Autumn is an amazing time of year, not only do we get a break from the often oppressive summer heat but we are also treated to some beautiful colors. But as fall turns to winter and the colder weather sets in, the local mouse population becomes much more active. Their survival instincts kick in and they aggressively seek out a safe and warm place to shelter themselves from the harsh winter climate.
This is the best time to take a few simple steps and become proactive in your efforts to keep your home mouse free. A few helpful hints will help you avoid mice in your house this winter. If you wait till you see them in your living spaces or frequently hear scratching in your walls or ceiling, it's most likely already an infestation. Mice are prolific breeders and for this reason, it's important to catch a potential issue in the early stages.
SAFE PLACE TO BUILD A NEST
In southern Ontario, we experience cold and harsh winters. Rodents would not survive a single night out unprotected, therefore they find their way into buildings and homes. In the wild, they will often burrow underground or seek out other natural shelters. But in residential areas, they have their pick of nice, heated warm places to call home. A mouse requires a whole the size of a dime to break into your house. Most of our homes are basically wide open should they choose to move in.
Have a look at this video to see how vulnerable the average home actually is to mouse intrusion:
WHY YOU WANT MICE GONE, AND QUICKLY
There are plenty of reasons the prospect of housing a huge mouse population in your walls and attic is unappealing. Put aside how gross it is and how off-putting it is when you see one of the little critters scurry across the floor when you turn on a light. Put the gross factor aside, there are plenty of practical health, safety and finance related reasons you need these pets evicted:
- Damage to your home - as the mouse population grows, so does the risk of damage being done to your home. Mice love tunneling through insulation. Thy travel through your home using the insulation in your walls and attic as their passageways. Over time this activity will render your insulation completely ineffective. Thousands of tunnels throughout the insulation in your walls negates most of its effectiveness.
- Contamination - another significant consideration is the reality that mice urinate and defecate, a lot. And to the best of our knowledge, they rarely clean up after themselves. Over time, this becomes a serious health concern. It also begins to smell over time. Cleaning up the area and rectifying the issue often requires re-insulating large portions of your home. This becomes financially prohibitive and is a huge undertaking. It's much better to catch the problem early and contact a local wildlife removal company to humanely rectify the issue.
- Diseases - mice are known to carry several communicable diseases. The most common and troublesome being Leptospirosis and Hantavirus. Because mice will get into your food sources and urinate and defecate or excrete saliva, a mouse infestation can lead to a very real risk of contracting a disease.
As soon as you suspect you have a potential mouse issue, contact a wildlife removal company immediately and get the process started. Time is of the essence. For a few helpful pointers on selecting an appropriate wildlife company read this article.
WHAT TO DO?
The most important factor in efficiently dealing with a mouse infestation is early detection. If you wait till you have an infestation it becomes exponentially more complicated to deal with as well as significantly more expensive. There are a few steps you can take to figure out if you do in fact have a potential mouse problem. The obvious signs are hearing scratching noises in your walls and attic or finding droppings in your cupboard or behind the dishwasher. In these cases, no need to investigate further, contact wildlife expert.
If you have not seen any evidence or heard anything but suspect you may have an issue, there are two things you can do that will quickly confirm the presence or lack thereof of rodents. Take a good look in places mice will usually frequent. Move the appliances in your kitchen, get into your crawl space and move the shelves and furniture in the basement. Take a good look in all the out of the way areas in quiet areas of the home. These are most likely areas you will find evidence of their presence.
After you have done this, place a little bit of peanut butter on a saucer and place it in your kitchen or basement, in a quiet tucked away spot. Mice will not be able to resist this delicious snack. If any critters are in your home, they will come out once the coast is clear and nibble on your offering. Leave the saucer for 24 hours and then return to investigate.
Mice removal should only be performed by trained professionals. This is not the time to try and save a few dollars and deal with the issue in-house. It's a complicated and time sensitive process.