Mice are small, well-adaptable rodents who often seek food and shelter in human homes. They can be destructive and harmful pests, damaging household items for their nests, and spreading disease. Mice are known to cause food poisoning in humans when food products or preparation areas come in contact with mouse saliva, urine or feces. Humans have also contracted a range of diseases from the fleas and parasites carried by mice, including rickettsial pox (similar to chicken pox), trichinosis, tapeworms, hantavirus and plague to name just a few.
There are 41 species of mice, but the common house mouse is usually the culprit found pestering homes and businesses of the Northeast. Mice have pointed snouts, small rounded ears and a hairless tail. Although there is much variation in size between species, most house mice are between 1-1/4" and 5-1/4" long. They are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat meat, grains, fruits, and much more. They have even been observed to eat other mice, their own feces, and in cases of near starvation, their own tails. Mice breed year-round, making them capable of exponential population growth. A single female house mouse can raise 5-10 litters of pups in one year.
Recognizing signs of mice in your home or business is an important step to getting rid of them. An easily recognizable sign of mice is their droppings, which are readily found when mice are present. Each mouse drops about 50-75 black pellets every day, usually about 1/8"-1/4" long. Another sign of mice is fresh gnaw marks in cardboard, paper, electrical wiring, soap, fabric, and other soft materials. Often people report hearing mice during the night, scratching and squeaking. Schedule an appointment now to have your home or business inspected for mice.
These are mouse droppings at actual size.
Keeping Mice Out
- Seal all gaps, cracks and holes near the ground or in the foundation of your home or building to prevent mice from entering.
- Keep windows and doors closed or screened.
- Store garbage outside in rust-resistant containers with tight-fitting lids and keep dumpster lids closed at all times. Keep the area around outside garbage cans and dumpsters clean and free of debris.
- Keep all pet food indoors in resealable containers.
- Clean up pet food immediately after your pet has eaten to avoid attracting mice to a consistent food source.
- Remove bird feeders from your property if rodent activity is detected.
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- Deer Mice