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Remember the first time you watched the film Ratatouille? Did it get you thinking about the little rodents living a secret life of their own in your home?
Now if you like mice, this amusing scenario may have brought a smile to your face, however, if you don’t, you’re probably panicking and planning to set up an appointment with pest control over the weekend.
Not so fast.
Learn more about the signs of house mice living in your home, before you spend that money or make that call.
1. Finding Feces
Do you find mice droppings around the house? If you do, it’s a definite indicator of an infestation.
Mouse feces are black and cylindrical. Some places you’re likely to find them include the attic, the basement, vents, and crawl spaces. You may also find these droppings near your food, or in your kitchen.
Rats and mice generally wander around at night, while you’re asleep so you are most likely to discover these droppings during the next morning.
2. Damaged Material
Mice are tough little creatures that can wreak havoc all-around your home. Their teeth are strong, and they love to chew! They leave holes, tears, and marks on anything made from wood, cloth, and sometimes even wire.
If you find gnaw marks on your furniture, a chewed carpet, or shredded paper lying around in your house, you most likely have at least a few mice living with you.
3. A Strange Smell
Mice have a distinct smell. In addition to their droppings, they also leave behind urine and stains that they use to mark their territory.
The urine can sometimes evaporate leaving behind a chalky residue. If you’ve smelt any type of animal pee before, you’ll be able to identify mouse urine immediately.
4. Nighttime Noises
As we discussed above, mice and rats like to move around at night. This means those scuffles, squeaks, and taps you hear at night are most likely your rodent friends having a little house party while you’re asleep.
Their nighttime adventures usually involve a lot of climbing, scrambling, chewing, gnawing, and squeezing through tiny spaces. So keep your ears open for any sounds that may indicate that kind of activity.
5. Missing Food
Mice love the same food that you do. They consume cereal, grains, cheeses, fruits, and anything else you have lying around in your kitchen. If you feel like you’ve got less food in the morning than you did the night before, it could be that a mouse or two have discovered your stash of supplies.
Sometimes you may not realize that there’s food missing, but instead, you’ll notice a trail of crumbs on your kitchen counter or a hole in the food packaging.
Both of these are a clear sign that you’ve got house mice.
6. A Nest
On the face of it, a mouse nest seems like an obvious sign of an infestation, and it is. But do you know what a mouse’s nest looks like?
Well, remember all those chew marks across your carpet and the torn newspaper we discussed a little while ago? Mice collect that torn and shredded material to create a cozy little space for themselves and their offsprings.
Some mice create a ball structure out of this material, leaving a hole for them to enter and exit from. A single nest can hold between twelve to twenty-four mice, depending on the size of the nest and the litter.
Mice breed all year round, and a single female can deliver up to ten litters in a single year!
7. A Marked Route
Mice like to follow the same path of travel every night, especially if they’ve located a good source of food. These repetitive movements leave a trail or path that you can trace.
These distinctive patterns across your floor, or on your wall are easy to spot, especially if you know where to look. So if you already suspect that you’ve got mice in your home, be on the lookout for a route.
You may spot tiny footprints, smudges, claw marks, urine stains, or even droppings. To confirm your suspicions you can leave a layer of white powder (all-purpose flour, talcum powder, wheat flour) overnight and check the next morning for footprints.
8. A Mouse
If you find a mouse in your home, whether dead or alive, there’s a really good chance that you’ve got an infestation.
If you’re living in a place like Idaho, there are plenty of reputed pest control agencies you can appoint to look into the issue.
Look up articles like The Ultimate Guide to Eagle Pest Control, THE BEST 10 Pest Control in Nampa, Best 15 Pest Control Services in Kuna, depending on the city you live in. Remember, Google is your best friend when it comes to research. Reading localized reviews is a great way to find a reputable pest control agency near you.
Spot Any of These Signs of House Mice in Your Home?
If you’ve spotted any of the above signs of house mice, it is likely that you have at least a mouse frequenting your home. If you’ve spotted more than two, you’ve definitely got an infestation on your hands!
So keep your eyes open, and stay vigilant. A couple of mice can soon turn into a whole colony, and before you know it, they’ll be taking over your entire home.
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