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Help! I just saw a mouse!
Unfortunately, there’s probably more than one. But here’s what you need to know about mice infestations, how to prevent them, and how to rid yourself of these pesky — and potentially dangerous — critters.
How do I know if I have mice?
Of course, actually seeing a mouse is a good indication. However, mice are nocturnal, so you won’t always see them in action. If you do have mice in your home, you will probably see small dropping, nests of shredded materials, gnawed holes, and bits of food in unexpected places (outside of the kitchen). You might also hear mice scurrying around in your walls, attic, or crawl space.
What do mice eat?
They are omnivorous, which means they’ll eat just about anything, but they prefer grains and plants. It’s common for mice to transmit germs and disease as they scrounge for food and come in contact with places where humans eat.
How long do mice live?
They can live up to three years in a hospitable environment like your house. The problem isn’t how long they live, however, but how quickly they reproduce. One female mouse can have up to 60 baby mice in a single year, and they began to reproduce after six months, which is why it’s so important to take care of a mouse infestation as soon as possible.
How do mice get into my house?
They can slip through very small cracks and holes, and if they don’t fit, they just gnaw their way in. Mice can also jump, climb, and swim, making them pretty capable of getting into just about any structure.
What can I do to prevent mice?
- Seal all holes and cracks in your home, paying particular attention to your attic, basement, and the first floor (ground level). Mice are great climbers, though, so sealing all areas of your home is ideal.
- Remove food and garbage, and eliminate water sources around your home.
- Remove leaves and brush piles, as these are excellent nesting spots.
- Stop feeding outdoor birds, as the seed can attract mice.
How do I get rid of mice?
You can start by putting out traps and other devices designed to catch and, typically, kill mice. Again, though, you’re in a race against time with mice, so if you find your methods are not working, don’t wait to call a professional exterminator to help eliminate mice from your home.