Mice are probably one of the most persistent and pervasive of household pests. Over time mice have become so habituated to human dwellings that they can hardly live without them. So it might seem that it is impossible to get rid of mice. But don’t give up without a fight. You don’t need to share your home with these furry rodents.
Why Is It Hard to Get Rid of Mice?
Humans have been trying to eradicate mice for thousands of years. The fact that we are still talking about them shows just how much success we’ve had in trying to eliminate them. Mice are extremely adaptable, with the special ability to live close to humans but out of sight.
Although they originated on the Indian subcontinent, they are now found wherever humans are found. Largely because humans (unknowingly) have provided exactly the kind of environment mice need to survive.
–Food: Like humans, mice are omnivorous. They seem to like much of the same food that we do: peanut butter, bacon, and cooked chicken often top their list. So, when humans began to store food for winter/lean months, the mice decided they could benefit too.
–Protection/shelter: As humans constructed warm, weather-tight shelter against the elements, mice saw ample shelter for themselves as well. And with no need to worry about the seasons or predators, they could reproduce without worry.
Since they had found such wonderful hosts, mice were in no hurry to go back to being midnight snacks for owls. When humans developed a taste for travel, trade, and migration, mice decided to tag along too. You can find mice everywhere you can find humans.
- Clever & resourceful:
Although mice appear fragile and small, don’t underestimate these remarkable creatures. They are surprisingly clever, resourceful, athletic, and adaptable.
Their ability to climb, jump, and run make them formidable. Mice have agility that would make a monkey jealous and they can out-accelerate rabbits from a standing stop. This means they can access our homes in ways we wouldn’t even think about. They can squeeze through holes the size of a dime and jump up to 13 inches from the floor to a flat surface (higher if they have a running start). They can climb up any rough vertical surface and tightrope over cables and ropes.
Mice are also surprisingly clever, building their nests away from prying eyes with materials that humans provide, staying out of sight during the day, and nesting near sources of food, water, and warmth.
They have adapted beautifully to coexist with their reluctant hosts, regardless of the lack of invitation.
- High reproduction rate:
The last reason why mice are so difficult to get rid of is their high reproduction rate. With a warm, protected nest to shelter their young, mice can produce up to 10 litters/year. And each litter can have anywhere from 3-14 babies (with an average of 6-8 pups/litter). Do the math and you could conservatively have 40-50 mice born in your home in 1 year. This is one of the main reasons why it can be so hard to eradicate these rodents once they have established a nest in your house. The average house mouse lives about 12-18 months. Since a female mouse becomes sexually mature and capable of having babies at about 6 weeks old, a female wastes no time producing young. And her children mature just weeks behind her and keep producing more.
Ways to Get Rid of Mice
However, it is possible to live a mouse-free life.
- Protect your boundaries
Probably the most important step in ridding yourself of mice is maintaining a protective boundary. Make sure that you don’t have entry points to your home. Check your foundation for cracks and crevices, install door sweeps/weather stripping under your door, and make sure the garage and other doors/windows are tight and not gaping. And don’t just check the lowest point of the foundation, remember that mice can jump. Check entry points of pipes, cables, and other access points to your home. A quick fix can be to stuff these holes with steel wool which mice can’t chew through. Cover vents with a wire mesh to ensure adequate air flow while still preventing mice entry.
- Remove temptation
Try to keep your home from being tempting to rodents. Keep food prep areas clean and store food in tightly sealed containers, including pet food. Don’t leave food sitting out. Dispose of kitchen trash frequently. (Note: a clean house doesn’t necessarily mean that mice won’t still try to invite themselves over, but it can be a deterrent.)
Another temptation/access point for mice can be bushes and shrubs planted right against your house. Cut back any vegetation that touches your house. It can be a highway for all sorts of pests, including rodents.
- Stay vigilant
Avoid taking an “out of sight; out of mind” mentality. Make a regular practice of checking your home. It can help you get in front of many issues before they get out of hand. Be sure to take a look at your car as well. Look under the hood and make sure you don’t have rodents making a nest and chewing through wires.
Don’t ignore any signs of an unwelcome guest. If you see gnaw marks on wooden doors or evidence of chewing (piles of paper, wood, or cardboard), droppings, or scratching sounds in your walls at night, you will want to take action.
Your pets might be the first line of defense. If you see them pawing or smelling an area where they don’t usually go, check it out. Mice often leave an odor as they begin moving into a home. If you begin to smell a stale odor coming from a hidden area, that is also a clue that you have an active population of mice.
Catching sight of a mouse at night (but not during the day), likely means that you can get ahead of this problem before it gets out of hand. However, if you are seeing mice during the day or spotting new droppings and gnaw marks frequently, then the population has likely gotten quite large.
- Use the experts
You are not alone in your struggles. Consult the experts at Cascade Pest Control for their experienced mouse control services. They can help you assess the problem, find a solution, and give you peace of mind. You don’t have to live with rodent house guests. Mice CAN be eradicated.
Call them today at 888-989-8979. Cascade offers Rodent Perimeter Defense Services as well as their Rodent Defense Program.