We wish we could say the answer to this question is yes. Unfortunately, however, mice are typically hard to control. If you want to get rid of mice and know for sure they're gone, you'll need professional help. House mice are particularly difficult to control as they love living inside structures and they reproduce quickly. The worst outcome of mouse control is catching mice and thinking that they're gone when they aren't. If you catch some mice and don't hear mice climbing in walls anymore, don't trust that as a sign that your infestation is gone. Let's look at how to tell if you have mice (or continue to have mice) in your home. Let's examine the implications of failing to eliminate mice. If you don't have a mouse infestation yet, we've added a section to help you keep mice out of your house with all-natural methods. If you have mice and want immediate assistance, give us a call. HomeShield Pest Control provides professional rodent pest control in Orange County. We'll help you evaluate your mouse infestation and guide you toward the best solution for you.

How To Tell If It's Mice In Your Home

Do you think you have a mouse problem? Are you wondering if you're actually hearing mice or if some other animal is in your walls or attic? There are ways to tell. The primary evidence you'll want to find and examine is the fecal matter left by the animals infesting your home. Wild animals are not housetrained. When they get inside, they leave excrement as they move about in walls, attic spaces, and other zones.

Search For Droppings: Mice leave droppings behind your oven, in the cabinet under your kitchen sink, under your fridge, behind items that sit on the floor in storage rooms, and in many attic hiding places. Rats do this as well. Squirrels leave droppings almost exclusively in attics. Bats leave waste in attics or outside a home in a pile next to the foundation or on roofs below entry points.

Analyzing The Droppings: A mouse will leave droppings that are slightly smaller than grains of white rice. If you find droppings smaller than this, they might be insect droppings. Rats have droppings larger than grains of white rice. Squirrel droppings are a bit larger than rat droppings. Bat droppings (also referred to as guano) are typically smaller than rat droppings, but it depends on the species. In all cases, bat droppings are larger than mouse droppings.

Consider The Color: Fresh droppings are black. As the waste sits, it becomes gray and brittle. Old droppings will break apart like powder. You're looking for fresh droppings, which are shiny, moist, and dark black. When you find droppings, clean them up so that you can check back later and see if more appear. When cleaning droppings, wear a respirator and rubber gloves to protect yourself from contamination.

The animal waste you find inside and outside of your home can help you tell whether or not you have a mouse infestation. They can also tell you if your mouse infestation is current or old. You can use the evidence you find to help you determine if mice are still in your home after you attempt to get control of them. Along with searching for droppings, you can also look for these warning signs of continued activity:

  • Find tiny holes and patch them. A mouse will create holes that are about the size of a nickel. You'll find these holes in the wall behind your oven, underneath the overhang of kitchen cabinets, behind objects on the floor in your pantry, in food packages, in stored furniture, etc. If you're able to patch a hole, you can check back later to see if a new hole appears.
  • Look for grease marks on baseboards. While grease marks won't let you know if you have mice, they'll let you know something is running along your baseboards while you're sleeping. Clean the grease and inspect your baseboards later.

If you determine that you have mice in your home, you should know what to expect from them. While mice are tiny rodents, they are no tiny problem. Mice reproduce quickly and spread harmful organisms as they move about inside your home. 

mild mannered house mouse

How Dangerous Is It To Have Mice In My House?

As you may already realize, it is bad to have mice in your home. The droppings they leave around are a source of contamination. But there is more you should know.

  • Mice leave their waste where they sleep. They crawl over their waste as they move about. They climb in trash bins. They climb through sewer lines. The fur of a mouse can get quite filthy. When mice get into pantries, kitchens, and bathrooms, they spread invisible organisms that can make you sick.
  • Mice can go in and out of your home. While outside, they can pick up ticks and fleas. Both of these are disease concerns, but ticks are a concern that is growing considerably. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and red meat allergy are only a few of the serious diseases spread by ticks. One little mouse can have dozens of ticks on its body.
  • Mice constantly chew on things. When a little mouse gets into your home, it will damage your home and your belongings. They'll also chew on wires. If a mouse cuts a live wire with its teeth, it will regret it. But you may also regret it. That live wire can spark a fire. Experts believe that 20 to 25 percent of fires that are sparked by unknown sources are likely rodent-related.

Mice and rats are no small problem in a home. They can make you sick and present a fire hazard. It is best to make sure that you have no rodents in your home. Contact HomeSheild Pest Control for rodent control in Orange County. If you don't have mice or rats in your home yet, there are many ways to keep them out. Let's take a look.   

Factors That Attract Mice To Your Home

The secret to keeping mice out of your home is understanding why they enter your home in the first place. Mice do what mice do. If you know how mice behave, you can deter them.

  • Mice have poor eyesight and use ground clutter to get from point A to point B. If you have a cluttered yard, you'll invite a mouse problem.
  • Mice hide in piles. They have a preference for wood piles. If you have stacked branches, construction materials, wood scraps, or campfire wood, you'll attract mice. Move these away from your exterior and store branches and wood scraps in a bin.
  • Mice eat seeds and nuts. If you have bird feeders, consider removing them. If you have trees that produce nuts, try to stay on top of clean-up. You don't want to give mice a viable food source near your home.
  • Mice are attracted to tight spaces. If they see a tiny hole in your exterior, they'll likely attempt to squeeze into it. Use a caulking gun to seal holes and gaps. Mice use their teeth to make small holes larger. Seal every hole, no matter how small.
  • Mice have an amazing ability to climb. They can scale exteriors and get to entry points you may not expect. It is essential to apply hardware cloth to keep mice from entering through louvers in gable vents.
  • Mice can leap several feet. They also have the ability to fall from great heights without hurting themselves. Trim branches away from your roofline to keep mice from getting onto your roof.

These are just some of the all-natural ways to keep mice away and prevent them from getting into your Orange County home. When more control is needed, we recommend hiring a professional to deploy tamper-resistant bait traps around structures. 

Call The Pros At The First Sign Of Mice In Your Home

When you find evidence of mice in your home, we don't recommend attempting to use DIY rodent control to get rid of them. Mice are clever and resourceful animals. If they outsmart you, they will continue to present a health risk and a fire hazard. Licensed professionals use field-tested methods to locate mice, evaluate mouse activity, and apply several control methods to remove the mice. Along with rodent removal, your technicians will address certain entry points and alert you to some trouble spots you may need to address on your own. It is a scientific process that is best performed by an individual with appropriate training and experience.

Are you in Orange County? Are you dealing with mice in your home? We can help. Contact HomeShield Pest Control and request a service visit. We'll help you figure out what you're up against and guide you toward a control solution that is specific to your problem. We'll also try to help you get the costs down as low as possible so that you can fit your rodent control into your budget. Give us a call today for assistance.