the house mouse sigma pest control

Meet the House Mouse

Up close, these little fellas look sweet and innocent, but when underfoot, scurrying across the room, and popping out of pantries, the house mouse takes on a whole new image. Did you know that they don’t mean to scare you? They are just making themselves at home, in your home, because it is warm, dry, safe (even from cats), and there is food … lots of food.

Say, “hello”, to the house mouse. House mice are gray or brown in color, with large ears, small eyes, and averages five to seven inches in length (counting the tail).

The house mouse is the most comment rodent in the world. What makes it so popular? Probably the fact that a single female house mouse can produce upwards of 150 babies a year.  

House mice usually feed on cereal grains, not cheese like most people think, but given the chance they will eat just about anything they can get their teeth on.

Now you know the most common facts about the house mouse, what are some things not so well known about the house mouse?

House Mouse Facts:

The house mouse has a keen sense of taste, hearing, smell and touch. That is why they can see and sense the traps laid out to catch them. They can sense that the environment has changed. If you really want to trap a mouse, set out several traps and dab each trap with different bait (peanut butter, bacon grease).

Living close to humans, and relying on them for food and shelter, betters their chance of survival. They make themselves at home in and around houses, barns, warehouses, granaries, fields and farms. In cooler weather, they almost always make their way indoors for warmth.

Nests are made in dark, quiet spaces, in between walls, cabinets, closets, basements, attics, storage areas, rafters etc. The house mouse prefers to keep their food source and nest close together.

The house mouse can squeeze into some pretty small places. If they can get their head into the space, then their body will follow. They have a backbone and skeleton just like other mammals.

House mice prefer to feed on grains and plants, but they will eat meat and dairy products if given the chance. They will even eat their own droppings to acquire the nutrients produced by the bacteria in their guts.

A house mouse produces between 40 and 100 droppings per day. That could be more than 35,000 droppings a year.

If they have a reliable food source, the house mouse will produce lots of pups. A single female can produce upwards of 150 babies in a year.

The word ‘rodent’ is Latin for ‘to gnaw’. Mice will gnaw through most barriers including plastic, rubber, vinyl, insulating foam, wood, drywall, and electric wires.

They HAVE to chew – a mouse has a tiny mouth and tiny teeth, but unlike humans, mice teeth never stop growing. They HAVE to chew in order to keep their teeth from getting bigger than their mouth.

Mice can run up any rough vertical surface. They will run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up 13 inches from the floor onto a flat surface.

Rooting around dirty floors, alleyways, and sewers means mice are likely to pick up germs along the way. Mice are constantly exploring and leaving behind urine, feces and hairs in our food and clothing.

You can pick up these germs by: ingesting food or water contaminated with mouse urine or droppings, inhaling dust contaminated with urine or droppings, direct contact with an infected animal or its excrement, bites from infected fleas, ticks or mites

Prevention and Control

Like most pest control house mouse sigma pest controlremedies, the best offense is a good defense. Preparing your home against mouse infestation is better done BEFORE they mice arrive than after. Effective mouse prevention includes cleanliness and mouse proofing your home, and mouse control requires population reduction.

Prevention does not mean elimination. Making sure your home is clean, and your food is properly stored, doesn’t mean you don’t (or won’t) have mice. All places where food is stored, processed or used should be made mouse-proof. Dried grain and meat products should be stored in glass jars, metal canisters or other resealable airtight containers. A clean house and well stored food does reduce the likelihood that mice will set up shop in your home, but you also need to make sure they can’t get in in the first place.not afraid mouse

Eliminate the openings to your home by which mice might enter is another preventative measure against house mice. Seal any openings larger than 1/4 inch to exclude mice. Seal cracks and openings in building foundations and openings for water pipes, vents and utilities with metal or concrete. Doors, windows and screens should fit tightly.

Finally, along with preventive measures, you need to prepare for crowd control. Trapping is an effective control method when only a few mice are present in a building, but where there is one mouse there are surely more to follow. This is where help from a certified pest control professional comes in. They’ll know what to do if you have mice. They’ll know what to look for and how to remedy the situation.

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How do I know if I have mice in my house?​

Mice are small and so are the signs of their presence in your home. The most obvious signs of a mouse problem are their droppings (feces that look like chocolate sprinkles). Mice don’t concern themselves with sanitary conditions, thus they defecate regularly and often. You’ll will most likely find droppings along the very walking path they use to get around your house.

Mouse infestation – What to look for:

  • Rodent droppings.
  • Gnaw marks, holes in stored foods, piled papers, insulation
  • Food scraps or wrappings left behind, especially in out-of-the-way places, such as inside shoes or boots or in the corners of closets and cabinets.
  • Family pets acting up.
  • Rodent runways—narrow pathways where dust and dirt have been swept clean
  • Nests or piled nesting materials.
  • Scampering or scratching sounds coming from wall, ceiling, or floor cavities.
  • Foul, musty odors.

Why does a mouse want into my house?

Mice are adaptable and they are unyielding in their search for food, warmth and shelter. Your home provides food, warmth and shelter for you; why not for a mouse as well?

In the fall and winter, as temperatures drop, mice seek shelter from the cold indoors. Your garage, attic, and interior walls provides a perfect getaway from the elements and for starting a family.

If you leave food out, drop scraps and crumbs on the floor, or leave home repairs unattended then you are making it easy for rodents to access food and water. Rodents are scavengers and will invade any home in search of food and a safe place to raise their young. A messy, unkempt home, makes the perfect house for a mouse and is also a risk for infestation.

When the temperature outside drops, the rodent infestations inside go up. Once a mouse colony enters your home, and finds it to be safe and warm, they rarely venture outside again.

Mice reproduce quickly and populations may exceed 100 rodents within a matter of months. The pace at which mice reproduce also means they are constantly seeking out shelter that can act as a potential nesting site for their young.

What do mice eat? They like to eat fruits, seeds and grains. In nature, mice will eat almost any type of vegetation including plants, fruits, corn, oats, mushrooms, roots and even tree bark. They are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and meat, and the common house mice will eat just about anything it can find. They’ll eat roaches, meat, peanut butter, chocolate, worms, snails … the list goes on.

How does a mouse get in my house?

There are hundreds of ways that a mouse can enter your house. Mice are small, and they can squeeze through holes and gaps as little as a ¼ inch in size. If the opening it too small they’ll just chew around it to make it bigger. Or you could just leave the garage door open and save them the trouble.

Mice would make great four-legged ninjas. They can jump more than a foot high and they use electrical wires, television cables, and ropes as their own personal cross-fit studio. They can run, they can swim, and they can climb all types of vertical surfaces. There are few obstacles that get in the way of a mouse that wants to get in your house. The least we can do is provide you with a list of common entry points.

  • Gaps between foundation materials
  • Unplugged holes around old or new piping
  • Roof vents, air conditioning, and conduits
  • Structural defects – damaged flooring or roofing
  • Air vents – especially in and around the roof
  • Plumbing and rain pipes
  • Sills and ledges on windows and doors
  • Tree branches
  • Fence rails

What do I do if I have mice in my house?

Mice may look cute, but the reality is they can carrry disease, do damage to your home and generally do not make good housemates. Removing them from your home is highly preferred, but how?

The most common Do-It-Yourself (DIY) methods rely on mouse traps (snap traps), poison pellets and bait stations. Traps, pellets, and bait should be placed near areas where mice were detected. For best results, use peanut butter instead of cheese.

Check the traps daily and wear protective gear on your hands, mouth, and eyes. Dead mice should be put in a plastic bag and placed in the outside garbage immediately.

The DIY approach is usually a matter of convenience for most homeowners. Traps and baits are easy to acquire at the local hardware store. But what if you have a mouse infestation? How many traps will that take to defend against? The more mice you have, the great the danger.

Mice feed on human food sources and destroy common home materials to make nests for their young. The urine, saliva and feces of some mice may contain viruses and bacteria, such as salmonella and hantavirus.

It is therefore necessary to exterminate any mouse infestation immediately.  Mice multiply quickly and become extremely difficult to remove once they’ve taken over your house.

The most efficient mouse extermination methods are those administered by trained pest control professionals. Contact your local expert to arrange for an inspection and consultation.

Prevention Tips

Habitat reduction is the easiest way to prevent the mice from coming inside. If there are no mice living nearby, you have drastically reduced the chances of having a mouse problem in the first place. We don’t always have the luxury of total control over our environment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to make sure mice don’t get in our house.

The first step is to inspect the outside of your home to find possible places mice can squeeze through. Check stairs, foundation walls (where it meets the house), corners and any place that might have small crevices. Close those areas off with wire mesh.

Cut loose brush and keep grass neatly trimmed. Get rid of any debris and garbage you have lying around and remove food and water sources that rodents may find convenient in your yard.

Next, inspect the inside of the house and apply steel wool and caulk to plug up any holes you can find. Also check the pantry and kitchen for food storage sources. Make sure food is kept in metal or glass containers with tight lids. Trash cans also be sturdy and sealed.

More tips:

  • Install door sweeps – all exterior doors should have a door sweep installed and make sure to repair damaged screens.
  • Doors and windows– If the frames of your doors and windows are poorly sealed, buy some sealant and start filling the gaps.
  • Plumbing pipes– Holes around your pipes can be patched up using concrete or mortar.
  • Vents– A house needs to breathe, so cover these areas with wire mesh. Do not block completely.
  • Eaves and foundation gaps– Eaves and spaces between materials like brick or foundation should be addressed with cement, caulk, or plaster, or you can cover them with steel wool or sheet metal.
  • Boxes, bags, totes – Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
  • Firewood – Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.

Pest Control

Nobody wants mice in their home, but if you want to control mice, you must think like one. Rodent control methods followed by preventative measures can help ensure that your rodent problems will be taken care of once and for all!

Preventing and treating rodent infestations requires a combination of eliminating access points these pests use to enter your home, removing food sources, closing/sealing shelter options, and using traps to get rid of existing rats and mice in or around your home.

Using a multi-tactic approach to manage rodents decreases the risk of an infestation getting larger, and eliminates the risk of future infestations.

rats

Mice & Rats, what’s the difference?

How knowing the differences and signs of infestations can help Homeowners who find they are dealing with a mice or rat infestation are typically not happy campers. In these situations, it’s important to know how mice and rats are different, what they look like, how they behave, and the signs of infestation.

About Mice

Mice can range in length and are anywhere from twelve to twenty centimeters in length if one includes the length of the tail. They also weigh anywhere from twelve to thirty grams. Mice can be grey, white or brown in color and they have triangular snouts with long whiskers.

Mice have hairy and thin tails and floppy and large ears. Mice are able to thrive in a number of environments and climates and have a lifespan of about six years if living in captivity, but many mice live for just about under a year. They are territorial and social and nocturnal.

Mouse nests are made from shredded fibers and other found materials. They are common in undisturbed areas such as shoe boxes and storage crates.

About Rats

Rats on the other hand vary from large to medium in size and may grow to forty centimeters in length. Rats can be brown, white, gray or black and their coats tend to be soiled so they leave marks of grease on surface they touch.

Rats have more blunt snouts and their tails are less hairy than mice. Rats are nocturnal and they also thrive in various climates and environments.

Signs of Infestation

  • DROPPINGS
  • GNAWED HOLES
  • RUB AND GNAW MARKS
  • RODENT NESTS
  • SCAMPERING NOISES
  • UNUSUAL PET BEHAVIOR

What to do if you have rodents?

Signs of mouse infestation include droppings, gnawed plastic or furniture, tracks and rodent sightings. House mice also emit musky odors. These signs help homeowners to identify nesting areas. If you know you have a rodent problem, call Sigma Pest Control.

The ‘do it yourself’ rodent remediation approach seems easy, but do you want to set a rat trap or dispose of dead rodents?

We know mice. We know rats. We know how to rid your home or business from these four legged pests. Call us – 540-94-SIGMA. We’ll take care of those rodents for you.

Quarterly Pest Control Program

Sigma’s Quarterly Pest Control Service (QPCS) covers antsspidersroaches, wasps, fleas, centipedes, crickets, mice, rats, and much more. Once we solved any issues on the inside of your home, we will focus our efforts on the outside to keep your home pest free. Exterior services will occur once every three months, and will include a foundation treatment, removal of wasp nests and spider webs using a telescopic tool that reaches up to 30 feet, a perimeter band around the home. And crack and crevice service. However, if the bugs don’t listen, we will come back and take care of it at no additional charge to you.

CALL US! (540) 94-SIGMA
Sigma Pest Control LLC

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How do mice get in your home?

Got mice? Want to know how they got in? It is quite simple … they got into your home via the hole in your wall, the cracks in your foundation, the open garage door, the window left ajar, sewer lines, drains and sink pipes, and the oven and gas vents. Shall we go on?

Mice can squeeze into the tiniest of spots. Just watch this video and you’ll see what we are talking about.

Mice, once established, will look to build a nest, usually from paper. Mice can easily find warmth by locating a nest inside the walls of your home, under  floorboards or near a hot water tank or even up in the attic.

Once inside, mice will search for an isolated to spot in your home; one close to food. If you leave food out in the open, crumbs on the counter and floor, then mice will find it. To prevent this, be sure to store food

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in containers with tight lids. And don’t’ forget the pet food, they love to eat pet food so keep it sealed. Take out the trash regularly and make sure the sink is clear of food scraps.

The heat and comfort of your home is much nicer then the elements outside, but just because they mice like it in your home, doesn’t mean you have to allow it.

In order to prevent mice from entering your home, all cracks, openings and hole should be sealed with metal or cement. All doors and windows should remain closed.

Fun Facts about mice:

  • Mice can scale 2 meter high walls
  • Mice can squeeze through holes the width of a pencil
  • Mice can jump as high as 24 cm

Prevention Tips:

Food should be stored in plastic or metal containers. Regularly clean under stoves, refrigerators and cupboards.

Wash floor and baseboards and vacuum the carpets.

Fit brush strips to the bottom of doors to prevent entry, especially in older properties where the door fit may not be snug.

Mice are attracted to the forgotten corners of basements, closets, and storage rooms. Remove boxes of old items, piles of clothing, piles of magazine and books, cans, bottles and old furniture.

Seal holes around existing or new pipes with coarse grade stainless steel wire wool and caulking.

Check that old pipe holes are sealed too. Any holes that are larger than 5mm will allow mice to gain access because their jaws can fit into tight spaces like these and quickly gnaw larger openings that allow them to enter a building.

Extermination

Let’s be honest, you hate mice. They are small, and fast, and smelly, and they get your hair, your bed, your kitchen pantry. They might even nibble on your toes if you let them. You can go the DIY route and leave traps out, bait, and poison, but there is no guarantee you’ll eliminate the colony that has most likely established itself in your home.quarterly pest control

You want peace of mind? Call Sigma Pest Control, the pest control experts. Our pest control specialists have the tools and training to conduct a thorough inspection to find all of the mouse access points and hiding places in your home or business. And our pest control packages will provide you with the guarantee you need to make sure they never come back.

Call 540-94-SIGMA to schedule your home mouse inspection.