Dangers Of Having Mice In Your Home
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If you're concerned about having mice in your home or are unsure of the signs you should be looking for, then this article will go into detail about the dangers of mice. If you're left with questions, then please feel free to call us today.
Why we control house mice
You may believe there's little risk to having mice in your home, especially considering they spend a lot of their time unseen. However, there are many health risks and potentially greater issues if you don't control the population of house mice. They can spread many diseases to you and your family, such as Salmonella and Listeria. They may look cute to some, but mice are incredibly dangerous if not controlled.
Like most pests, they are unaware of their toxic and contaminant nature and are simply going about their lives, but the health risks they bring about are much graver than they realise. Through their movement in your house, with their bedding, droppings, and urine, they will begin to spread viruses everywhere. When they emerge from their wall hidings to feed, they can be spreading these to your worksurfaces and countertops, making you unaware when you next touch them.
If you have any food spillages, this will only attract more mice, which creates the risk of nests being built. This then becomes a hotspot for other pests, insects and the like, as they're attracted to the rotting food and droppings.
What are the dangers of having mice in your home?
As we've touched on, mice being in your home poses a serious health risk. They carry bacteria on their paws and transfer it to our kitchens and living areas, especially our food sources. Mice will mark their territory with their urine, and this means if they've stationed near our food, then food poisoning could easily begin.
However, they don't just pose a risk to your health. Mice are also a risk to your house and are known to destroy many things without your knowledge. They have a constant need to gnaw for a few reasons.
They'll be able to gain access to a shelter point, perhaps in a wall cavity, and will make themselves at home. They will also gnaw on anything they can find to help keep their growing incisors at a consistent length, which means any electrical cables in the walls are a risk, gas and water pipes are the same.
Many expensive repairs will have mice as the culprit, and some houses have suffered electrical fires and floods as a result of frays and breaks.
On top of all of this, mice are incredibly efficient at getting inside your house.
They need a minimum of 5mm to get access, and this is then enough for passage throughout your entire house.
When this is combined with their ability to spread illness easily and the rate at which they multiply, you can begin to see how mice can quickly become a large problem. You don't need many mice in your home initially for the breeding to become a problem, as one female is sufficient.
They can produce up to 10 litters each year, and any given litter can hold 6-8 pups. This means you can unknowingly move from 5 mice to 50 in a few months.
HOW DO YOU KNOW MICE ARE IN YOUR HOME?
As you're beginning to realise, controlling mice before they become a problem is key. You can tell if you have some new mice in your house and then contact a pest control professional to deal with the problem.
You can sometimes smell from where droppings have been left or urine. If you do locate droppings, then don't handle them with your hands. Be sure to use the correct protective equipment, and wash down the surface and yourself thoroughly afterwards. This will be the main source of disease.
If you're unsure of the difference between house mice droppings and other rodents, they will typically resemble darker quarter-inch grains of rice. If you're dealing with a rat problem, the droppings will be noticeably larger at half an inch to an inch.
If rotting food or a spillage has attracted mice, then the smell of that may become noticeable too. Sound is also a large factor, as you may be able to hear mice moving in the walls late at night when they come out to feed. This could vary from just scurrying to a squeak or other noise. It's important at that stage to contact an exterminator or pest specialist.
If you're able to locate the source of the noise and find the nest, then this is ideal. The noise can be traced back to a small hole occasionally, which can be found in various places.
Check your drawers, cupboards, loft, and anywhere else that could feasibly be an entry point for mice. Depending on where they've settled, you may be able to spot tracks or pawprints. They could be covered in dust or dirt and then can be easily followed back to their nest.
How to prevent house mice
As we've discussed, house mice can find nearly any way into your home and require the smallest of holes. This is why preventing them from gaining access is equally, if not more, important to deal with the pre-existing mice within your home.
Sealing up any holes that you believe could be an entry point or a future entry point is crucial. This can be done by sealing up the hole with wire wool or another option that your particular pest specialist recommends. If you believe there are multiple entry points, we suggest you begin with lower-to-reach points and then make your way up through the house. If you live in an attached house and believe the loft could be spreading mice between you and your neighbours, then it's important to check this also.
Regularly cleaning any areas that could lead to food spillages and leaks is important, like under your fridge and within any food cupboards or pantries. Your garden can also house mice, so be sure to cover your bins and any compost areas well. This is the same for your shrubbery, don't let this overgrow and provide comfortable nesting areas for mice and other pests. Although regularly cleaning your house isn't going to make it mouse-proof, it'll prevent any contaminant build-up that could attract them.
Getting rid of house mice
There are a few tried-and-tested methods to removing mice from your home with ease also. It depends on the severity of the infestation and the location of the nest(s), but you have options.
The most important step is establishing how and where they're gaining access, so look around your house for the signs of gnawing and bite marks and droppings.
Once you've done this, either tackle the problem yourself or contact a pest control service, but you must act on it right away.
DIY mouse control
Nothing is stopping you from putting your own mice prevention systems in place, as you know your home better than any professional would. However, we recommend contacting a pest control specialist, someone associated with the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).
If you're dealing with house mice on a smaller scale, then you're able to purchase traps and poison that will eliminate the problem with ease. Ensure that you're using the correct product and amount, so ask an expert and double-check the label. Many house mice can be resistant to traditional rodenticides and products, which is why we recommend contacting someone.
If you're interested in buying traps, then you have options beyond the typical snap trap. Electric, Sticky, and Live Catch traps are also an option, depending on your requirements.
Sticky and Live Catch traps are typically used if you believe there is a smaller number of mice in your home, and you have the intention of releasing them back outside instead of killing them.
Professional pest control
Of course, the obvious and most common answer is seeking professional pest help. Most people don't want to deal with the mice themselves, so hiring an experienced professional will solve the problem for you.
As we've said, a large number of mice can be resistant to common, shop-bought rodenticides, and therefore contacting a professional widens your search to stronger products. An exterminator can provide chemicals that aren't available to buy commercially.
Beyond this, a professional will know the signs to look out for and the best locations within your home to distribute these products. You may be uncertain and be placing chemicals and traps in the wrong place, where the mice aren't nesting.
Once they've dealt with the problem and you are rid of mice within your home, then they will be able to offer support and advice on keeping them out. Stopping the mice once isn't good enough, as they will make their way back into your home.
Do you have a mouse problem? Are you looking for pest control in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas get in touch today.