All you need to know about Mice or Rodents

A rat or mouse problem inside a home or business can pose a big threat to both health and property. Various types of common rodents are known to spread Salmonella and other bacteria. They are also capable of triggering allergies and asthma attacks. They can also carry disease-causing parasites, such as ticks, fleas and lice. In addition to these health threats, rodents are known to damage drywall as well as wood and can also chew through electrical wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Common Types of Rodents

Deer Mice

Deer mice are found throughout the United States. Deer mice prefer to nest in rural areas in places like old fence posts, tree hollows and log piles. Deer mice are rarely a problem in residential settings, but they can wander indoors during the winter months while searching for shelter and food. They will often take up residence in sheds, barns or cabins during the off season.

House Mice

The most commonly encountered rodent species, house mice can be found throughout the United States. House mice typically nest in dark, secluded areas inside of structures. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot in height, allowing them to reach isolated or withdrawn areas.

Norway Rats

Similar to other species, Norway rats are widespread and can be found throughout the United States.  Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and often burrow into piles of garbage or underneath concrete slabs. This species tends to enter homes in the fall when outdoor food sources become scarce, typically nesting in basements, crawlspaces and other undisturbed dwellings once inside.

Roof Rats

Thought to be of Southeast Asian origin, roof rats can now be found throughout the U.S. coastal states and southern third of the country. Roof rats typically live in colonies and prefer to nest in the upper areas of structures or trees.

What do they EAT?

House mice are omnivorous, but prefer to consume simple foods like grains, fruits, seeds and nuts. Contrary to popular belief, mice don’t really have a preference for cheese. But they will eat it and plenty of other different kinds of foods depending on what’s available. They will also eat insects if they find them. House mice usually feed at dusk and dawn, and occasionally in between.

Unfortunately, mice can also cause plenty of property damage and health risks, too. They are known to chew on electrical wiring and use it both for food and for nesting material. Along with wiring, they may burrow into insulation, boxes, papers and other cast-off materials to create nests and raise young. During the cold months especially, they can do a lot of damage inside a home, and may also infest vehicle engines to stay warm. Furthermore, their eating habits may endanger yours. They can be carriers of pathogens and worms that are harmful to humans, and may contaminate your food as they search for it themselves.

How to Get Rid of Mice?

Learn the best methods to deal with mice infestations in your home, and how Terminix can help keep the mouse out of the house.

  1. If no one in your family has a cat allergy, getting a cat might just be the easiest way to get rid of mice. If a cat isn’t an option, buy cat litter and spread it in areas most frequented by the mice. This can act as a deterrent. Be sure to keep cat litter out of the reach of children.
  2. The strong smell of peppermint oil and clove oil seems to repel mice. Saturate cotton balls with these essential oils and put them in areas that attract mice like drawers, cupboards, and home entryways. Although the smell alone won’t be enough to get rid of mice completely, it can work in conjunction with other methods.
  3. Humane traps keep mice alive so you can release them. Place traps in the areas of your home most frequented by mice and check them every morning. Mice generally come out looking for food at night. Examples of yummy treats to attract mice include peanut butter, cheese, and buttered popcorn.
  4. Poison baits may seem like an easy solution, but they can also be risky. Poison can sicken pets and children in your home, so it’s safer to stick with nonpoisonous baits and treatments. Try a concentrated hot pepper solution. Spray it in spots out of the reach of children and pets, but where mice frequently visit, such as under the stove or behind cabinets.
  5. Once you identify some of the entry points mice are using, such as under your sink around the pipes or at the back of cupboards where there are wires, cover them with duct tape.


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