Is it One Mouse or an Infestation of Mice?
Now that the temperatures in New Jersey are getting colder, small animals are looking for warmth. Mice need to find someplace warm to live until spring, which drives them into homes, attics, and garages. One question we hear a lot is the difference between having one mouse or an infestation of mice.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to tell when you have a real problem going on. While it’s normal for a couple of mice to make it indoors at this time of the year, that’s all it should be. If you are actively seeing signs of mice in your home, this means there is an infestation.
Let’s cover some of the ways that you can tell if you have a more serious mouse problem on your hands.
Rodent droppings let you know that a mouse was there. If you’re seeing rodent droppings in multiple places around your house, this is a good indication that you have a number of mice running around. Droppings can be found anywhere, but some of the more common places include along baseboards, under appliances, and in pantries and cabinets.
Tracks and Tail Trails
If you have dusty areas along your baseboards and corners, use a flashlight to look for tiny footprints or tail trails. Mice like to run along baseboards, and you can usually see their marks in dusty areas. In fact, if you follow the path, you may be able to pinpoint where the rodents are coming from. You can try putting traps here that use bait like peanut butter, dried food, bacon, nuts, and sticky candy.
One mouse isn’t going to cause noises in the home, but many will. Mice are nocturnal creatures, so pay attention to activity at night. You may hear moving, scratching or squeaking in your walls as the mice run around. If you’re up late at night, you may even notice a mouse or two peeking out and running across your floor. If you don’t notice, your dog or cat probably will.
Mice smell. Once urine and feces build up, musky odors follow. Mice also build nests and reproduce, and all of this smells, too. Usually, it’s not feces and urine on their own that smell but rather the combination of feces, urine, and nest material. Enclosed areas, such as cabinets and pantries, may smell like ammonia from the urine. If fresh air and fans aren’t getting rid of the odors, a mice infestation could be to blame.
If you’re noticing regular signs of mice activity in your home instead of the occasional mouse caught in a trap, there’s a strong possibility that you have an infestation. It doesn’t take long for this to happen – a few mice can quickly build nests and reproduce. Because mice can spread bacteria that is hazardous to human health, it’s important to call a pest control expert right away.