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Signs of Mice

Signs of Mice

Recognizing signs left by mice helps a person evaluate the extent of the problem.  Mice are nocturnal and prefer hidden spaces.  While it is possible to see a mouse scurrying in the open, they usually remain close to walls and prefer dark areas.  The most common signs of mice are droppings, chewed-through food packaging, shredded nesting materials, gnawed wood, urine puddles, tracks, and a musty odor.  Signs of mice are commonly found in basements, kitchens, and garages.

Do not ignore signs of mice.  Mice are able to reproduce extremely fast.  Some females have been known to have 60 offspring in a year.  Mice present several problems.  They chew wires, gnaw on wood, and their droppings can contaminate food and carry airborne diseases.

Traps and poison are common methods of control.  Wooden traps are very effective.  They can be baited with a variety of foods, including peanut butter, chocolate, and bacon.  Mice travel along walls, so traps should be placed perpendicular to the wall, with the baited side of the trap nearest the wall.  Dispose of dead mice as quickly as possible to avoid the spread of disease.  Glue traps are also effective.  Place them in areas where mice are known to run.  Poisons should only be used in locations inaccessible to children and pets.  Most poisons don’t kill a mouse immediately, which means the body may be hard to locate.  This can lead to a stench in the house.  Poisons should always be considered dangerous.  Mouse droppings should be disposed of while wearing a surgical mask and gloves.  Use a disposable broom and dustpan to avoid retaining fecal dust in the home.  Once the mice have been eradicated, search the home for areas the mice may have entered.  Mice can squeeze through holes that are a quarter of an inch in diameter.  Seal any holes with material that cannot be chewed.  Steel wool is a good temporary plug.  Seal all food in the home and clean up unsanitary areas.

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