While you may already be gearing up for the springtime in St. Louis, the fact it, it is still winter. The weather is still chilly in the area and unfortunately, this means that many pests will be seeking food and shelter in your home. One of the most common household pests is the house mouse. Though small, mice can cause considerable damage to your home, including eating and contaminating food and chewing through electrical wires. Contaminated food can cause salmonella poisoning, and chewed wires are common causes of house fires. Mice breed very quickly, and have litters of six to eight babies at a time, so a couple of mice in your house can quickly lead to an infestation. There are several things to look for if you think you have a mouse problem.
Droppings – Mouse droppings are typically about ¼ inch long, black, and oval shaped. They are commonly found near food sources like the kitchen cupboards and food pantry.
Gnaw Marks – Mice are perpetual gnawers. Their teeth never stop growing so they chew to keep them filed down. Look for fresh gnaw marks on furniture, wires, books, and even your clothes.
Nests – Look for nests in areas that do not get a lot of traffic. Common places are in the attic, inside walls, and in storage areas with lots of boxes. Staying organized and removing clutter will help cut down on available nesting sites. Nests are usually made out of materials that shred easily, such as cardboard, newspaper, and insulation.
So what can you do to prevent a mouse invasion? First, start with removing their food sources. Mice love seeds. Keep any seeds for bird feeders tightly contained, and as far from your home as possible. Also, keep leftovers and pet food in containers with tightly fitting lids. Second, check for entry points. Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime! Check for cracks in walls and foundations, tears in screens, and install chimney caps.
No matter how hard you try to prevent it, sometimes pest problems happen. If you have noticed any of the signs listed above give us a call at 1-877-ROTTLER or click here to fill out a form and have one of our St. Louis pest control professionals contact you!
This blog was originally published on October 25, 2011 and has been updated to reflect the most recent information on controlling troublesome mice and rodents in St. Louis.