- How Do Mice Enter your Home?
- Why is a Single Mouse Such an Issue?
- Could I Have Mice if I Never Saw Any?
- Best Mice Baits for Traps?
- Where to Put Mice Traps?
- How Long Do Mice Live?
- What Do Mice Feed On?
- Do I Have Mice or Rats?
- Aren’t Traps Working?
People often have plenty of questions about mice and their way of life. Mice are enigmatic creatures that, even though appear simple and easy to get rid of, often aren’t what people expect. They are smart, tough, cunning, and will definitely keep you busy during the time you’re trying to get rid of them.
Due to their intelligence and wits, they can oftentimes hide very well. They’re also great climbers and will enter your home in places where you least expect them. Due to all of these facts, people have started researching about them more and more in the hopes of helping themselves take care of an infestation.
Now, it’s in all of our best interests that you learn as much as possible about these vermin. No one likes having mice pee all over their kitchen floor and spread diseases, which is why studying mice, are recommended.
You can always call the exterminators, although it might be better to take care of a small infestation yourself. Onto the questions!
How Do Mice Enter your Home?
Mice are incredibly resilient. They’re specialists when it comes to squeezing through tight spaces and finding shelter.
Once they realize that a location in your home will provide them with adequate protection and safety, they’ll do anything to claim it. Even if you think that there’s no way a mouse can enter your home (either because you think it’s not attracting enough to them or because there aren’t any visible spaces they can crawl through), believe us when we say that they might appear when you least expect them to.
Any small crack on the outside of your home (that might lead to a hidden area inside your home) will be interesting enough for them to check it out.
The moment they figure out that it’s safe and protected, they’ll come in larger numbers. And once they’re inside your home in their shelter, they will start reproducing rapidly and increasing their population.
You wouldn’t believe how flexible they can be! Most mice can crawl through a hole that is only ¼ of an inch. Keep in mind that even if the hole isn’t big enough, if it’s made out of a material that is easily chewable, they will do it until it gets large enough for them to squeeze through.
One more characteristic that they have is climbing and jumping. Mice can jump a staggering 13 feet into the air! This lets them reach places that you think are unreachable. And, of course, they’re great climbers; mice can climb vertical surfaces with relative ease.
Why is a Single Mouse Such an Issue?
One mouse is never the issue; the issue is that a single mouse almost always means that there are plenty of them in your home. Mice are group animals; they very rarely live alone (almost never).
So if you see one mouse in your house, there’s a high probability that there’s an entire family of them hiding somewhere. As soon as you see a mouse in your home, it’s best to start preparing for the inevitable.
Grab some gear such as traps and other mice trapping equipment and, if you aren’t familiar with mice or catching them, educate yourself. As mentioned before, exterminators are a great option but only if you have a large infestation that could be difficult to get rid of yourself (mainly because exterminators cost quite some money).
Another reason why one or two mice bring so many problems is their reproduction rate. One female mouse can give birth to around 60 mice during an entire year. Litters consist of 5-8 young, so you see why a mouse or two give people headaches.
Do the maths! Imagine 5 female mice. In as little as a month, they could give birth to 40 mice each 6 weeks. Also, newly born mice rapidly grow – they are ready to breed in 6 weeks!
Could I Have Mice if I Never Saw Any?
It is fairly possible that you have mice even if you’ve never seen a single one. The reasoning behind this is that mice are nocturnal animals so you will very rarely see them during the day.
Of course, they might become active during the day if their shelter is in danger or if food is low. This is when they will risk it all to keep their ‘family’ alive. If you suspect that you might have a mouse infestation due to small signs around the house (weird smells due to mice pee, mice droppings, etc.), check your entire home for more signs.
It’s also a good idea to purchase some mice traps just in case, even if there aren’t any mice present at the moment.
Place a couple of them near the wall, preferably in your kitchen (as the kitchen is the most likely place where they’ll be visiting for food). If you catch one – great! If you don’t – wait for a couple of days and monitor the situation closely; they might be avoiding your traps altogether!
Best Mice Baits for Traps?
You might be thinking that cheese is the best possible bait for mice. Well, sorry to burst your bubble but it’s not. Cheese, as the best mice bait, has become popularized by cartoons of the old days.
Remember Tom & Jerry? The cheese was a recurring theme in the cartoon, oftentimes presented as bait to Jerry (and other mice). However, it’s simply not that enticing to mice so don’t think that placing cheese will magically make them walk into your trap.
Much better bait options include peanut butter (although you’ll need to keep an eye on how long the peanut butter has been in the trap. Stale peanut butter will harden and become useless). Nuts, bacon, dried food, and candies are some of the best options available.
Once you pick your ‘poison’, make sure it’s securely attached to the trap.
A mistake that people often make is that they simply place the bait in the trap and leave it be. The result of doing it this way is that the mice are able to pick up the bait without triggering the trap. This is why you should always secure the bait properly.
The more they pull and tug, the better the chances of the trap activating and capturing the mouse.
Where to Put the Mice Traps?
Most people don’t really know how to configure their traps correctly regarding positioning. Even though it might seem difficult, all it takes is a careful observation of mice pathways.
You want to place your traps in locations that they frequently visit, in order to maximize your chances of catching one. The best locations are those that feature changes such as shredded paper or droppings.
Also, if you manage to catch a glimpse of a mouse running around, remember where it was running – this is most likely a pathway that can serve as a great location for traps.
Additionally, you can check some online guides on trap locations, although it’s best if you learn all of it yourself and think strategically – it will give you an advantage over the mice and should help you prevent further infestations from happening!
How Long Do Mice Live?
In the wild, mice live for around 1 full year (this is mainly due to predators and lack of shelter and food). However, if they are protected and have a steady stream of food, they can live up to 3 years!
This is reason enough to do everything in your power to get rid of them as they can carry diseases and will wreak havoc in your home. Influence their lifespan by placing traps and slowly riding yourself of the infestation. Unfortunately for most people, mice don’t have natural predators inside their homes.
However, if you have pets, mainly cats, they’ll act as predators and will definitely help you out. After all, cats love chasing and catching mice, although you shouldn’t let your cat do all the work.
What Do Mice Feed On?
Mice generally love eating plants and grains, but they’re capable of eating just about anything. Various crumbs that you might accidentally leave in your home are especially enticing to them as they’ll see them as a source of food.
However, it doesn’t even have to be crumbs. Mice have an advanced sense of smell, and if they smell something interesting and inviting, they won’t waste time and will move in without you knowing.
You can use this to your advantage – after all, traps need bait!
Do I Have Mice or Rats?
The main distinction between mice and rats is their size. Rats are generally a lot bigger than mice, which is why it can be tougher to get rid of mice than rats.
Rats are around 5-6 times bigger than mice. Rats usually don’t follow the same rules that mice do, but there have been cases where rats (not mice) end up in tight spaces.
Rats are also more dangerous than mice; mice usually won’t engage in combat with a predator that is attacking it (except in the case of shelter attacks), whilst rats have been known to fight even dogs. In any case, be careful and mindful of what you’re hunting; you wouldn’t want to misjudge the species!
Aren’t Traps Working?
Mice, alongside being sociable creatures, are also very curious. They will investigate anything new and interesting they find, without holding back.
This is why some traps don’t work – mice can sometimes sense that something isn’t right and won’t even try to take the bait. You should also know that placing traps ‘wherever’ isn’t going to work.
You must study the mice in your home and figure out the best places where the traps should go. This is usually against walls and next to tight spaces (behind a fridge for example).
Mice love running around next to walls since it gives them a sense of safety. Investigate your home for potential mice droppings and pee (which you will find out by smell). Place the traps strategically so the mice come and investigate.
It’s important to give them a false sense of security so that they fall for your traps!
These are some of the most common questions asked by people who could be experiencing a mouse infestation. All of these questions have answers that are easy to understand and will help you fight the mice.
The more info you have, the easier it will be for you to prepare and get rid of the mice that are attacking your house!