A close relative to the house mouse, is the white footed mouse which is common to Warminster and most of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Although they are solitary creatures, white footed house mice can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses because they gnaw through materials that they use to build their nests.
As an adult, this rodent can grow to be 5-8” in length. Its tail, which makes up half of the length of the mouse’s body, is lighter on the bottom and darker on the top. Its fur can range from reddish brown to light brown, and their feet and underbelly are usually white.
White footed mice are omnivorous creatures that prefer to eat grains, berries, nuts, seeds, fungi, and insects. They also eat leaves, wood, bark, and flowers. They prepare for winter by gathering a cache of nuts and seeds in the fall.
Adaptable to many climates, the white footed mouse prefers dry, warm forested areas. These creatures can be found in marshes and brush land, as well as hollowed out trees and old squirrel and bird’s nests. When the weather turns cooler, white footed mice venture into man-made buildings for warmth and safety.
PROBLEMS WITH WHITE FOOTED MICE
The white footed mouse is associated with many diseases. Additionally, These rodents typically gnaw at many items found within their surroundings to create bedding for their nests, which can ruin things like clothing, mattresses, documents, furniture, food packaging, insulation, siding, electrical wiring, woodwork, and more.
Even though the white footed mouse is a solitary creature, their territories can overlap. Generally, there are four to twelve mice per acre, and their home ranges are between .5 and 1.5 acres. These nocturnal creatures forage at night and avoid human contact as much as possible. They are excellent swimmers and climbers, giving them easy access to eaves, rafters, ceilings, crawlspaces, and attics.
These rodents communicate with each other by drumming their paws on a dry leaf or hollow reed. This creates a musical buzzing noise which is believed to alert other mice of predators in the area. White footed mice live to be one year old in the wild, but can live several times that in captivity. Females can produce up to twenty offspring in their lifetime.
The white footed mouse can carry a number of diseases. They have a role in passing Lyme Disease and Hantivirus to humans via deer ticks and through their feces. If a home or business becomes infested with white footed mice, there is a greater likelihood of transmitting hantivirus when the air is stirred up around the mice droppings.
SIGNS OF A WHITE FOOTED MOUSE INFESTATION
The existence of an infestation of mice in a home or office space is often detected by the scurrying and scampering heard in the ceiling and walls. Determining the exact species of mouse should be left to a professional who can then correctly decide on the proper course of treatment. Other signs of a white footed mouse infestation include:
• Uprooted plants and flowers in the garden can mean that the mice are searching for seeds to eat. • Droppings that are 1/8 inch long and shaped like rice. • Piles of shredded material such as insulation, mattress stuffing, furniture, etc. will be present in the area. • Signs of digging in the lawn. • Bits of cloth, grass, hair, bark, moss, and leaves may be discovered nearby a mouse’s nest.
Keeping white footed mice away from a home or office building can be difficult, especially when the cooler months set in. However, there are methods to keeping the structure from looking, in the mouse’s eyes, like a hollowed-out tree stump. These tips include:
• Maintain regularly scheduled trash pickup. Make sure garbage cans have tight, secure lids and never let them overflow. • Keep the kitchen clean by frequently sweeping and mopping. Keep counter tops and sinks in clean condition. • Use air-tight containers to seal up both pet and people food. • Eliminate any areas in the yard that might be appealing to white footed mice including old bird’s nests, piles of sticks, etc. • Keep bushes and trees trimmed back so that they do not touch the building. • Use caulk or other sealants to close up any holes in the building where mice can squeeze through including around pipes and utility wires.
WHITE FOOTED MOUSE CONTROL
While it is possible to eliminate a mouse problem alone, a true infestation requires professional attention to in order to eradicate. Not only can these rodents gnaw through a variety of materials including electrical wiring (which will create a potential fire hazard), they can reproduce quickly and spread dangerous diseases.
If you suspect mouse activity in your home, your first order of business toward eradication is to call the licensed professional exterminators at SafeGuard Pest Control.
SafeGuard will determine how many nests are present, where the mice are entering and exiting, and the proper treatment steps to take for removal.