As fall weather approaches, some unwanted residents may try to take shelter in your home. Rodents like mice and rats hate the cold and may seek shelter in your house or garage – causing damage and introducing potential health issues. One of the best defenses against a possible infestation is to know the signs of mice in your home. Here are seven signs you might have a mouse in your house:
- Damaged boxes or storage containers. Do you have a stack of cardboard boxes or plastic containers in your garage or attic? If so, be sure to regularly inspect them for damage such as holes or gnaw marks, which could be a sign that mice and rats are trying to work their way in while searching for food.
- Gnaw marks on plastic or furniture. As you move around inside your house, if you find gnaw marks on furniture, plastic, indoor storage solutions, or even on the baseboards or doors of your home, rats and mice may be to blame.
- Droppings. Mouse poop indicates the areas mice are most active in your home. Measuring roughly 3 to 6 mm in length, droppings resemble a black grain of rice. Rodent droppings can often be mistaken for cockroach droppings and will be concentrated around areas of breeding and nesting. Droppings may also be found around items that mice have destroyed or damaged – so keep an eye out around those cardboard boxes or gnawed pieces of furniture mentioned above. These droppings can sometimes carry harmful bacteria, viruses, and diseases and should not be handled without using proper PPE including gloves and respirators.
- Noises. You will likely hear squeaks from within the walls or the sound of mice scurrying around in cabinets when rodents are present. Take note of any unusual sounds when the house is quiet and mention them to your exterminator.
- Grease marks. Many people don’t know to look out for this, but rodents are dirty and may leave grease marks as they travel along walls and tight spaces. Note where these grease marks appear, as this will help your exterminator locate the paths mice take to help strategically catch them.
- Indoor nests. Rats and mice build nests from items like shredded paper, cloth, or cardboard. Nests will usually be found in dark areas like crawlspaces or basements, in between walls, or near garbage (keep an eye on that trashcan in a cabinet or pantry). If you find what looks like a nest, call your pest management provider immediately to help take care of the issue.
- Odors. Mice can omit a musky odor. Smell something off? It might be a rodent.
Don’t let these signs go unaddressed. One or two mice can easily turn into many – one female can produce as many as 10 litters in one year and mouse pups are capable of reproduction within two months. A rapid population increase can result in a fast infestation for your home. If you think you may have a mouse or rat in the house, contact the professionals at Waltham for an inspection.