If I see one mouse, does that mean I have many?
That can be answered two ways, and it is difficult to give a definitive answer. Historically, if you have not had mouse issues in the past, and you see a mouse, it is very possible that one may have snuck in and you are up against a lone wolf. You definitely want to catch it sooner than later. On the other hand, if you have had ongoing issues with mice and you are seeing them, you could potentially have a bigger problem than you think.
How do I know if I have just one mouse or an infestation?
Again, another tough question. I’ve been in customers homes where they have said that they have caught a few mice or they have seen just one mouse, or they found some droppings, but that is it. In other words, they are saying they don’t feel they have a big problem. Then Grove Pest Control goes in and we take the bottom of the stove drawer out and find a sea of droppings, we check in the drop ceilings in the basement and find a ton of droppings, we check in closets or under dishwashers, and find droppings. On the other end of the service, when we return for the follow up, we have pulled out 12 mice from these very same areas where the bulk of the dropping were. This is a bigger problem than the customer thought they had. On the other hand, I’ve gone in and done the same service, found less droppings, caught a few mice, and never heard back from the customer regarding mice ever again. In that case it was not an infestation and the problem was nipped in the bud before it blossomed into an infestation. My point is, the more evidence there is of mice there is the more of a problem you have. Things like droppings, food being disturbed or eaten, rub marks or sebum, and sightings are all an indication of how big or small of a problem you have.
How are they getting in and are they continuing to come in and out?
Mouse or rodent exclusion is a component of mouse control where holes are sealed on the outside of the property that mice potentially could be entering. Exclusion could include adding weather stripping to garage door bottoms and entry door bottoms, cementing holes in the brick and stone around the exterior perimeter, adding screening or wire mesh to crawl space vents or even attic vents for that matter, placing steel wool around the areas where air conditioning cables or wires enter the home. Even with all this work it is hard to totally exclude mice from the house, you do your very best and hope it is enough. Sometimes mice just enter through a garage door that was left open, it happened to be pregnant and those babies that were born have babies and all that work was for nothing because the mouse just happened to sneak in. I can’t tell you how many businesses I service who has loading dock doors wide open or exit doors propped open, same for residential homes, where the garage door is open for the kids to come and go with their bikes, all the while leaving a big welcome sign out for mice to enter and make a comfortable home for themselves. So yes exclusion is important, but it is not always the end all be all.
Can mice climb and get into my attic?
Mice can scale a wall without breaking stride, so yes they can climb up your outside wall and enter through any hole, vents, or crack up high.
How quickly can mice reproduce?
A female mouse gets pregnant on average 8 times a year and can have up to 8-15 pups each time. Each one of those mice can reproduce. That’s a lot of mice in one year!
Do mice eat each other?
Yes. Enough said.
Are mice smart?
I feel that mice have some gray matter between their ears. I’ve seen glue traps that have been placed in their running path with bits of shredded paper, fibers, a dust built across the glue so that they would not have to detour around the glue trap. In other words, they built a bridge over the glue trap. There is video of them jumping over snap traps and a number of other things that would make your jaw drop. Mice can be very easy to control, or they can be the toughest opponent you will ever face.
I have not seen any mice in my kitchen and none of my food is toughed, what are they eating?
Mice are resourceful scavengers. They can survive on bugs and even on their own dead if they have to. This means they may be using your house as just a shelter to stay dry and warm, all the while feasting on water bugs and centipedes.
Mice are so cute. What are some ways they can be dangerous?
Mice spread disease. Aside from their dropping or feces, they urinate or pee wherever they walk. This is how they mark territory and mark their pathways. They can leave up to 100 urine drops a day. As far as feces, they can leave up to 80 droppings a day, that’s one mouse! So imagine mice running over your counter top a night urinating as he goes. The viruses and disease that they can spread are many. If you come upon a mother load of droppings somewhere, in a cabinet, under a stove, please be careful how you clean that up. Don’t just grab a dustpan and broom or vacuum. Research the best way to do this, the CDC has a good resource for cleaning up mouse droppings.