Town Mouse, Country Mouse: How to Spot Which Rodents Are in Your Home This Fall
They scurry. They nibble. They wreak havoc on your home. Come fall, mice head indoors to avoid colder weather. Whether you spot their droppings in the garage or find the chewed up evidence that they’ve found your pantry, you’ll know if they’ve chosen your home as an escape. What you might not know, though, is what kind of mouse infestation you’ve got and why they chose your home in the first place. Knowing what kind of mouse is in your home is the first step to getting rid of them. So, to give you a head start, we’ve rounded up the most common mice along with some preventative tips for keeping them away.
These squeaky little guys are the mice you’ll most likely see this fall. Extremely common — and extremely agile — they can sneak into small cracks in doorways and floorboards. Be warned: if you spot one scurrying past, there’s a chance there’s a whole lot more you’re not seeing. These mice breed fast — they can give birth to up to 12 babies at a time and have a new litter of babies every three weeks. Make your home less appealing to them by cleaning up any crumbs, securing your food in airtight containers (especially grains) and sealing all potential entry ways with caulk. Keep areas clutter-free, since these mice like to hide in dark, cluttered areas.
Ever heard of the bubonic plague? Well, these rodents were the pests responsible for it. If that’s not enough for you to want these fleabags as far away from your home as possible, they’re also known to cause damage to your home by chewing through electrical wires, drywall, wood and even aluminum siding. Larger than your modest house mouse, they get their names from their ability to climb into high spaces, so if you’ve got an attic, you might want to be on the lookout. If you see these damages to your home along with capsule-shaped droppings about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length and greasy rub marks, you’ll know you’ve got some unwanted guests.
Norway rats and roof rats have a lot in common. Their telltale signs are pretty similar: oily rub marks, gnawed through areas of your home, droppings near areas of infestation. The significant difference, though, is that these fellas aren’t nearly as acrobatic due to their larger bodies, so you’re likely to find them near trash and messy piles. Make it hard for them to get comfortable by clearing out old junk and sealing any cracks, especially in dark, secluded areas of your home.
Deer mice actually prefer to live in the great outdoors as their favorite foods include insects, seeds, nuts, berries and small fruits. However, during particularly cold winters they’ve been known to scurry indoors for warmth. Outdoor structures like sheds and garages make perfect hideaways for them, but if you’ve got storage boxes or unused stuffed furniture taking up space in a basement, they’re more than happy to set up shop. While these guys are the least likely to pop up in your home, you should take note when they do: they’re carriers for the virus that causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a respiratory illness that can be fatal in humans. They’re small (about three to four inches) and similar to house mice except for their large ears and dark eyes that help them navigate at night.
Give Us a Call
If fall’s colder weather has any of these rodents scurrying into your home, give Hughes a call today — we’re here to help!