When Do I Call an Exterminator for Mice?

Mouse - Integrated Pest Management

As winter approaches, more and more pests find their way into homes, seeking shelter from wet and frigid weather. Mice are one of the most common household pests, alongside rats and termites. While DIY methods, such as mouse traps, may work to get rid of one or two mice, a full-blown infestation requires the service of a professional exterminator to keep your home clean and safe from pests. 

It is important to know which pest has moved into your home to receive the correct solution to the problem. Here are the signs that there may be a serious infestation of mice in your home, and that it is time to call an exterminator to help. 

You or your pets see mice in your home

If you see a mouse, or if you see a pet playing with mice, that may be a sign of an infestation in your home. Usually where there is one mouse, there are many more, so seeing even a single mouse could mean that these pests have started to take residence in your home. Pay close attention to you pet if it seems like they are playing with an invisible toy. They might have found a tiny mouse scurrying around your home, which is a sign that these rodents have in fact found a way inside. 

Look for any signs of rodent activity in your kitchen and pantry, or anywhere food is stored or prepared, as these are the locations mice are most attracted to. Having mice in your home can pose as a serious health threat to you and your family. Mice and their droppings have been linked to several very serious diseases such as Leptospirosis, Hantavirus, and Salmonellosis, which brings us to the second point on the list. 

You find mice droppings in your home

A mouse defecates up to 75 times in a single day. If you have a family of these rodents inhabiting your home, they could be scattering thousands of these disease-carrying droppings all over your home every single day. Mouse droppings are usually the first sign of an infestation that people notice. If you find any in your home, you need to call an exterminator right away, as mice droppings pose a serious health risk to humans!

Mouse droppings are about the size of a grain of rice and have pointed. The coloring of the droppings can range from black to light grey, depending on how old they are. Droppings can be found in spaces frequented by the resident rodents, such as kitchens, pantries, cabinets, and under the sink. They can also be found scattered along walls or in the garage.

Take caution when cleaning up mouse excrement, as particles of urine and feces can be swept up into the air. Breathing in these particles could lead to respiratory illnesses caused by the pathogens in the excrement. Instead, use a bleach solution and a wet cloth to mop up the droppings safely. Take caution by wearing gloves and a face mask to prevent accidentally inhaling or touching the pathogens on the mouse feces.

You hear scratching or scurrying from inside your walls or ceiling

When mice move into your house they tend to nest in the tight and cozy spaces within your walls and ceiling. If this is the case, you will likely be able to hear them scratching and scurrying, and sometimes even squeaking, from inside these places. Having mice nesting in your walls can cause problems for homeowners, as these little critters can do serious damage to electrical cables and dry wall. 

Mice can and will chew through anything while they are nesting, which could potentially lead to contamination of food items if they chew a hole into your pantry or food containers. Mice may also chew through the electrical cables of appliances in your kitchen, causing them to suddenly stop working. If you are finding your electrical cables have been chewed, this is another sign rodent are nesting in your home. 

Repairing the damage caused by mice can be expensive, so it is important that you call an exterminator as soon as you notice any of these signs of infestation in order to avoid or reduce the amount of damage these pests do to your house. 

Food items have been tampered with by mice

Mice like to hang out where the food is. Food items stored in your pantry, kitchen cabinets, or anywhere else in your home will attract mice to these areas. It is important that you identify the signs of damage to food packaging and containers to avoid ingesting items that have been contaminated by mice.

Mice will chew holes through plastic, cardboard, and most food packaging, producing small uneven holes with jagged edges. If you notice any holes in food containers in your kitchen or pantry, dispose of the item right away as it is no longer safe to ingest.

Since mice produce so much excrement in a day, you will likely find droppings in or around food packaging. Food items that have been tampered with by mice are likely contaminated with one of the several diseases carried by the mice or in their feces. If you have noticed any signs of a mouse infestation in your home, be diligent when inspecting the places you store food and the packaging or containers the food in stored in to avoid ingesting pathogens.  

Mice can cause some serious physical damage to your home, and their droppings pose a significant risk to the health of the people who live there. If you have tried using DIY methods in an attempt to keep mice out of your home in the past and are still finding signs of rodent activity weeks later, you likely have a serious infestation on your hands. Any of these signs are signs of a serious infestation of mice in your home. Act right away and call an exterminator to receive a professional and effective solution to your pest infestation problem.