Mice are mostly nocturnal and spend their time searching for food while we are asleep. They travel through the voids of our homes where we can’t see them.
They are very small and easily missed as they scurry away into a dark recess. And the saying, “quiet as a mouse,” hardly manages to describe how stealthy these critters really are. The problems they cause are also stealthy.
The dark has a way of hiding things and darkness doesn’t only happen at night. You have many spots in your house that are dark. In these places, you’ll find some of the problem mice cause:
- Mice chew holes through sheet rock and baseboards to get into food-storage areas. These are usually low to the floor and in dark, hidden areas.
- Mice chew holes in stored boxes and furniture. If you think you have a mouse infestation, it is important to make sure your stored items are put in hard plastic totes to protect them.
- Mice urinate in many dark places. The backs of your cabinets and drawers, your shelves, the area under your fridge and other secretive places can accumulate urine and begin to have a noticeable and unpleasant smell.
Problems in Wall Voids
Mice prefer to travel through your home by way of your wall voids. It makes them feel safe. In your voids, they don’t have to worry about birds sweeping down to snatch them up and eat them. But, while they’re in there, they can cause some problems:
- Mice chew on fiberglass insulation and use the materials to build their nests. They also chew tunnels through foam insulation.
- Mice chew through wood studs to gain access to new locations.
- Mice chew on wires and this can lead to a house fire.
Smaller Than a Mouse
The small size of a mouse can work to its advantage when it wants to avoid detection but imagine an organism so small that you can’t even see it. Here are some problems that you won’t see, even if you’re looking directly at them.
- Bacteria — There are several bacteria that are a significant problem for homeowners. You may know some of them, such as E. coli and Salmonella. They are invisible to the eye but capable of making you very sick.
- Human Pathogens — When mice leave waste in your ventilation ducts or you go into a close space where mice have been defecating, you can be exposed to invisible airborne spores that cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Always wear a mask when removing mouse nests from attic spaces.
Quiet as a Parasite
This should be a saying. Mice can’t compete with parasites when it comes to being quiet. If a mouse brings ticks, fleas, lice, mites, or parasitic worms into your home, you’re not going to hear them, but you’ll know you have them.
- Ticks — These bugs need no introduction. They have earned quite a reputation for the spread of Lyme disease and Lyme is only one of several dangerous diseases they can spread.
- Fleas — These insects affect dogs, cats, and humans. Their bites can cause significant irritation, and fleas are linked to several diseases.
- Lice — While these parasites won’t make you sick, they can certainly ruin your day and make life uncomfortable.
- Mites — There are many species of mite. Some are mildly intrusive and others are extremely intrusive. If mice bring bad mites into your home, it can lead to severe skin-related illness.
- Parasitic Worms — When mice crawl around in dumpsters and other dirty places, they can pick up parasitic worms and deposit them in your foods when they get into food packages. If you eat food tainted by parasitic worms it can lead to severe intestinal illness.
Call A Professional Pest Control Company
When mice get into homes, they can cause many unseen problems. Even though you can’t see the problems they’re causing, doesn’t mean those problems won’t affect you. Mice spread illness, damage building materials, create holes for pests to use to get into your home, make pathways for rainwater to cause damage, damage your belongings, and more.BugUS!™ For Pest Control
When winter comes, we tend to spend more time in our homes. They provide a cozy place to get out of the elements, but there’s a downside to this warm, welcoming atmosphere – it’s just as appealing to pests as it is to us.
With winter right around the corner, it’s more important than ever to keep these uninvited guests out. Need a few tips? Find out more about winter pest protection from Beebe’s Pest & Termite Control.
Which Pests Come Inside During the Winter Months?
It’s important not only to understand which pests are most common during the colder months, but also how they get inside. Just a few of the most common include:
- House mice: Each winter, house mice invade about 21 million homes in the U.S. alone. These agile pests can squeeze through an opening no larger than a dime, and once inside, they reproduce quickly, cause damage, and bring the risk of disease and contamination.
- Rats: While slightly larger than house mice, these rats can still easily sneak inside. They’re also excellent climbers and burrowers, building nests in basements, crawl spaces, and other hard-to-reach areas.
- German cockroaches: These insects hitch rides in bags, appliances, and other items brought inside the home. You’re likely to spot them in small, moist spaces near a food source, such as your kitchen.
- Brown recluse spiders: The brown recluse spider doesn’t like contact with humans, but that won’t stop them from coming inside. They often make a home in dark corners, closets, and even the pockets of clothing.
- Raccoons: Raccoons are less common home invaders, but when they do come in, they tend to have a negative impact. They enter via damaged areas and openings like your chimney, then raise their families and wreak havoc, usually in the home’s attic.
These are just a few of the pests that will find your home inviting during the wintertime. In general, any insect, bird, or animal that prefers a warm, dry home will find yours very appealing.
What Are the Risks?
It’s critical to keep pests out of your home to avoid serious health risks, such as complications from food contamination, illness, and rabies. Additionally, spider and insect bites can prove itchy, painful, and even dangerous due to potentially poisonous venom.
Pests also tend to create property damage, which only gets worse over time. From chewing through electrical components and soft materials to burrowing through your foundation or roof, even small pests are a big problem.
What Makes My Home Inviting to Pests and What Can I Do About It?
Pests don’t respect boundaries, so homeowners need to be proactive. When it comes to winter pest protection, it’s best to follow these guidelines:
- Make sure your sink, kitchen counters, and floors are clear of food and waste
- Keep your home free of debris where pests can nest or feed
- Dust low-traffic areas
- Cover up cracks, gaps, and holes leading into your home with the proper materials
- Check underneath exterior doors for gaps that pests can exploit
- Eliminate vegetation growing on or near your home that can be used for climbing, nesting, or food
Keep Your Home Pest-Free This Winter
Don’t let unwelcome guests make themselves at home in your house this winter. Stay one step ahead of these pesky invaders with residential pest control solutions from Beebe’s Pest & Termite Control. To learn more, BugUs!™BugUS!™ For Pest Control
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As cool weather sets in, mice tend to invade human homes for the winter.
This time of year, many people see mice in and around their houses and apartments. Knowing what you can do to pest-proof your home can prevent mice from entering or living in your home.