Mice are much more of an issue in homes than people may think. In fact, there are an estimated 21 million houses per year in the United States alone that are invaded by mice. They are quick, sneaky rodents that can reach almost anywhere and today, we’ll go into detail about the rodents in the household and how to deal with them.
Can mice get into cribs and beds? Yes, they can. In fact, mice can get just about anywhere in the household and can cause serious issues. Not only can they get into these areas, but they can also be dangerous as well.
Today, we’ll take a look at just how dangerous mice can be, and methods to get them out of your home. From the dangers that mice can present in your home, to how you can get rid of them and prevent further infestations, we’ll have you covered.
How Dangerous Are Mice?
Mice can be quite dangerous and range from small things like bites to carrying diseases that can be fatal. It should be no surprise, as they are considered to be the culprit of the black plague that wiped out 50 million people.
Of course, that is the absolute extreme, but mice in the home should not be taken lightly, especially with children around.
One of the less harmful things (but still annoying) mice can do is contaminate certain areas of the home, such as food cabinets. If mice find your food throughout the house, it is not only a big mess but also costly.
Typically, it isn’t safe to eat any food out of an area a mouse has been it, meaning quite a bit of money in food going down the drain.
Also, mice can leave urine and feces all over contaminated areas as well, which is not fun to clean up and can be in large amounts depending on how many mice are in the home.
Mice are also known for carrying diseases on them well, which translate easily over to humans. Some of the more well-known diseases carried by mice are salmonellosis, which is a type of food poisoning, and rate-bite fever, which can potentially be fatal if not treated properly.
They also carry quite a bit of bacteria as well, that is usually quickly spread. Most of these diseases come from the spread of bacteria mainly from fecal matter.
Last but not least, mice are one of the most destructive creatures that can come into a home. They can eat through clothes, furniture, food, décor, and more. If not handled properly and promptly, it can cost you some serious money.
Also, they can be quite dangerous to electrical wires as well. Having them tear through certain wires can cause a power outage or even worse, an electrical fire.
With all of this information, I think it is safe to say that mice are a real danger to the household and can be very destructive and costly if they are not taken care of quickly.
How do Mice Infiltrate Homes?
Mice infestations typically take place during cooler weather and the winter, as they are looking to find warmth. They can get in through virtually anywhere and can be hard to stop.
The common misconception is that your house has to be a wreck and/or dirty for mice to be attracted to it. This certainly is not the case as they can easily be attracted to anything, such as a building and food. Although, a messy area certainly is attributed with mice, as without proper cleaning, they can hide much easier.
Mice can find holes and/or cracks around the foundation, near the roof, underpinnings, or what have you. They are tough to find and are usually quiet about moving through and infiltrating a home. They can sneak through piping, walls, and other areas to actually get inside the home as well.
They do not need much space at all, which makes them all the more of an annoyance to deal with.
Do They Hide?
Mice love to hide, and just about anywhere. They do a good job of avoiding being seen and are usually kept up in tough spots to have an eye on them. One of the popular spots is usually inside the walls. Also, closet areas, food cabinets, underneath sinks, basements, and other similar areas are known to house mice.
How to Detect Mice
With such good hiding ability, it can be a real pain to find mice if you have suspicions. However, there are quite a few signs you can notice that may hint towards a mouse or mice being present. Some of these signs include:
- Droppings/Fecal matter
- Tears in clothing and/or furniture
- Rubbing marks
- Smells of urine
- Noises inside tight spaces
There are more signs that may be present, but these are usually giveaways that you may have a problem ahead of you. Here are some tips to further evaluate your suspicions.
To see if it is indeed rat or mouse drops, take a look at the size. The droppings are usually very small and come in the tiny, pellet-like form. In fact, they are about less than 1 quarter inch, for reference.
The gnaw marks left behind by mice are small and usually are clean tears, but they also may be rough depending on what exact species you are dealing with. You’ll find these gnaw marks in clothing or furniture usually.
The rub marks are left behind where the mice usually travel through. They have an oil-type substance to them and can be easily noticed if they are fresh, as you’ll still be able to feel the oil with your fingertips.
This is a bit of a no-brainer here. If you find a nest, you have a serious issue going on. These nests are made up of material as such as string and can be spotted in the areas in which they hide. If you have suspicions, check hard to reach areas like the ones I mentioned earlier.
The smell of urine will be distinct and musky. The stronger the smell, the more likely it is you have a larger problem rather than just a few mice.
Noises in tight spaces such as the wall or deep in cabinets are a good sign of mice as well. These types of noises will usually occur at night as well, so make sure you are keeping your ears aware of the noises.
How to Get Rid of Them
Now we get to the good stuff, which is how to actually get rid of them once you’ve located the problem. There countless methods out there to help you with your problem, but we will go over a few of the most effective ones today.
For starter, the original mousetrap is great for catching mice and has been effective for many years. For the best result, it is best that you are putting quite a bit of them out at a time so that you have a better chance of catching them.
There is no “perfect” spot to put them in, but make sure you are covering as much ground as you can around the house. Also, there are quite a bit of different traps you can invest in as well. The most effective areas for placement are usually around the walls and other possible infected areas.
It is good to have a variety of traps, to see which one is most effective over others.
For bait, a variety of stuff can be used. Many foods will attract them, such as peanut butter, cheese, chocolate, and so on. The good thing about mice is that they are not picky when it comes to their diet, so just about anything will work for that purpose.
Pets love to hunt smaller animals, and mice fall right into that category. Standard pets such as dogs and cats usually do a good job of not only locating mice but killing them as well.
Cats are indeed superb mouse hunters and aren’t just a myth. This way, you won’t have to do any kind of work, and the pets will do it for you.
However, if you believe you are dealing with a large infestation, then it may be best to go another route, as pets usually will only deal with a few at a time.
If the infestation is so large and uncontrollable, professionals may be needed to solve the problem. Exterminators may be pricey but may be the only viable option. Also going this route, you’ll know that it will be safe, and the problem will be handled efficiently.
They can also help prevent further infestations as well, but it may cost extra, depending on whom you go through.
Dealing With Mice in The Bedroom
If you have found that mice have made their way into your place of slumber, don’t fear. There are a few methods that will help keep them out of the bedroom, hopefully for good.
One of the best methods is the use of peppermint oil. It is a natural solution and is not noticeable in the room, and best of all, it is a pleasant smell.
The best way to use it as a repellent is to soak cotton balls with the oil and place them around the room. Don’t be afraid to use a large amount, as you’ll want to make sure your room is covered efficiently.
Peppers are a great natural repellent to mice as well. Some of the best pepper to use is cayenne and can be placed around the room, similar to peppermint. Cotton balls will work here as well, but their other options available as well.
For example, small containers with several airholes can also be effective, but may not be as strong. Again, be generous in how much you place around, for optimal effectiveness when it comes to getting rid of the mice.
Although maybe not as quite as natural (although natural repellents are available to buy) as say, peppermint oil, there are still many great brands of repellents you can purchase online or in the store. These often do the trick and have been proved effective.
When it comes to selecting exactly which brand to go with, I won’t go the cheap route, as mice problems should be dealt with as quickly and as strongly as possible. However, if money is an issue, natural solutions are always a good route.