At last, the weather is turning cooler, night is gathering earlier as well. Of all the pitter patter of little feet you enjoy hearing, the scrabbling of tiny feet is not one of them. Of course, mice would like the warmth of your home, and the added bonus of availability of food, and there is a mouse party in the making.

Signs to watch for:

  • Look for any cracks or holes in your foundation or where the foundation meets the house. Mice need minimal (1/4 of an inch) room to wiggle into a crack. Think of spaces around gas lines or sewer lines.

Seal all the cracks you can. Fill small holes with steel wool and put caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place. Use metal screens or metal sheeting to fix larger holes.

  • Unwanted items, furniture or trash scattered around the yard can be an invitation.

Clean up any debris and make sure your trash cans have secure lids.

  • Bird feeders are a source of food for unwanted rodents.
Small mouse in a hanging bird feeder

Make sure bird feeders are well away from the house. Remember to sweep up seed leavenings regularly.

  • Leaves piled against the home and mulch, or wood stacks is another way for rodents to get near the home and remember they can jump nearly a foot as well.

Keep all these materials away from the foundation of the home. Remember to rake around shrubs near the home to keep the area free of leaves.

  • Signs of gnawing, either on baseboards or around vents, cupboards, holes in dog food, or frayed wires.

These are signs mice are already in the home. Either begin setting traps and call for professional assistance.

You can certainly try and get rid of mice on your own.

Here are some ways of reducing the mouse population:

  • Traps, there are a wide variety of traps to choose from, including snap traps as well as humane traps where the mouse is caught live and will then need to be transported away from the area. Mice are excellent trackers.
  • Peppermint can be soaked in cotton balls and may help deter mice.
  • Crushed onions and peppers may work as well.

Female mice can produce 10 litters in a year and as an inside house mouse may live to 3 years of age. Her offspring can start reproducing at 4 to 7 weeks. If you keep finding mouse feces or signs of mice infestation, after a time of setting out traps, call in the experts at Victoria’s Pest Control.

Unlike the cartoons of our youth, rats and mice DO NOT CO-EXIST!!!!! What may start out as a mouse issue can quickly become a rat issue and that means larger holes more extensive gnawing and the smaller traps you have gotten will go unused. If you started with mice, whose droppings (feces) are approximately1/4-inch-long with pointed ends; and now see visible signs of larger(feces), rat droppings are longer (3/4 inch) with blunt ends, it is time for professional level care.