In New York State and across the United States, house mice are one of the most common home-invading pests. They’re so common, in fact, that millions of homes in America are invaded by mice and other rodents every winter. Being such prevalent unwelcomed visitors, it’s typical for homeowners and residents to have questions about them. For instance, how high can they jump? Is it true that mice carry diseases?
Read below for answers to these questions about house mice, as well as what may be attracting them to your home and how to keep them out - for good.
House Mice & Their Habits
Mice are the athletes of house pests and have the ability to jump up to a foot high and climb over a foot up vertical, smooth walls. They are also notorious for being heavy eaters, and despite their small stomachs, mice eat between 15 and 20 times a day on average. Because they eat so often, they prefer to nest close to their food source; something that also allows them to better navigate their territory, as mice have poor vision and cannot see in the dark.
What’s most concerning about mice is that they lack housetraining of any kind. Because mice are constantly eating, they’re also constantly producing waste, and thus a single mouse leaves behind some 50 to 75 droppings a day. As they walk around, they also expel microdroplets of urine within their territory. If that’s not bad enough, mice have been known to transmit at least 35 different diseases to humans, including hantavirus and salmonella - and one of the primary ways they do so is from their waste.
What Attracts Mice To Homes?
When mice find their way into our homes, it’s because they’re in search of two things: food and warm shelter, especially during the cold months. Once they’re in, access to food, such as fallen scraps, discarded leftovers, fresh food left on the counter, pantry items, and even plants will keep them there;. However, if they’re hungry enough, mice are also known to eat paper, cardboard, and electrical wiring.
Mice are also fans of clutter as it provides them with a toasty, snug place to burrow and hide. Clutter may be inside the home, like a mound of paperwork stashed in a box in your attic, garage, or even inside a desk drawer, or outdoors, such as in woodpiles.
How Mice Get In & How To Keep Them Out
Mice are not only nimble, but they’re also stealthy. These critters commonly find their way inside homes and cracks, crevices, gaps, and holes as small as the circumference of a pencil—and if the hole they’ve found isn’t large enough, they’ll gnaw away at it until it is.
To make your house less appealing to house mice, consider the following three prevention tips:
- Seal Cracks And Block All Entry Points: If mice can’t find a way in, they won’t be there. Take the time to inspect your foundation and walls, the framework surrounding windows and doorways, and weather seals along the bottom of garage doors, and make necessary repairs.
- Keep Living Spaces Clean: Forgotten crumbs and discarded food droppings attract mice and other insects and pests. Remembering to clean the kitchen countertop and table can go a long way in deterring mice.
- Add Peppermint: Peppermint oil is a natural irritant for mice who don’t like the smell of menthol. Growing peppermint plants in your yard or using peppermint essential oils in your home can help evade mice headed that way.
Unfortunately, even if you see a single mouse, it’s more than likely a sign of a larger problem. If you suspect mice are in your home, contact us at BHB Pest Elimination for our effective rodent control service. With over 50 years of experience, we offer long-term pest control solutions by treating the root of the problem. Call us today at BHB Pest Elimination for your free inspection.