How to deal with mice in the house during fall
In the fall, temperatures cool down and insects and small animals, especially rodents, find refuge inside our homes to spend the winter in warmth.
Unfortunately, we are not made to live with these pests. Rodents eat our food, leave droppings everywhere and carry diseases.
How can you prevent mice from intruding into the house as autumn approaches? Follow the advice of our mouse extermination experts.
Detecting mice in the house in early fall
Mice, rats, field mice and voles are some of the most common rodents in Quebec. Once fall arrives, they will do everything they can to get into homes and places that will give them a roof over their heads to get through the cold season. Once the rodents are inside, you should quickly remove them since they can cause a lot of damage.
The risks of a mouse infestation
One of the main reasons why everyone should want to control mouse and rat infestations is because of the diseases they carry and the dangers of rodent infestation to human health.
Rats are often associated with the plague or extreme filth. Any contact with them or their droppings can expose you to diseases that are a risk to humans. The most common are toxoplasmosis, an infection that affects the fetus of pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals, or leptospirosis causing diarrhea and vomiting, a disease contracted through rat urine.
Mice are also carriers of diseases such as hantavirus or meningitis. They also carry a number of parasites such as fleas and ticks that can carry Lyme disease.
Damage caused by rodents
In addition to transmitting diseases, rodents also cause extensive damage in homes.
They are known to gnaw on objects, such as electrical wires. This can lead to the breakdown of your appliances or even a fire hazard. Mice and rats are also attracted to food and will not hesitate to chew on packing boxes or packages containing food to serve themselves. Everywhere they go, they leave droppings and urine.
Rodents, especially mice, reproduce very quickly and can give birth to between 5 and 12 mice per year. This partly explains why rodent infestations are on the rise in Quebec. Once you have an entire rodent colony in your home, it becomes more difficult to get rid of them. A full-scale infestation will require pest extermination services, since several different methods will have to be used to drive them out.
What are the signs of mice in the house?
When dealing with a potential mouse infestation in the fall, learning about the habits of mice is very useful. This is good news since discretion is not their strong point. Their habits are well known to our pest extermination service. Luckily, they often leave obvious traces. Here are the signs that stand out most:
Urine odour and droppings
Have you noticed grains similar to black rice? This is probably a sign of an infestation. Mice can excrete between 40 and 50 droppings daily in areas they inhabit, so you’ll have no trouble spotting them around appliances or where you hide food.
Rodent urine can be identified by its strong musty odour. Each day, they leave small traces on the ground, between 10 ml and 15 ml, which you may find difficult to spot. However, you can easily smell it if there is an infestation.
Signs that mice are wandering around can include the holes they dig. These are not necessarily easy to see because they are usually smaller than a quarter. But if you take a look at the most popular spots for mice, it’s easy to find their tracks.
Mice shred paper, string and other soft materials to build their nests inside.
Rodent pathways usually run along interior walls, building foundations, cornices, pipes, wires and ducts.
Noises at night
Mice are rarely seen during the day. They are wary of light and their poor vision makes them uncomfortable in daylight. However, rodents are active at night and will let you know. If you hear scratching noises against the walls or on the floor, you probably have a visitor.
Unusual pet behaviours
Pets tend to act strangely when they hear or smell rodents in the house. They may appear extremely alert, bark or begin to spy on spaces under refrigerators or cookers.
How to avoid rodent infestations
Mice will try to settle in your house with the arrival of the cold weather. There are several indoor and outdoor solutions to prevent this from happening, which can keep mice from entering your home.
Good habits to adopt inside your home
Caulking is an effective solution against rodents. Make sure you identify all holes and openings in your home that could be used as a doorway for intruders. Rodents sneak in everywhere. Mice can even pass through a hole the size of a dime. Once you’ve spotted them, you’ll need to repair and seal these easy entrances. Install metal weather stripping under doors and windows. A pest control caulking service will protect you by locating the entrance points and sealing them properly.
When exterminators inspect a house, the first thing they look at is the plumbing. Often, rat problems come from sewers and pipes. As a preventative measure, leaky faucets, oozing pipes and open drains should be repaired.
Another important thing is to keep your kitchen clean and not leave food lying around in the open to avoid attracting rodents. Keep your food and your pet food in airtight containers.
Avoid pest invasions from the outside
You should also make sure to eliminate all rodent nesting areas outside your home.
Remove any bulky objects around your home where rats or mice might settle. Cut tall grass in your yard where rodents could hide. Make sure that your waste is placed in airtight containers to avoid attracting them. You can raise your pile of firewood by about a foot to keep it off the ground. Seal cracks in the foundation, block the dryer vents and the overhang of your roof with a screen to obstruct any access to the inside of your home.
Before the fall, remember to protect your home from infestations
Autumn is the best time for mice to enter your home. No one is safe from these intruders, so prepare your home properly to avoid letting them in. If rodents have managed to take up residence in your home, you should use an exterminator who is equipped to get rid of these pests safely.
If you think that your house is facing a rodent infestation and you would like professional help, please contact E.Exterminateur. We will be happy to assist you.