Mice. Every property gets them. In fact, a recent NPMA survey found that 1 in 4 Americans (27%) have found a rodent in their home in the past year. And, 1 in 10 Americans (9%) have experienced a full-fledged rodent infestation in their home in the past year. So if you fear you have a mouse infestation, don’t feel embarrassed, it happens to the best of us. Recognizing the signs early and taking prompt action is the key to remedying the situation quickly and effectively. Keep reading to learn the top 9 signs you could have a mouse infestation and what to do about it.
9 Signs of a Mouse Infestation
The signs of a mouse infestation can be felt by all of the senses. Some of the signs you’ll see, some you’ll hear, and some you might even smell. Here are the top nine signs to watch for:
- Droppings: One of the most common signs of a mouse infestation is seeing mouse droppings. Mouse droppings are small, dark, and pellet-like in shape. They resemble a dark grain of rice. The most common places to find mouse droppings include in attics, under appliances, inside closets, and within drawers.
- Chewed wires and furniture: Since their teeth never stop growing, mice have a natural instinct to gnaw on objects. If you notice chewed wires, furniture, or other objects in your home, it could be a sign of a mouse infestation.
- Strange noises: If you hear scratching, scampering noises coming from your wall or ceiling, it could indicate a mouse infestation. Mice are also known to squeak. Those chirps and squeaks are one of the ways mice communicate with one another.
- Odor: Mice aren’t very clean creatures and often have a musty, ammonia-like smell. The greater the population of mice, the stronger the smell. And, since mice typically travel to their nest when they are about to die, you might also start to smell the odor of decay.
- Smudges and grease marks: Mice have greasy fur caused by a mixture of dirt and oil that can leave grease stains on walls, baseboards, and small openings. These marks may appear as dark streaks or smudges and can be a sign of mice moving along these areas.
- Nests: Mice build nests using shredded materials like paper, fabric, and insulation. They usually build these dens in enclosed spaces and are particularly fond of drawers. If you find a nest in your home, it's a clear sign of a mouse infestation.
- Food packaging damage: Mice are known to raid food sources in your pantry or kitchen. If you notice chewed holes in food packaging or find food crumbs in unexpected places, it could be a sign.
- Pet behavior: Your dog or cat might be your first sign of mice in the house. Some pets might show sudden interest in a certain area of the home. Others may demonstrate unusual behavior, such as being overly alert or barking for no reason.
- Sightings: Seeing live mice in your home or on your property is an obvious sign of an infestation. Mice are small and quick, so if you spot them running across your floors, along walls, or in dark corners, it's time to take action.
Keep Your Property Off-limits to Mice
As the temperatures drop in Central Massachusetts, mice are looking for somewhere warm to take up residence. Don’t let your property be a temptation by following these proven tips:
- Seal entry points and holes – they will not chew through metallic material, such as steel wool
- Remove food sources
- Clean up food spills and crumbs
- Store food in secure and sealed containers – including pet food
Remember, a mouse infestation is serious. These pests spread disease from their droppings and urine and may even be responsible for up to 20% of undetermined fires, according to fire investigators. They are also known to harbor other smaller creatures, such as mites. Get more tips on how to prevent mice like a pro.
Don’t Let One Mouse
Become an Infestation
The difference between having one mouse and an infestation is a fine line. If you see any of these other nine tell-tale signs, you likely have a problem on your hands. But don’t worry — Ford’s Hometown Services has more than 80 years of combined experience eliminating mice. Call us today at 800-649-9992 or get an online quote.