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HOW TO GET RID OF MICE IN YOUR HOME
Call hawx pest control to keep the vermin out
Mice are one of the great pests in our society, both today and throughout history. It’s not that mice are vicious or territorial when it comes to humans—they prefer to stay away from us. However, mice have always followed men because men leave behind food that mice can use to live. For this reason, mice are often found as intruders in our homes, breaking into our cabinets, invading our trash cans, and building their nests inside our walls where they can scurry around with ease and without being noticed.
If you have a problem with mice, Hawx Pest Control can help. We proudly offer some of the finest and most reliable mice control services you’ll find anywhere, ensuring that these vermin are kept out where they belong. We know that mice can be dangerous, and that they carry illnesses and diseases that you want no part of. That’s why we work to not only get rid of the mice you have, but to prevent them from coming back by offering comprehensive treatment plans and preventative measures. We stand by the services we provide, and we’re even willing to guarantee results. If pests ever return between treatments, give us a call and we’ll re-treat your property again free of charge!
What is common mouse behavior?
Mice are social animals that love interacting with other mice, often grooming each other if they’re not fighting or showing dominance. They breed very fast, some mice can have up to as many as 6-10 litters per year.
In the context of your home, it’s important to note that mice can squeeze through tiny openings that are as small as a dime. They like to live in open wall or floorboard crevices, under cabinets, or in attic rafters—any place where they can then access the structural components of your ceiling or walls and utilize a larger living space that is undisturbed by humans. In the wild, mice like to burrow or build nests on the ground. Mice tend to stay put in any of these locations as long as they have a steady, accessible food source.
How long do mice live?
In the wild, mice can live up to a year if they consistently find the right nutrition to survive. In a protected environment like your house, their lifespan can double.
What do mice eat?
Mice will eat basically anything! In your home, mice are specifically attracted to leftover human food, crumbs, dead insects, and any unattended pet food. They naturally prefer nuts, seeds, berries, plants, flowers, fungus, and sometimes animal parts, as well.
What different types of mice live in the U.S.?
Seven common species of mice in the U.S. are:
- House mice
- Deer mice
- White-footed mice
- Western harvest mice
- Cotton mice
- California mice
- Cactus mice
Each of these have different habits and food preferences, so if you think you’ve identified one in your home, you can read more specifics about each type below.
House mice (brown mice)
As the name suggests, these mice are most commonly found in your home. They are often dark brown or gray in color, hence their name, and very small in size. They are most active at night, which is one of their defining characteristics from other mouse species. They love to eat crumbs and any other leftover human food.
House mice can spread disease as well as fleas, lice, mites, and ticks. They can also contaminate your food if they get into it.
Perhaps the “cutest” mouse with its large ears and elongated tail, the brown and white-bellied deer mouse is also one of the most prevalent mouse species in the U.S. They eat seeds, nuts, berries, spiders, and caterpillars. This mouse species can carry and spread hantavirus, especially the sin nombre (SNV) strain, and lyme disease.
This mouse has similar features to the deer mouse, including brown fur and white belly, but its brown fur is a bit more red and it also has white feet. It’s more prevalent in the eastern regions of the U.S., spreading into parts of Canada and eastern Mexico. These mice eat seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, grain, and even flowers depending on what is available to them.
Western harvest mouse
This species of mouse is most commonly found on the west coast of the U.S. and in Mexico. They like to live outside in marshes, meadows, grasslands, deserts, and dunes. Similar to the two species above, these mice also have gray or brown fur with white bellies. Their belly coloring can also include bits of gray. One distinctive feature of western harvest mice is their long tails that can be as long as their bodies.
These mice are primarily found in the southeastern U.S. in swamps, marshlands, and grasslands. They have dark brown fur and very short tails. These mice eat similar foods to the species above, but they will also eat fungus.
If you haven’t guessed, these types of mice can be found across the state of California. They are large mice, growing up to 11 inches in length. Gray or yellowish brown in color, they also have white bellies and white feet. In addition to eating nuts, fruits, and plants, they also eat small animal parts.
Found in deserts in the western U.S., cactus mice can be gray, black, or yellow in color. Since they live in the desert, they can survive on very little water. They eat seeds, plants, and animals—whatever they can find in their harsh environments.
Signs of a mouse infestation in your home
Since mice love to chew, eat, and defecate all over your home, tracking the signs of a mouse infestation is relatively easy. Keep an eye out for:
- Tiny droppings
- Chewed up wood and other structural materials
- Torn and scattered nesting materials (like soft fabrics and scraps)
- Unpleasant smells coming from unknown locations
- The sound of skittering feet climbing and scratching inside your walls at night
What does mouse poop look like?
Mouse poop is usually the size of a grain of rice. Color may vary from brown to gray, depending on the diet of the particular mouse in question. You may notice mouse poop in groups, as mice can produce as much as 50–75 droppings in a day.
How do mice get in your house?
Beyond squeezing through tiny cracks and openings in damaged wood, most mice can also skitter across wires and swim through your sewage pipes. Smaller species of mice can fit through any type of opening, even ones as small as a dime. Check the exterior of your home for any types of holes or cracks and seal them up swiftly to prevent any intruders.
Preventing a mouse problem
Preventing mice from getting into your home may seem like a tall task, but the truth is their large size makes it particularly difficult for them to sneak in, especially if you are careful. Here are a few tips for keeping the mice outside and preventing them from finding their way into your home.
- Trim away trees and tall bushes: Some mice are prolific climbers, and that means they can often use trees and tall bushes to get into your home through your attic. They find their way in through attic ventilation, where they can deal quite a lot of damage if you aren’t careful. Mice have been known to chew through electrical wires, data cables, and more.
- Seal holes around plumbing: In many cases, the holes around plumbing lines are barely large enough for mice to squeeze their bodies through. They are drawn in by the warmth and shelter, and it’s almost impossible to get them out.
- Mow long grass and trim gardens:Mice are always looking for cover and shelter to keep them out of the eyesight of predators, and that’s why they love long grass and bushes. Mow your grass frequently and make sure there is a gap between your garden and your building’s foundation.
- Cover vents: Vents around your home are a prime spot for mice to break in. Mice are notorious for chewing through mesh covers and getting inside. Dryer vents are a particular offender here.
Mice problem? Call Hawx!
As with many other types of pests, mice are not a pointless nuisance upon society. Mice are nature’s scavengers, and their ability to process waste is critical for preventing rotting food and other forms of waste from getting out of hand. They are also an important food source for larger predators, including snakes, cats, and birds of prey like eagles, falcons, and, yes, hawks.
However, mice are notorious and prolific disease carriers, and their feet, teeth, and bodies are often infested with issues like fleas, bacteria, and more. They’re the last thing you want to see inside your home, and yet they seem to find their way in when you least expect your home to be vulnerable. Mice have an uncanny ability to squeeze their bodies through spaces that look impossibly small. And once inside, they can move quickly, which makes them particularly difficult to track.
We can handle all types of mouse problems, including:
- House mice
- Western harvest mice
- Deer mice
- White-footed mice
If you have a mouse problem, Hawx Pest Control is here to help. Contact us today.