Whether you live in an urban or rural setting, mice can occasionally appear in your home without warning. These small, agile rodents threaten to create problems ranging from property damage to health issues.
Mice are a problem that many Quebec homeowners must face. Mice leave warning signs, including noises, droppings and urine, but homeowners often don’t realize that there are mice in their house until it’s too late. Once infested, it takes in-depth extermination and decontamination to solve the problem, which is why it’s important to act quickly when you notice any signs of a mouse in your home.
In this article, the professional exterminators at Elite Pest Control in Montreal explain how to tell if you have mice in your house.
How mice get into your house
Mice enter buildings for two main reasons: to shelter from the cold (particularly in winter) and to find food. They have a spectacular sense of smell and amazing agility. Due to their weight and size, mice can get into walls through the narrowest openings and move around quickly and quietly, particularly at night. Here are some of the ways they get in:
- Walking along surfaces just a few millimetres wide, such as electrical lines
- Climbing any kind of vertical surface, as long as the material doesn’t scare them
- Using pipes and ducts
- Following electrical lines and drains to reach different levels of a building
- Gnawing on materials to make holes and get in
- Squeezing through openings as small as a quarter
- Jumping up to half a metre high to get around obstacles
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s best to keep your house clean and block potential entry points for effective pest prevention!
Signs of mice in the house
Although mice are small and clever, they will leave signs of their presence. Here are a few common signs of a mouse infestation:
1. Mouse droppings
Droppings are a common sign of a mouse infestation. Mouse droppings look like little black grains of rice. Check for them behind the stove and fridge, under the sink, in cupboards and drawers, and in dark corners, basements and attics.
2. Traces of nibbling
Mice need to gnaw constantly to wear down their constantly growing teeth. In your home, they can nibble on electrical wiring, cardboard, wood and even plastic pipes.
Check for nibbling marks along walls, on furniture and food packaging, and on other plastic items. Uneven edges and small teeth marks are key signs that a mouse has been at work.
3. Paw prints
Mice often leave paw prints in dusty or dirty areas of your home. Their prints are small, usually 1 to 2 centimeters long, with five fingers and distinct claw marks.
You can use flour or talcum powder to dust suspicious areas and check for mouse paw prints.
4. Grease marks on walls
As mice run around your home, they rub their bodies against various surfaces and leave greasy dirt marks. These marks, known as “grease trails,” can be found on baseboards, window sills and electrical wires.
Now that you are aware of the visual clues of a mice infestation, let’s look at another important indicator: noises. Mice can not only be seen, they can also be heard.
Listening carefully for specific noises associated with mice can be an effective way to detect their presence in your home so that you can take action quickly.
Mice are nocturnal animals and you will often hear them at night, making scratching sounds in walls, ceilings, attics, basements and the spaces beneath your floors.
These sounds are often faint, but repetitive. They are the sounds of mice building nests or moving through the walls of your home. Try listening for these noises to determine whether you have mice in your house.
Crackling, cracking and crunching sounds
Mice can also make noise when they chew on hard materials like wood. Areas of the house where you might hear these cracking, crackling or crunching sounds include walls, baseboards, floors and wooden furniture.
Chewing sounds can vary in intensity and frequency, depending on what the mice are doing.
The pitter-patter of small feet
Mice are agile rodents and you can sometimes hear their small, quick, light steps. Pattering sounds are most likely to be heard at night when mice are most active, running along floors, walls or ceilings.
If you hear these noises regularly, especially during the night, you likely have one or more mice in your home.
Common mouse sounds
Mice have their own sound language which they use to communicate with each other and express various emotions. Understanding these distinctive sounds can help you figure out whether there are mice in your home, and what they are doing.
Mice make high-pitched, shrill squeaks, usually to express fear or stress. You may hear squeaking when mice are interacting with each other, when they are confronted by predators or when they feel threatened.
These small rodents can also produce chirps that sound like rapid, high-pitched squeaks. These chirps can have several purposes, such as to mark territory or express dominance over other mice. Chirps may also be a way for a mouse to get attention or to express excitement.
If you hear regular chirping sounds, it may be a sign of significant activity by one or more mice in your home.
Mouse hissing is often associated with conflict or confrontation. When a mouse feels threatened or finds itself in the presence of a predator, it may hiss to signal aggression or to try to intimidate its opponent. Hissing can also be heard when mice are fighting or competing for resources.
Be aware of high-pitched hissing sounds that could be signs of aggressive interactions or conflicts between mice in your home.
What to do if there are mice in your home
Mice can pose a risk to your health and property, so it’s essential to take a proactive approach to solving the problem. In the following section, our experts outline the steps you can take to deal with a mouse infestation.
When you identify signs of rodents in your home, act quickly. Mice can cause considerable property damage by nibbling on electrical wiring, insulation, furniture and building materials.
Mice can also spread diseases that are dangerous to human health, such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis and hantavirus. By reacting promptly, you can minimize the risks linked with a mouse infestation.
Take preventive measures
If your goal is to prevent an infestation, start by inspecting and sealing any potential entry points, such as cracks in walls, openings around doors and windows, and holes in the foundation.
Make sure your home is properly sealed against mice and keep your environment clean and tidy, with no food sources that mice could easily access.
How to get rid of mice
If your home is already infested with mice, you have several options. You can hire a pest control professional to identify the extent of the infestation and apply appropriate methods to eliminate the mice. Professionals will use baits, traps or repellents to effectively address the problem.
If you prefer to take a DIY (do it yourself) approach, you can use mouse traps, natural repellents such as peppermint or mint essential oil, and block any entry points you can find to keep mice out of your home. Please note that DIY methods may be less effective for severe infestations. In these situations, we recommend that you seek professional help.
Find out if you have mice in your home with Elite Pest Control
Mice in your home can be a real problem that poses risks to your health and property. It is absolutely necessary that you react quickly to get rid of rodents.
At Elite Pest Control, we understand the importance of a quick and efficient intervention to keep mice out of your house. Our experienced professionals are trained to identify the extent of the infestation, implement appropriate control measures and offer you personalized solutions to protect your home.
When you hire us, you benefit from the expertise of a company that specializes in pest control. We use proven methods and quality products to eliminate mice safely and effectively. Our goal is to provide you with a healthy, pest-free environment, and to prevent any future infestation.