Mice Are Not Nice

(our tribute to Dr Seuss!)

They might be cute, but when you look at the overall picture of what a mouse infestation does to the immediate environment, it is not a nice picture. Mice bring much damage and disease to every house they inhabit.

Unfortunately, a lot of common activities encourage mice. Outdoor feeding of both pets and wildlife creates food sources that attract them to your yard. Drilling of access points through the house’s exterior shells over the years provide viable entry points. Open doors and window that are unscreened offer free access to homes. The dry, temperature controlled atmosphere of our homes, while not a bad thing, are desired by mice too. They search out interior shelter from both the winter cold and the extreme summer heat. Add to this the mouse’s natural abilities to get where it is not wanted (a mouse can fit through a hole smaller than a nickel and can jump a foot and a half high) and you can see that mice are indeed a very formidable and prevalent pest.

Signs of mice

Mouse Exterminator in Portland
It is helpful to be able to identify a mouse since a common question is whether what was seen was a mouse or rat. Mice are generally 2 – 4″ inches long, excluding their tails, which can be another 2 – 3″ long. Their color can range from brown to gray to black.

Aside from their physical appearance, there are common signs of a mouse infestation: scratched and gnawed areas of drywall, soft woods, and cardboard, small piles of gnawed paper or cardboard, insulation and other soft materials, droppings (tiny little brown/black pellets commonly about 1/4″ or less in length), and finally the audible sound of gnawing and scampering.

Problems and Damage Caused by Mice

mouse-eatingAs mentioned above, mice gnaw on a lot of materials. This can be done to gain entry as well as to create bedding, resulting in insulation, both in attics and crawlspaces, being torn apart and contaminated. Items stored in cardboard type of boxes, whether food stocks or other, can be destroyed or damaged, either physically or by contamination. Urine, feces and airborne pathogens can contaminate cooking utensils.

The disease potential from mice is real and quite serious – there are a couple of hundred known, harmful pathogens spread by mice. The Hanta virus is contracted from the airborne particles from mouse feces, urine and saliva; while rare, is exceptionally deadly. Unknown allergic reactions can often be traced back to the presence of mice. Mice are continually excreting thousands (up to 3000) of micro-droplets of urine throughout the day. Studies have shown that in some groups of people, nearly 20 are allercit to the mouse urinary protein (MUP) contained within it. Additionally, mice can carry fleas which bring their own unique set of issues.

Finally, there is the damage that mice (and rats) can cause to electrical wiring within a structure. It has been estimated that between 20-25% of fires from undetermined causes likely have resulted from electrical wire damage caused by rodents. This is serious business.

How All Pest Control Company Exterminates Mice

Now that you are more aware of the vast potential harm that mice can cause, you can appreciate why quick and thorough mouse extermination is critical. There are various methods of exterminating mice. We will accommodate preferences in approach if our customers have a strong desire for one of our stated methods but again, we prefer to use the methods that will solve the problem in the most rapid and comprehensive way.

Trapping and glue boarding is one option. When carrying out this method, we usually carry out the necessary additional job of sealing off access points immediately, trapping mice inside of your home. This can actually result in a temporary increase in the visible mouse population since mice that might normally be traveling in and out are now locked in, which can be disconcerting to some homeowners. Once the population is secured inside the structure, it is just a matter of time before all mice are eventually trapped.

The most effective method is baiting. Baiting is effective because unlike a full trap, it can continue killing mice regardless of how many others may have already been trapped or killed. It is generally more cost effective for this reason. While some companies try to feed off of homeowner fears about mice dying within the structure, in reality the mice virtually always die outside because of both a survival instinct that seems to get them moving outside and to search out their exterior water sources. For this reason, when using the baiting method, exclusion work is always done after all mouse activity has ceased. Additionally, locked bait stations can be use to keep children or pets from accessing the bait. Consequently, bait stations can potentially be safer to have around young children and pets than traps and glue boards, which, even if discretely placed, are subject to being meddled with.