What Makes Mice Dangerous and How To Detect Them
Several species of mice exist in the UK including the Yellow-Necked Field Mouse, the Harvest Mouse, the House Mouse and the Wood Mouse. The House Mouse, (or Mus musculus) is the most common mouse in the UK.
The following biological aspects that make mice dangerous include their:
- Skeleton– Mice have flexible skeletons that enable them to enter a hole that is no bigger than the diameter of a pencil, often at places where pipes and wires intercept the walls.
- Breeding Capacity– Mice can breed every 28 days, all year round. Their gestation period is just 3 weeks, and they can give birth to 3-16 mice per litter (depending on the species) approximately 7-8 times per year.
- Disease– Depending on the species, mice can carry the Dobrava Virus, Lyme Disease, Salmonella (food poisoning), Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), Typhus, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM), Rat-bite fever and tapeworm.
- Teeth– Mice, like all rodents have teeth that continuously grow. They need to gnaw to keep the size of their teeth at a healthy length. They have the ability to chew through wood, aluminium, soft mortar, and asphalt, and tend to cause serious (and even fatal) issues by chewing on PVC cables and other electrical wiring.
- Activity– Mice do not hibernate; they are active throughout the entire year. This increases the need for vigilance in pest prevention and control.
Do I Have A Mouse Problem?
Signs that you have a mice problem include:
- Tracks or tail marks: mice leave tracks in dusty areas. Tail marks and footprints will show up in the dust.
- Urine pillars: mice release 3,000 drops of urine daily. This can mix with the dusty, low traffic areas that mice habituate. The combination of dust and urine can build into pillars that are up to 4cm high. The scent of mice urine is another indicator. It has a strong, ammonia-like odour, especially in areas highly populated with mice.
- Nests: mouse nests are constructed using of shreds of paper, wool, string and cloth and can be found in corners, wall cavities, under floors, and within roof spaces. Nests are usually located within 3 metres of a food source.
- Scratching Noises: high pitched squeaks, scrabbling or digging noises are often signs of a rodent infestation.
- Droppings: mice produce 50-75 fecal pellets per day. Bodily waste will be dark and soft in colour, eventually fading to a light brown colour. The colour of the droppings will alert you to how recent the infestation was. Note: Never touch these droppings as they may contain disease organisms.
Patterns of Mice
Rodents are creatures of habit; they use the same pathways repeatedly. A mouse’s eyesight is poor; they rub their bodies against surfaces in order to learn routes. The oil and dirt on their skin creates smudges and grease spots near corners and holes, skirting baseboards and walls. Other pathways are along sewer lines and pipes within attics, sheds, kitchens, basements and garages.
Homeowners can take advantage of the patterns of mice by leaving tracking material such as clay dust to test for potential infestation.
Do’s and Don’ts of Rodent Infestation
- Don’t keep boxed food on the floors
- Do close your garage doors at night
- Don’t leave pet food or water on the floor
- Don’t leave bin bags on the floors; store them properly in bin containers.
- Do maintain clean, hygienic living conditions
- Do pick up fruit in your yard that has fallen from fruit trees
- Do tightly seal and properly maintain your outdoor bins
- Do have a professional search for and maintain holes along your foundation, soffits and roof eaves
Hopefully, this has given you some helpful information about the dangers of mice, and the ways to identify them. Upon removal, remember to remain vigilant with prevention strategies. These creatures are resilient!
For information on our Pest Control Services, contact Ground Control.