The white-footed mouse belongs to a large family of rodents that have similar appearances, which often leads to misidentification. Like their cousin the house mouse, the white-footed mouse frequently is found in close proximity to or inside Bensalem homes and businesses.
This small pest can signal large problems with regard to property damage and threats to health. Typically, a licensed rodent exterminator is needed to deal with the infestation. With proper pest control methods, it is possible to keep white-footed mice in the wild where they belong.
Their distinctive white feet are this species' most recognizable characteristic. A white belly gives way to reddish-brown or gray fur on the rodent's back. Adult members of the species generally measure between four and eight inches. This length includes the white-footed mouse's tail, which ranges anywhere from two to four inches. At adulthood, weight runs between half an ounce and just under one ounce.
Considered omnivorous, a wide variety of food appeals to the white-footed mouse. They are essentially opportunistic feeders. This means that their diet changes dependent upon their location and the season. Staple foods include berries, seeds, grains, nuts, fungi, fruit and insects. When food is plentiful, the white-footed mouse may create a cache against leaner times.
With their varied appetite, white-footed mice are attracted to numerous human foods. These may include any of the foods listed above that are found in pantries or on counters in addition to jam, peanut butter, syrups, honey, sugar and many other foods. Pet food may draw the white-footed mouse's interest as well.
A multitude of habitats may be able to satisfy the white-footed mouse. This species is most populous in forests that tend to be dry and warm most of the year. Brushlands also have large white-footed mouse populations. Low- and mid-elevations have the climates that suit these rodents best. Nonetheless, they can survive at higher elevations and in regions that are categorized as semi-desert. This versatility makes it easy to see how white-footed mice are able to thrive so well in farmland and suburban areas.
These pests prefer to nest in places that are warm, dry and protected from the elements and predators. An abandoned bird's nest or a hollow tree may provide an ideal nest in the wild. Nests also may be located beneath a pile of stones or a woodpile.
Human habitations provide white-footed mice with a wealth of potential nesting places. They may be found anywhere from attics to basements. Wall and ceiling voids are popular, and some will nest beneath kitchen appliances, porches or outdoor stairways. Nests may be constructed from materials such as shredded cloth, hair, leaves, grass, moss and bark.
PROBLEMS WITH WHITE FOOTED MICE
White-footed mice may represent a big problem for home gardeners. Their enormous appetite for seeds may affect the ability of plants and produce to flourish and reproduce.
Like other rodents, this pest feels a compulsion to chew on everything. They may chew on siding, sheetrock, door frames and window frames in an effort to get into the house and find a nesting place. Chewing on furniture, bed linens, towels and clothing is common. Occasionally, white-footed mice will chew through electrical wires, accidentally starting a fire.
In pantries and cupboards, white-footed mice make themselves at home. Paper, plastic and cardboard food packaging easily fall victim to their teeth and claws. All food must be thrown away once contaminated by a rodent.
White-footed mice are extremely agile. They run fast, and they can climb or swim without any difficulty. With their excellent balance, members of the species may be found in precarious places like electrical wires and tree branches.
These nocturnal creatures protect themselves by restricting the majority of their activities to the nighttime hours. Still, it may be possible to spot a white-footed mouse foraging for food during the day. This species tends to be less social than other mouse species. They live alone for most of the year, but when mating season begins in the spring, they are more likely to live in groups. Three to five babies is a typical litter size.
Several medical conditions are known to be carried and transmitted by white-footed mice. One of the most concerning of these in Lyme disease. White-footed mice frequently are hosts to black-legged ticks, which are responsible for the spread of this illness. A white-footed mouse infestation almost certainly means that property owners should be on the lookout for symptoms like a bullseye-shaped rash, headaches, joint swelling and neck stiffness.
White-footed mice also may be carriers of hantavirus. Spread by rodent fecal matter, it is imperative that thorough cleaning accompanies any pest eradication efforts.
SIGNS OF A WHITE FOOTED MOUSE INFESTATION
Signs of white-footed mice include::
• A nest constructed of hair, cloth, paper, moss, leaves and other material • Scurrying, squeaking or rustling sounds behind walls • Mouse droppings on floors, tables and counters • Spotting mice in and around the building • Gnaw marks discovered on the structure, furniture and food packaging
To help protect against white-footed the following steps should be taken:
• Store food only in glass or metal containers that resist rodent teeth • Immediately place dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen • Do not leave out pet food or produce • Seal or cover all holes and cracks in building exteriors • Keep window and door screens in good repair • Perform yard maintenance to keep lawns and gardens trimmed back and clean • Remove excessive yard debris • Keep woodpiles and yard debris piles well away from structures
WHITE FOOTED 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.
A white-footed house mouse infestation can pose a real threat to people who frequent the property. With the risk of hantavirus and Lyme disease being spread, it is imperative that a licensed exterminator be contacted to ensure quick eradication.
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.