Mice and rats:
The common house mouse poses a significant threat when it takes up residence in homes and businesses. The health risks alone should be the main reason for exterminating them from your home.
What do house mice look like? Typically, house mice are dusty gray above with a cream coloured belly. Their upper body colour can vary from a light brown to darker gray. The tail can be as long as the body. Generally the body length can be 2-1/2″ to 3-3/4″ long. The description is definitely different from that of the Deer mouse.
What do they eat?
In their natural habitat, house mice will eat cereals, seeds, nuts, insects, fruits but generally grain-based. When in the home, everything is up for grabs. Cereals, cookies, crackers, seeds, chocolate, candy to pet food, garbage and leftover food left out are all entertained.
How do they breed?
Being that mice are at the bottom of the food chain, they need to breed rapidly. They generally live one year because there are so many predators that will deplete their numbers. A female can give birth to about 6 babies every three weeks…up to 35 young per year.
Why are they in my home?
Normally, mice live outside and find enough food to survive. When the weather changes in the fall, insects, plants etc. disappear and they go in search of food. A typical adult mouse can fit through a 1/4″ opening and they enter buildings usually at ground level.
What can I do to seal up all their entry points?
Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to “mouse-proof” a home or business. Given that if their head can fit through an opening, the rest of their body can also squeeze through. Entry points can include cracks in the foundation, under doors…anywhere there is an opening or they can create one. Once inside…usually in the basement… they will search the entire area for food. If none is found, they will utilize the walls, ceilings and floors to locate where you keep food. Of course, that is usually the kitchen. They normally access the kitchen under the sink cupboard since the water pipes go through the floor or wall and there is a big enough space around it to get in.
I don’t have a mouse problem because I haven’t seen any.
False. Mice don’t want you to see them which is why they are active at night. Usually, if you are seeing mice, you may have too many. Mice are no different than other animals and they have a pecking order…there are dominant males and females. When there is a limited amount of food available and the number of mice in the home grows, there could be fighting amongst them and some will have to go to other parts of the home…hence the infestation grows.
What are the health risks?
Mice do not have bladders. Therefore, wherever they may be, they will defficate or urinate. This can be in the walls, inside a closet, on your plates or utensil drawer and even on your beds or couch. How much droppings you may discover is not an accurate method of determining how much of an infestation you may have or whether they have been in a cupboard or room. But it is an indication that mice are present.
When a mouse urinates, that urine can dry almost transparent and can pose a health issue when touched as well as the feces of the mouse. Mice can carry diseases and can contaminate stored food. They have been implicated in the spread of Salmonella through their feces and humans can become ill by consuming Salmonella contaminated food. Symptoms of samonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. Since coming in contact with the rodent, feces and urine can threaten the health of your family, it is a good idea to completely sanitize all horizontal surfaces once a mouse issue has been exterminated. Always wear gloves when cleaning up feces and disinfecting areas.
Mice can bring fleas into your home?
True. Fleas, ticks or lice may be introduced in your home by mice. Consider someone sets a mouse trap for a mouse, catches and kills the mouse, any parasite on the mouse now finds their host is dead and getting cold and therefore leaves the mouse in search of your pet or you.
Mice can’t get into my cupboards or food.
False. Do not underestimate mice. The only thing they can’t do is fly. They are able to jump about two and a half feet, swim for a time and get up to any point in your kitchen. Normally, since they are at ground level when they access the kitchen, they will find open garbage, pet food and food on the floor. If that is not present, they will find a way into the bottom cupboards in search of food. Mice are able to get onto the counters, inside the cupboards and on top of the cupboards and fridge. If they come across a box of food that is wide open, they will literally jump inside or chew a hole in the corner of the box to access. Canned food, food stored in closed plastic containers, most spices, glass jars…are usually safe from mice.
Mice are always nocturnal.
False. Although mice tend to be active at night where they can feed and not be seen, they may be active during the day. Reasons for this may include…too many mice are present in the house, inexperienced young mice may have not learned the importance of predators yet, mice are breeding far from their food source or there is a lack of food available and the house has been vacated for a long period of time.
Mice don’t get into your home and instantly start breeding. They need to find a food source first. Once they find that, they will usually find a breeding site that is about 10 to 30 feet from that food source. If it is accessing your garbage can, pet food or food in your cupboards, they may take up residence under your cupboards, inside the stove or in the floors and walls. Once food is obtained and they locate an area for breeding, they may find breeding material by chewing up paper material they find in an open garbage can, insulation in the stove, fridge or walls and even scrape the sides of a cardboard box for nesting materials. Due to the fact they do not want to be detected, a mouse normally will run along walls as their route to get to where they want to go as opposed to across a floor. Mice are nibblers and will eat frequently during the day Mice are colour blind and cannot see clearly beyond six inches. When a mouse dies, they will usually be in an area where you won’t sense the decaying body. In about three days, the body will start to smell and will eventually become a pile of fluff with the skull visible. Normally, though, they will die somewhere undetected.
Preparation by the tenant or home owner
The only preparation before treatment that is needed is to completely clean up the kitchen including leftover food and food spills on the stove, counter and floors.
The treatment for mice and rats do not utilize any poisons that can add health risks to your family and pets. . The “one-time” price includes:
- inspection of the home to determine food sources that mice can get into and possible entry points that will be made known to the home owner.
- products used in the treatment that will be left in the home to guard against possible future activity
- As long as the requirements that we give you regarding food and garbage containment are followed, we will follow up with the mouse issue until it is gone.
- Reliance Pest Management also offers a service for disinfecting rooms in the home after the mouse infestation is gone. Disinfection is accomplished using UVC lights and will destroy germs, bacteria and even mold. Let us know if you are interested.