Since time immemorial, people have been trying to keep mice out of their homes and away from their food stores. Even though we’re mouse exterminators, we can’t blame the rodents; this little pest with the pointed snout and skinny legs invades houses to find refuge and sustenance when the cold weather sets in. And to the dismay of their unwitting human hosts, they gnaw at everything in their path, causing damage to buildings and wiring and carrying parasites that can cause disease.
Children’s stories depict mice as friendly, almost humanlike creatures, but it’s important to remember that the wild mice getting into your home have nothing to do with the domesticated fancy mouse.
The grey mouse (or house mouse) is the most commonly found species in cities and towns throughout Quebec and Ontario. Its cousin, the country mouse (deer mouse), is more common outside of heavily populated areas. It can be identified by its brown or grey fur, white belly and white legs. Both belong to the Muridae family, which also includes rats, voles (meadow mice) and shrews.
Mice are social rodents; if you find only one in your house, chances are it has gone astray or is looking for a place to nest. Females give birth to anywhere from five to twelve babies four to eight times a year. As mice live an average of two to three years, a colony can quickly grow and make life hard for you.
There’s more. Mice are known to host pathogens, including hantavirus, meningitis and tapeworms. They also carry fleas and ticks, which means mice—especially the white-footed deer mouse—can carry Lyme disease. This illness is currently on the rise in Quebec, particularly in the Montérégie, Outaouais, Laurentides, Centre-du-Québec, Estrie, Laval and Montreal regions.
When small rodents get into your house, it won’t take you long to realize something is wrong, especially after a night or two. From bed-time right through to dawn, you might hear scratching or gnawing sounds in your walls and ceiling. You might also notice pipes vibrating as mice walk along them or hear the drum-like sounds of tiny feet walking through ducts.
Mouse damage you might find in the morning:
If you don’t see any of these signs, but night-time noises continue to fuel your suspicions, check behind your stove or fridge and look in the pantry, if you have one. That might be where you’ll find nibbled-upon foods, mouse droppings and the greasy marks left behind as mice trail along the bottom of a wall.
Once you’re sure you’ve got mice, your first move may be to go buy some mouse traps for DIY mouse extermination. These need to be set in the right places and with a suitable bait. If you’re dealing with only one or two mice, your plan might work; on the other hand, it might not.
Unfortunately, these rodents leave pheromone-laden urine trails to compensate for their poor vision and inability to differentiate colours. Mice detect these pheromones with their highly developed sense of smell and use them to find their way. In other words, as long as traces of mouse urine are present, other mice may follow the same path into your house.
By using a mouse exterminator, you can make sure that your rodent infestation is dealt with effectively and for the long term. Our mouse extermination technicians have extensive experience and specialized equipment at their disposal (including an infrared camera); in most cases, this allows them to locate a nest on their first visit. We will propose a strategy adapted to your situation and the size of the mouse colony; we may set traps, place bait or use delayed-action poisons that allow mice to leave the house before dying.
After a mouse extermination procedure, you might enjoy a nice period of calm; however, it’s also our job to make sure no other intruders get in during the next cold snap. Since a house mouse can squeeze through a hole as small as a dime, a thorough inspection of your home is necessary.
At Elite Pest Control, our mission is first and foremost to find a permanent solution by blocking and sealing up all the holes and cracks that could serve as a way in for small rodents and unwanted insects. Our inspectors will look for rodent entry points along the roof and between the soffits and siding. We will check the attic vents, ventilation ducts, foundations, windows, doors and any other places a mouse might use to gain entry.
Thanks to our special license, issued by the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec, we can perform all the caulking work for you and re-insulate your roofing if mice have soiled, or dug tunnels through the insulation product.
If a mouse infestation has damaged your attic insulation, or if rodents have left droppings throughout your house, it’s important to do a cleanup and decontamination.
Because of the health risks involved, this type of work is best left to a professional mouse exterminator.