You may think that at this time of year we’re safe from pest infestations but sadly, we’re prone to them all-year round. In fact, you may even be more likely to have mice nesting somewhere around your property during the colder months because just like us, they’d much rather be in the comfort of a nice warm house than stuck outside.
One thing that should bring comfort is that you’re unlikely to come face-to-face with a mouse – even if you do have an infestation. They’re keen to avoid detection and are therefore more likely to come out late at night or when you’re out. With this being the case, how are you supposed to know if you’re sharing your home with these stealthy rodents?
Rodents aren’t as house proud as us and they have no shame in leaving their droppings all over the place. You’re most likely to notice them in areas where they loiter for a period of time – this usually means anywhere there’s food.
Kitchen cupboards are the perfect place for mice to hide. They’re dark, full of food and are largely undisturbed. Other common areas you might find droppings include under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams.
As well as eating your food, believe it or not, mice will try to eat your house as well. For something so small, rodents can be very destructive and if there are enough of them hanging around, they can cause serious damage to your property.
Mice will chew through anything including plastic, lead pipes, storage boxes, skirting boards, furniture and even electrical wires. Keep an eye out for gnaw marks around the house and if you spot any, call a pest controller straight away because if rodents are chewing through wires, it can be very dangerous.
Mice are not going to build a nest in plain sight so you’re going to need to keep an eye on dark, secluded areas that are rarely frequented. They tend to like building nests out of shredded paper, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.
If you’ve been noticing random scraps of these materials laying around the house, it could be a sure-fire sign that you have mice setting up camp nearby.
Tracks or rub marks
One of the biggest signs you have a mouse infestation is grease or dirt marks along walls, floorboards and skirting boards. Their fur is naturally oily and this will transfer onto any surface they brush past.
There’s nothing unusual about hearing strange noises around the house occasionally but if you’re consistently hearing the same sound and can’t seem to locate it, there’s a possibility it’s a mouse. You’re most likely to hear them at night between walls, under floorboards, in false ceilings, basements and lofts.
You see a mouse
This one requires no introduction but if you do spot a mouse, don’t ignore it. You may think you’ve scared it away or maybe you even captured it and think the problem is solved. Chances are that mouse wasn’t a lone ranger – female mice can give birth to half a dozen babies every three weeks so any infestation is likely to escalate pretty quickly.