One of the more trying experiences you can face in regards to your residence is the plight of a mouse infestation. In addition to being highly challenging to remediate, a mouse home infestation presents a health hazard to you and your family. Through this article, you are presented with a comprehensive overview of mouse home infestation. This overview includes:
- Signs of mouse home infestation
- Preventing a mouse infestation
- House mouse lifecycle
- Diseases mice carry
- Eradicating mice from a residence
Signs of a Mouse Home Infestation
The reality is that a mouse home infestation can occur and residents may not know of it for what proves to be an extended period of time. Mice can stealthily enter into a residence and remain out of sight (and sound) for a relatively long period of time.
Because the presence of mice in a residence can remain cloaked for a more extended period of time, an infestation can become significant before residents are aware and can take steps to eliminate it. As a homeowner or renter, you are in the best possible position to address a mice infestation by being as proactive as possible. A key to that process is understanding the signs of a mouse home infestation. These include:
Gnawing. Mice have incisors that never stop growing. As a result, they continually gnaw on objects. In addition, mice chew on objects in order to obtain food and passageway as they forage and look for places to nest.
Droppings. Mouse droppings are another primary indicator that you have an infestation in your home. You are likely to find mouse droppings along the walls of your home. Mice travel along walls in order to be at least partially protected when they go from one location to another.
Squeals. Mice are generally nocturnal animals. As a result, you are not likely to hear or see them during daylight hours. When the evening comes, you may hear an occasional squeal from a mouse. Mice do not squeal a great deal; however, if you hear squealing, that is strong evidence that your home is infested.
Scratching. When it comes to evidence of mice in your home, you may also hear scratching sounds. These sounds are likely to be heard in the walls, in the attic or on the ceiling, and under the floorboards.
Scurrying. In addition to scratching sounds, you may also be able to hear the scurrying sounds if you have mice in your home. Again, you are only likely to hear these after sunset and before sunrise.
Preventing a Mouse Infestation
There are steps you can take to prevent a mouse home infestation in the first instance. First and foremost, you must block any holes on the exterior of your residence. Mice can slip through holes that appear smaller than their bodies – and mice are small. Therefore, you need to be sure to seal any hole, no matter how small.
The best substance to use to seal a hole is cement. A mouse cannot chew through appropriately cured cement. On the other hand, there are many substances that a mouse can chew through completely. Some people recommend steel wool. Steel wool is not an absolute deterrence to mice. A mouse will gnaw on steel wool if it wants to gain entry to a space. A mouse will gnaw on it to the point that the rodent can move it out of the way.
The odds of a mouse infestation in your home can be reduced if you do not have greenery directly next to your home. Shrubs and other plants growing next to your home provide a safe staging area for mice to seek a way into your home. The ideal course is to lay about 18 to 14 inches of gravel around the perimeter of your home. Mice will be rather unlikely to trek across such a gravel perimeter to get inside a structure.
House Mouse Lifecycle
The lifecycle of a mouse is a prime reason why an infestation can grow so quickly in a residence. A mouse typically lives between 12 to 18 months if it is able to spend the bulk of its life sheltered in a home or other structure.
A female mouse can begin breeding at about a couple months of age. Once a female mouse reaches sexual maturity, she can have about 10 litters a year. Each litter on average will have between five and eight pups (mouse offspring are called pups). The gestation period for a mouse is about 20 days.
Mouse Home Infestation and Disease
As noted previously, a mouse home infestation is not only unpleasant, but it can present a real health risk. Mice can carry disease, including in their feces. For example, mice feces can contain hantavirus or salmonellosis. Hantavirus is particularly dangerous and can even infect a person via dried droppings.
Dried mouse droppings crumble easily. This can cause hantavirus contaminated dust to become airborne. If inhaled, a person can become infected and develop a potentially fatal disease known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
Eradicating Mice From a Residence
If you identify a mouse home infestation, you are wise to obtain the services of a professional exterminator. Only by engaging a pro can you really be assured that mice will be eradicated from your home.
In addition, a mouse home infestation results in the presence of potentially dangerous substances like droppings and urine. Because these substances can contain bacteria or viruses that can cause serious illness, you will also want to reach out to a professional rodent dropping cleaning specialist.