Commonly found in Warwick and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is the house mouse This rodent is also known by other names including Domestic House Mouse, and the Common House Mouse. Due to the fact that they are highly adaptable creatures and can fit through a hole the size of a pencil, house mice can infiltrate any type of structure including homes, offices, sheds, apartment buildings, etc.
Adult house mice can grow to be up to 7 inches long, including their naked tail. They generally weigh about an ounce and a half, and are usually grey, or light to dark brown in color. As is characteristic of many rodents, house mice have a long snout, small eyes, and large ears..
In the winter months, house mice forage for any type of food that is available to them. This can include food found in homes such as butter, cereals, chocolate, and anything that is high in protein and sugar. In the wild during warmer months they prefer to eat seeds, insects, grains, etc. However, house mice will scavenge for food inside man-made structures at any time of the year. House mice are able to live for long periods of time without liquid water, as they derive it from the food they eat.
House mice have the ability to live nearly anywhere. They can build their nests in open fields, on farmland, inside commercial properties, by bodies of water, inside homes, etc. Since house mice are warm-blooded creatures, however, when fall and winter arrive, they seek warmth and often find it in home and office environments.
PROBLEMS WITH HOUSE MICE
There are several problems that house mice can cause. The first is that because they gnaw to build their nests, various components of a building can be damaged, if not destroyed. Electrical wiring, insulation, etc. can be ruined while also posing a tremendous threat for fire hazard.
House mice are highly capable creatures and easily swim, climb, and jump, making any location a possible nesting site. They often nest in basements, attics, and crawlspaces, and are capable of ruining precious items that are not stored properly such as documents, heirlooms, paintings, and books.
Mice will nest nearby their particular food source, and if living inside a home will forage up to 30 feet from their nesting site. They sleep for about half of the day, and are nocturnal. Adverse to bright lights, foraging is generally done at night, their presence remaining hidden from home and business owners. Females can give birth to up to ten litters every year, totaling a possible offspring count of sixty newborn house mice during her one year lifetime.
House mice carry a spectrum of diseases related to viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The presence of mice in a home or office building means that contamination is highly possible. This can happen via urine, feces, and when the mice track over countertops, through cupboards, over pet dishes, across floors, etc.
A home or office that has been contaminated with house mouse urine or droppings can contract LCM - or Lymphocytic choriomeningitis after breathing in the laden air. Other diseases that humans can contract include tapeworms, salmonellosis (food poisoning), rickettsialpox, leptospirosis, ratbite fever, and ringworm.
Children are most at risk of developing severe allergies to the urine that is left by the adult males to mark their territory. Mice are also carriers of fleas, mites, lice, and ticks, which, when transported into a home or office building, can create an additional pest infestation.
SIGNS OF A HOUSE MOUSE INFESTATION
While home and business owners might never actually see a live mouse cross their path within the building, there are clues to their presence.
• Mice exude a musky odor that will become most obvious closest to the nesting site. • Dusty surfaces might reveal mice tracks left from nighttime foraging rodents. • The presence of mouse droppings (they look like ¼ inch long grains of black rice) will be present in the kitchen area, or where the mice spend most of their time. • Gnaw marks may be visible on storage containers, drywall, wood, and other surfaces. • Piles of shredded paper and other soft material is an indication of a nearby mouse nest.
Due to the fact that house mice are able to squeeze their bodies through nearly imperceptibly tiny holes, preventing them completely may be impossible. However, there are solid steps a home or business owner can take to help create an environment that will not attract mice.
• Never leave garbage or trash lying around the home or yard. Always secure garbage and trash in tightly lidded cans. • Leaky pipes and faucets should be immediately repaired to stop mice from investigating the new water source. • Seal any holes that a house mouse can squeeze through, namely, any hole larger than the diameter of a pen or pencil. • Store containers and storage boxes on pallets or steel shelves to keep them off of the floor. • Keep a clean kitchen including a swept floor, clean sink, and clean countertop to dissuade house mice from venturing inside the home. • Keep lawns mowed and excess brush cleared off of the property.
HOUSE MOUSE CONTROL
House mice are among the most prevalent rodents around Warwick and the elsewhere throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A suspected infestation should be investigated by a licensed, professional exterminator such as SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC.
Mouse traps can eliminate a handful of mice present on the property; however, if the rodents have nested on or inside the home or business, a true infestation has occurred that needs the immediate attention of a licensed and experienced pest control service.
Calling a professional exterminator such as SafeGuard will ensure the safe and complete eradication of the mouse infestation.