They might look cute and cuddly and remind us of memorable cartoon characters, but mice are full of some unpleasant and not so cute surprises. This includes disease, property destruction, and general peskiness. If you aren’t interested in a rodent roommate, here’s a few things to keep in mind to deter them from moving in.
Mice are experts at turning human homes into mouse havens. They can make nests in the most unlikely places—anywhere their little heads will fit, the rest of their body will follow. Loose baseboards and underneath appliances are prime mouse real estate, especially if these areas are in close proximity to the kitchen. Much like how the kitchen is our favourite room in the house, it’s also a mouse’s favourite. Here, there are ample crumbs and cooking spills and unsealed dry items to bring back to hungry mouse litters.
And mice reproduce fast. A mature female can raise anywhere from 5 to 10 litters in the span of a year, and each litter has six to eight pudgy pink little mouse babies. This can result in a population of over 60 in just under three months. 60 mice are much more likely to spread diseases that can be potentially deadly to their human roommates.
Though the more common house mouse is less infectious as opposed to their cousin the deer mouse, their droppings, nest material, urine, and saliva can still carry diseases like salmonellosis, hantavirus, and listeria. And not only can they multiply quickly and make us sick, but mice can wreak havoc on our homes in record time. Nothing is safe from a nibbling mouse, and they will continue to chew through almost anything, including aluminum, wood, soft concrete, wires, and insulation.
If there’s one thing you should know about mice is that if they have the opportunity to get in, they will. So how do you deter them from coming indoors? Mouse proofing your home isn’t all that difficult; the first rule of thumb is making sure that any cracks or holes in your foundation are sealed. But since mice will chew their way through anything and everything, using the right kind of material is essential. Copper or steel wool seems to be one of the only things that doesn’t tempt a mouse’s palette, and using either of these to seal off any entry points is your best bet.
Watch for holes and spaces around wiring, insulation, pipes, chimneys and air vents because mice are masters at breaking and entering. Instead of stealing valuables, however, they’ll steal food. Make sure to seal your dry goods airtight and clean all garbage and spills to make it harder for mice to schedule meal time. Mice are huge fans of messiness, so if you can keep your home and your yard at a moderate level of cleanliness, they will be less likely to move in!
If even after all your efforts you end up finding traces of a cohabiting mouse, don’t worry. Here at One Man and a Lady Bug, we are mouse experts and well-versed in the ways of keeping the mouse out of your house. We know that new roommates were not on your list of new things to try in 2018! If you do find feces and other telltale signs, give us a call. We will be happy to answer any and all questions!