Rodents: 10 Questions

10 Questions on Mice, Rats, Rodents & Squirrels


1. Why do I see more mice during the fall?

Rodents are extremely well adapted for living year round in homes, businesses and many other structures. During the fall and winter, food sources and harborage become scarce forcing the rodents to seek other resources such as your home or business.

mice move in during the fall2. How can I tell if mice are in my house?

Obvious signs are their droppings, which are about 1/8” to 1” in length, dark and pointed at both ends. Mice constantly leave feces and urinate in the areas they frequent. The odor of mice is quite distinct, especially urine. You may also hear gnawing, squeaking or running sounds, or see damage to food or materials. Mice will gnaw through anything that is softer than their teeth. Your dog or cat may get anxious or excited when mice are moving about.

3. How do mice get into my home?

Mice can squeeze through very small holes or spaces around your home. Any hole the size of a dime or larger allow mice to enter the structure. To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed.

4. Where do rodents nest inside?

Mice and rats can be ANYWHERE. They favor nesting materials of shredded paper, insulation material and string. They like to be near a food source such as a pantry. Squirrels seem to favor attics and bring their food with them and make their nest from your stuff in storage. They get in through chimneys and openings around the roof.

5. What kind of damage can Rodents do?

Rodents consume our food or contaminate it with their urine and feces. They are curious and explore their territory daily to find new food sources. Mice and rats are a significant cause of fires in homes and businesses by chewing on electrical wires. Mice enjoy cereal grains and seeds in their feeding and may make up to 30 visits at different food sites each night. Sites can change from night to night, but certain sites, where the mouse feels safest are their nightly hotspots.

6. What about Health Issues and Rodents?

All species of rodents carry and spread various diseases and can transmit diseases by way of their feces or urine, biting, and/orcontamination of food. The house mouse is considered a leading cause of salmonella outbreaks throughout the world. Many other virus and bacteria carried by mice and rats are responsible for several thousand deaths annually.

Squirrels can chew through wiring7. Can Mice & Squirrels really chew through wiring?

House mice can EASILY gnaw through electrical wiring causing fires and failure of refrigerators, freezers, washers, clothes dryers and many other appliances. Squirrels like any surface that they can gnaw on. Wood is often a choice surface, but they also chew on electrical wires causing power loss and creating a fire hazard attic spaces and wall voids. Squirrels also chew on water pipes causing flooding and water damage.

8. Why are mice so hard to get rid of?

Mice are prolific breeders, having six to ten litters continuously throughout the year each having approximately five to ten babies per litter, with a new litter every forty five days or so. At eight weeks of age, the pups are capable of mating. It is not unusual for a female to be lactating her young and pregnant with a new litter.

9. How can I keep Rodents out of my house?

  • Keep bird seed, grass seed, and pet food stored in metal containers in the garage or basement.
  • All garbage should be double bagged, removed, and brought out to the garbage in your garage. The garbage in your garage should be sealed properly with plastic lids.
  • Trees and shrubs should be cut back so that they are not touching the structure.
  • Try to keep a gap of 18 inches between the landscaping and building.
  • Close any openings in your home. Check around sinks and radiators. Also check cracks in your foundation and rotten wallboards.

10. Tell me some GROSS stuff about Mice?

  • Mice do not like to swim, non-the-less, they can swim, tread water and they can hold their breath as well. It is not uncommon to flush one down the toilet only to find that it reappears minutes later.
  • In six months, a pair of mice can devour up to four pounds of food and produce 18,000 droppings.

For more information on rodent removal or any and pest treatments, call Royal Pest at 1-800-769-2573 or write us through the contact page.
We are always happy to answer questions or stop by for a home inspection at no charge.

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