inspections to make sure the treatment is successful. On top of trapping and the application of other pest control products, a technician will also apply exclusion work, such as sealing around pipes.
When you hire a Houston rodent control professional, you get your money's worth. It is far too easy to throw away good money after bad attempting to get rid of mice. Those pesky rodents are clever and resourceful, and they breed startlingly fast.
Are you in Houston? Reach out to Modern Pest Control forhelp with mice and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Houston.