Winter is upon us. We grab mitts and toques and scarves on our way out the door, fuzzy wool socks are now part of our daily wardrobe, and we always make time for a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. Wintertime causes us to search for warmth and nestle in under extra layers of blankets while we binge through our favourite TV shows. But it’s not just people that are seeking refuge from the cold. Featured in most cartoons as cute and fuzzy, mice tend to be a lot less cute when you find them scurrying across your kitchen or living room floor. Due to the way they can squeeze through almost any hole the size of a dime, mice are capable of making nests practically anywhere. They do have a few house favourites however, so if you find yourself questioning if you might have a mouse problem, here are the three most common places to start looking for signs of a mouse in the house.
It’s one of our favourite places to hang out, so naturally a mouse will also find the kitchen to be one of the most appealing rooms in the house. The kitchen is full of a mouse’s absolute favourite thing – food. The crumbs we drop down the cracks between appliance and counter, the bits of leftovers that we forget have slid under the fridge, the morsels we drop from our midnight snacks, these are a mouse’s delicacy. And the kitchen is fully equipped with the best mouse hiding spots. The first places to start looking for the possibility of an invasion are underneath appliances, sometimes even inside the appliances themselves, underneath low shelving units and crates, the corners of the pantry and any small hole along the baseboards or walls. As long as a mouse can fit, and it’s just out of major traffic areas, there’s a chance a mouse will make a home there.
This is a rather frightful thought, but mice love to make cozy little mouse homes inside the walls of our houses. The walls are an obvious choice as they have the best protective barrier and mice can sometimes hide out for quite awhile before we notice their presence behind the drywall. Tell tale signs of mice in the walls are the noises. Their skittering is very evident, especially at night, and any mouse nest is accompanied by a musky smell. If you have pets, they will let you know right away if you have a mouse hanging out in the wall cavities.
The least busy place in the house is the attic. We tend to use attics as storage and with lots of boxes and clutter about, there are ample places for a mouse to set up base camp. Look for bite marks in boxes and damage to furniture. Mice love to make nests out of anything soft, so keep an eye out for small piles of material, like yarn, string or wool. And if it smells like ammonia or damp wood, that could very well be mouse urine.
Mice are quite a difficult pest to get rid of and knowing the signs of a possible mouse invasion are crucial for preventing widespread infestation. It’s also not a bad idea to start some preventative measures before an issue occurs. For example, plugging all entry points and investing in good weather stripping will help keep the mice outside. Another way to deter mice is to use peppermint essential oils, but make sure it’s 100% pure peppermint, or it won’t have any effect. Apply four to six drops of the oil to a cotton ball and place in areas that mice tend to congregate. The kitchen, the attic and entry points are a great place to start. If all else fails and you find a few mice or even an army invading your home, don’t hesitate to call our friendly, knowledgeable staff at 403-262-1666. We are more than happy to help!