The sounds of rustling in the night or the discovery of minuscule feces in the back of a drawer both may indicate that a house mouse infestation is underway. These tiny pests can wreak havoc in any Bensalem household or business. Professional extermination is the most highly recommended means of dealing with the problem.
Experts advise acting quickly when an infestation is suspected. House mice are capable of incredibly fast reproduction, which means that a small incursion can become an overblown infestation in remarkably little time. Typical gestation periods are 19-21 days, and each litter may contain between three and 14 young. Females are capable of averaging five to 10 litters per year, making prompt control a necessity.
House mice are notoriously difficult to control because they are small and good at remaining hidden. Nonetheless, they do leave behind signs of their presence. With comprehensive knowledge of house mouse behavior and habits, it is possible for a licensed exterminator to eradicate the infestation.
The adult house mouse's length is fairly evenly divided between the body and tail, with each component measuring between one and two inches. Typical weights may be between one-half ounce and one ounce. House mice generally are covered in short, dense hair that is either gray, black or brown, though the hair on the bellies usually is a lighter hue. Their ears and tail are fur-covered, though this fur is less dense than it is on the rest of the body. A pointed nose, oversized ears and beady eyes are other common characteristics.
Seeds, nuts and grains are the staple foods of the house mouse diet. All of these may be obtained from nature, but house mice will obtain them from pantries as well. Fruits, vegetables and a variety of plants also may be consumed.
In human habitations, house mice look for seeds, grains, cereal, pasta and bread. Fruits and vegetables that are stored in the open are vulnerable to house mice. These pests also like sweet foods, and they are capable of gnawing through plastic, paper and cardboard packaging to gain access to food. Pet food that is left out also may be eaten. A food stash may be created somewhere close to the nest.
Although they can survive in the wild, house mice prefer to live in close proximity to humans. This location ensures that the house mouse finds the water, food and shelter that it needs. When the weather is warm and dry, house mice may use an underground burrow for a nest. Alternatively, a pile of yard debris may make the perfect nesting spot.
When the weather grows cooler, house mice are more likely to move their nest indoors. They prefer to nest in quiet, secluded places that rarely are disturbed by people. Consequently, nests frequently are found in attics, basements, sheds or garages. Wall and ceiling voids provide alternative nesting habitat, and house mice also are known to burrow into upholstered furniture or into the back of bookcases, drawers or cupboards for shelter.
PROBLEMS WITH HOUSE MICE
House mice are prolific gnawers. Using their teeth, they gain access to human habitations, food and water. They also may gnaw on a variety of items to get material for building a nest. Accordingly, they are capable of causing a great deal of damage. They may exacerbate holes in roofs or siding to gain access to a building, then chew on insulation, upholstery, drywall, linens and other items commonly found in human dwellings.
Any remaining food that is left over after a house mouse gets into it must be thrown away. This food likely is contaminated and unsafe for people to eat.
Curious house mice love to explore the world, but they tend to do so under cover of darkness. Their nocturnal habits may mean that their presence goes undetected in a home or office for quite some time. Unfortunately, this provides the house mouse population with an opportunity to reproduce in large numbers.
House mice may walk, run and climb. Their preference is to do so beneath shelter where they are less likely to be seen by predators. When forced out in the open, they tend to run very fast to avoid detection. Although they tend to be less active during the day, people may see a house mouse when the sun is still up. This may indicate that the local house mouse population has grown particularly large, necessitating daytime foraging for food.
Numerous health issues are connected to infestations of house mice. Perhaps the most common of these is food poisoning or salmonellosis. When house mice get into food that is intended for people, they contaminate it with their saliva, feces and urine. Further, their bodies are rarely clean, and they may be trailing bacteria and germs wherever they go. This could easily lead to an illness if people consume the affected food.
Hantavirus is one of the more serious diseases that house mice may spread. Although relatively rare, it remains an ongoing concern across the U.S. The best way for people to help control this illness is by ending house mouse infestations.
In households where people suffer from allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, a house mouse infestation can be particularly troubling. House mouse waste products may exacerbate the symptoms of these conditions.
SIGNS OF A HOUSE MOUSE INFESTATION
Indications of a house mouse include:
• Sounds of rustling movement, particularly after sundown • Squeaking coming from behind walls or inside cupboards and drawers • Rod-shaped feces with pointed ends • Signs of gnawing on food packaging • Upholstery, linens or construction materials that have been damaged by teeth marks • Nests discovered in dark, out-of-the-way places • A musky odor inside the building
To help protect against a house mouse problem, the following steps should be taken:
• Keep garbage cans clean • Use only garbage cans with tight lids • Place yard debris and woodpiles well away from structures • Prevent trees, shrubs and other vegetation from touching buildings • Identify and block any holes or cracks in building exteriors • Wipe up spills and crumbs from kitchen surfaces • Keep pet food stored except at meal times • Use metal or glass containers with lids to store all food
HOUSE MOUSE CONTROL
Determining the difference between a mouse and a rat is a homeowner’s main dilemma where extermination is concerned. That is because species identification can play a crucial role in successfully eliminating a rodent problem.
Additionally, the impulse to simply set a couple of mouse traps is common when mice are seen by property owners. Unfortunately, this course of action is not effective in the event of an infestation. Traps alone may be able to eliminate a few individuals, but large numbers of mice typically require the services of a rodent control professional.
A licensed rodent exterminator has a variety of techniques to end the infestation. This will include methods of excluding rodents from re-entering the building as well as traps and chemical control. With all of these precautions, it is possible to return a home or office to a safe and hygienic state.
If you suspect a rodent control issue, call the professional team of licensed exterminators at SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC today. We can determine if you have a mouse or rat problem in your Bensalem home or office, and then proceed to implementing the best, most effective treatments.