Mice in Walls & the House
Where Do Mice Nest in the Home?
Mice in search of new food sources or refuge from the harsh New England winters may take up residence in homes and other man made structures. The small rodents like to nest in areas of the home that keep them out of sight, such as in wall cavities, basements, garages, and attics. Storage boxes and furniture may also provide harborage to nesting mice.
Mice possess the ability to squeeze through tight spaces, so other hiding spaces may include areas along baseboards, corners, and foundations. At times, mice may nest near food sources, causing kitchen cabinets, appliances, and the spaces under sinks to make excellent homes.
How Do Mice Get Into Homes?
With the ability to squeeze through small openings, mice may enter the home through numerous avenues. Openings where pipes and electrical wiring enter the home, cracks in foundations, and even gaps underneath doors allow mice access to human dwellings. Mice may also enter through ventilation shafts and heating vents.
Mice Behind Walls
In extreme cases, mice may enter during construction and get trapped behind walls or in insulation, allowing for continual living and nesting opportunities. Homeowners should take measures to seal around areas of entry, using materials such as steel wool, copper wire mesh, galvanized metal screening, and expanding foam insulation to discourage mice from entering the home.
Signs of Infestation
Homeowners should keep an eye out for various signs that mice have invaded the home. Mice typically try to avoid human contact, so actually seeing a mouse may not be the first sign of infestation.
Droppings and urine stains, a musky odor near entry points or baseboards, gnaw marks, piles of wood shavings, burrow holes, or scurrying noises in floors and walls may indicate a mouse problem. Mice also exhibit poor eyesight, which ensures that the rodent will follow memorized routes to and from food sources and nesting areas.
A mouse will stay close to the walls and leave behind a faint but noticeable path of body oils and dirt. Footprints in dusty areas may also indicate areas of the home in which a mouse is present.
Since mice repopulate with frequency and relative speed, infestations may require professional attention. Call a professional exterminator in such cases.