Facts About Mice

Worried About Mice Invading Your Home? Things to Know About Mice

mice eating corn
Written by Stephen M
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Do you have a mice problem? Or are you expecting one, maybe because your neighbors have reported seeing the little rodents in their homes? If so, here are a couple of things you should know about mice if you want to be ready for all eventualities. They are considered pests and are dangerous to both humans and animals. Humans mainly suffer from outside damage rather than from diseases (on a large scale); but if you do get sick, you have to react swiftly and may need to visit a hospital. The more facts about mice you know, the better prepared you’ll be.

The main problems that mice bring are diseases, structural damage to your home, damage to crops, etc. You can see that there are a lot of issues with them, which is why you shouldn’t sit around waiting for them to do more damage than they should. Getting rid of them can be tough; they love crawling through small holes and making shelters out of whatever materials they find, especially in dark, less-trafficked areas of your home. These areas are most commonly attics and basements, although they quite commonly make shelters in the walls.

Most people choose traps as their preferred method of extermination, but you can purchase rodent poison, or even repellents to help you out. Experts recommend a combination of various mice trap types since different models provide different benefits. You’ll need to look out for the downsides as well; an example is poison use.

Poison, even though effective and fast-working, is toxic to every living being around you. This includes you, your kids, your family, your pets, and farm animals (if you have them). We mention farm animals because mice also love to make shelters in barns and buildings where your animals are housed. Poison requires special care and knowledge to handle correctly. Improper use can lead to injury and/or even death in some cases, especially with weaker and more vulnerable people, like children, people who suffer from asthma and the elderly.

Contrary to poison and traps, repellents are mostly used as a way of preventing mice from coming inside your home. Repellents can be used during an infestation as an extra boost, but they aren’t as useful as when you’re using them to prevent an infestation. This is because once they find someplace warm and cozy with access to water and food, they will hesitate to leave just because there’s a pungent smell around. This is evidenced with peppermint oil use – it’s powerful when used as a preventive measure, but not that good during an extermination.

What we’re providing you here is even better insight into the world of mice and their way of life. People often say that knowledge is the most powerful weapon in the world, and when it comes to getting rid of mice, this statement is absolutely correct. The more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to get rid of them. So, let’s get started!

One Mouse Equals Plenty of Mice

many mice eating corn

You’re probably thinking that one mouse isn’t a threat. After all, it’s just one mouse. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. One mouse might mean that it’s the only one around, but in almost all cases, it means that there are many more.

Besides, even if it was only one, you’re looking at least 10 more in a month. You see, mice reproduce rapidly. You could call them “avid breeders” due to the speed at which they reproduce. Mice, along with other rodents, reach sexual maturity quickly. It only takes them a couple of weeks.

This means that a couple of female mice can give birth to a couple of hundred mice during the course of a single year. That’s unfathomably fast. So, if you do manage to catch a glimpse of one single mouse, don’t leave it be! Start creating a strategy and get to work; there’s bound to be more.

Mice Droppings

Mice can leave between 50 and 100 droppings each day. Each Day! That’s a lot of poop. Albeit small, the sheer number of droppings produced by one mouse should be cause for concern. Especially when you look at the diseases that they carry (which we’ll cover soon).

They also don’t care where they leave their droppings. It’s not like they have a designated spot. If they have to go, they will go. And you’ll be the one cleaning up behind them.

Additionally, mice don’t have to stop and pee. They usually leave droplets of urine everywhere, all the time. They could be in search of food and be constantly peeing. It doesn’t matter to them, but it should matter to you!

Dangerous Diseases

disease

200 human pathogens. That is the potential number of diseases that mice can carry. And the most common diseases are the Plague, Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, Typhus, Rat-Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, and Lyme Disease.

You probably know of a couple from this list so it’s evident to you why mice pose a serious threat. Many of these diseases are tough to get rid of and even tougher to endure. The unfortunate truth is that people, who often aren’t educated enough on the topic of rats and mice, think that these rodents are creatures that are cute and cuddly. Some parents go as far as to encourage their kids to play with them! Never do this. If you plan on teaching your kids about love toward animals, start with hamsters, gerbils, and other pet rodents. Mice shouldn’t be messed around with.

Mice Lifespan

These rodents don’t live a long time, but they live long enough to cause huge damage. All it takes is one infestation without a prompt reaction and you’ll be left with thousands of dollars in damage, especially if you’re a farmer who lives off of the land and his crops.

Their lifespan in the wild is around 4-6 months, mainly due to exposure to predatory animals such as cats, birds, and snakes. However, if they do manage to crawl into your home and lay low for extended periods of time, they can live upwards to 2 years! Now, imagine what a smaller mice family can do during this time. Multiple litters during a single year and voilà – you have yourself hundreds of mice to get rid of. Act accordingly!

Escape Artists

mouse on rock

Mice are small creatures with flexible bodies. They can crawl to virtually any hole, even the ones you might think are too small. If a mouse is determined to get away from you by crawling through such holes, you should give up the chase for the time being. There’s no way you will force him out.

What you can do, however, is seal all possible entry points and fill these tiny holes with silicone or steel wool. Keep an eye out for potential holes near utility pipe entrances. Remember that any hole will act as a door into your home for them, which is why you should check your house for such holes and seal them as quickly as you can.

Potent Gymnasts

You wouldn’t believe just how flexible and acrobatic they can be! Mice have been known to take large leaps into the air in an effort to climb onto kitchen counters in the search for food. They’re also great at swimming and climbing. They won’t have a problem pushing themselves over the limit if there’s food nearby.

Rodents generally don’t like water (although there are exceptions), but they won’t hesitate to take a swim if it means shelter, food, and water.

You can stop them from accessing your food by placing it in plastic containers and sealing them. If you leave your food outside and unprotected, there’s no debate whether they will attempt to take some of it.

Fast Metabolism

Well, if you didn’t already realize how potent these rodents are, here’s some more help. Mice have a fast metabolism; one that requires them to eat constantly during the day. In fact, mice have anywhere between 10 and 20 meals each day. The number is usually much closer to 20, but it all depends on the circumstances and the season.

This means that they love building shelters and living near food sources since they need to eat constantly. Plus, it saves them some time and it’s also safer for them not to travel too far from their shelters.

The less food they have access to, the longer the distances they’ll need to travel in search of more. This is a good method of forcing them to take routes that you’ve laden with traps. Since there’s no food available, they’ll have to traverse through terrain that they haven’t explored before, and considering there are traps everywhere, they won’t have a good time.

Infestation Frequency

If you are unlucky enough to experience a mouse infestation; don’t despair. You aren’t the only one! In fact, there are around 20 million infestations happening each winter in the United States. That’s a lot of homes. People have been turning more and more to the Internet in the search for answers and tips. But, sometimes, you’re simply forced to call the exterminators if the infestation gets too large.

Also, you should know that most infestations happen between the months of October and February. The reason being warmth and easy access to food. Mice don’t like winter and if they don’t find shelter before the cold sets in, they will die.

It’s your job to make your home less interesting to them. If they have no easy access to food and water, they most likely won’t be hanging around.

Conclusion

20 Million infested homes each winter. That’s 6% of the US population. And even though 6% doesn’t sound like much, 20 million does. So why should you just sit and wait for the inevitable? Inevitable, if you sit and wait. If you take action and prepare yourself for an infestation, or better yet, if you try to prevent it, you will not be a part of those 20 million poor homes that will get infested with mice.

Mice are not a joke. They are intelligent and cunning. They will risk their lives to get into your home if it has what they need. This is a part of their instinct; something they can’t go against. Your instinct should always be to prepare yourself, and not underestimate them. As long as you keep researching and learning about them, you’ll be armed with everything you need. And the thing you need the most when it comes to mice infestations and how to get rid of them is – knowledge.

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Stephen M

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