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Common Winter Pests: Signs That You’ve Got Mice

December 16th, 2020

The cold weather that drives us indoors during the winter is also responsible for driving unwanted pests into our homes. One of the most common winter pests in the Ottawa and Gatineau area is the house mouse. And when you consider the fact that a single female house mouse can give birth to a litter of 6 baby mice every 3 weeks, these critters are truly breeding machines. So if you’re worried that you’ve got a mouse in your house, the truth of the matter is that you more than likely have several mice, not just one.

The urban wild animal control specialists at BW Nature are commonly asked these questions by our customers living in Ottawa, Gatineau and throughout the Outaouais about the signs that you’ve got mice:

  • What are the signs that I’ve got a mouse in my house?
  • How do mice get into my house?
  • When should I try to get rid of mice?
  • What happens if I just leave the mice alone in my house?
  • Who can I call to remove mice?

What are the signs that I’ve got a mouse in my house?

House mice are attracted into our homes to find a warm place to build their winter nests and to store food for the cold months. As such, it is most likely to find signs of mice during the winter when the mice are actively living in your home, or in the spring after they have left their nests to live outdoors again.

Here are some common signs to look for to determine whether or not you have mice:

Scratching Sounds:

Mice make very small scratching or scampering sounds in walls, ceilings, and even in kitchen cupboards and countertops. These sounds are most commonly detected by homeowners during the night and so it is important to relay as much detail as possible to the urban wildlife specialist when they visit your property.

Mouse Droppings:

Mice feces look like black grains of short-grain rice and are often found in corners, under sinks and appliances, inside boxes, drawers, and around food storage. Mice don’t go far from their living quarters to defecate; use the location of mouse droppings to help find the mouse nest.

A Mess from Nesting:

When they move into our homes, mice build their nests from anything soft they can shred or chew their way through. Insulation, clothing and bedding, cardboard and paper, and even shavings of soap are just some of the building materials that mice might choose to construct their soft nests. While it may take a professional to find the nest itself, homeowners can look for signs of chewing and gnawing which mice leave behind when they’ve collected nesting materials.

Food crumbs:

Mice have an incredibly high metabolism and eat up to 20 times per day. Signs that you’ve got mice include little piles or trails or crumbs in the kitchen and pantry where food is stored. Mice will chew through both cardboard and plastic bags to access dry foodstuffs, so don’t ignore any little holes in cereal and biscuit boxes, especially.

Chewing marks:

In addition to their habit of chewing through almost anything in search of food, mice have to continually chew on hard surfaces in order to maintain their front incisor teeth. So while they won’t be attracted to eating anything made of wood in your home, they will use furniture, wall trim, and window/door frames for sharpening their teeth.

How do mice get into my house?

Les souris sont capables de se frayer un chemin dans les maisons, les garages, les hangars et tout autre bâtiment en se faufilant dans les plus infimes fissures. En fait, les souris peuvent resserrer leur corps pour s’adapter à un espace pas plus épais qu’un sou. Dans cet esprit, afin de protéger votre maison contre les ravageurs hivernaux tels que les souris, comblez toutes les petites fissures dans votre fondation, autour des portes et des fenêtres et même le long de votre toit, de votre façade et de vos soffites.

When should I try to get rid of mice?

Homeowners should act quickly when they have determined that there are mice nesting in their homes. As mentioned above, mice reproduce at an incredible rate, and a single mother mouse can birth more than 100 baby mice each year. Mice do not hibernate in the winter and can be easily detected and removed by urban wildlife specialists in any season throughout the year.

What happens if I just leave the mice alone in my house?

Mice don’t belong in houses and if left to thrive, homeowners are endangering their health and safety. On the safety front, house mice can cause property damage by chewing through drywall and wires that can spark electrical fires. In terms of the health, contamination of food is a threat to the well-being of homeowners and their families due to the fact that mice can spread disease including the hantavirus through their saliva, urine, and droppings. Other health risks associated with having mice in your home include sickness due to salmonella.

Who can I call to remove mice?

Animal removal specialists have the tools and know-how to quickly find and remove mice nests, and to assess the extent of the damage and contamination to the home. Mice can invade all parts of a house and so rigorous inspection of the interior and exterior is often necessary to determine the extent of treatment required.

When calling BW Nature Control to help you with your mice infestation, you can rely on our professionalism, expertise and experience in animal control services to help you to remove mouse nests from your home.

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