The troublesome Mice of the Pacific Northwest
There are two species of mice that are troublesome pests to residents of the Pacific Northwest, the Deer Mouse and more prominently the House Mouse. One differentiating attribute of the Deer Mouse and House Mouse is their belly. Deer Mice have white bellies and House Mice have bellies that are the same color as the rest of their bodies, which are dark grey. Both house mice and deer mice are common pests in homes and can contaminate stored food and damage wood, insulation, and wiring. A full grown mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime and a crack that is only ¼ inch.
Mice can transmit dangerous diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Do not handle mice with your bare hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a rare but serious respiratory infection that can be life-threatening. Ask us for instructions on how to properly clean up mice urine and droppings.
In order to protect your home, family and health from mice, you need to call in the professionals at Altus Pest Control. Regardless of which type of mouse is living in your home, Altus professionals are specially trained to identify species, eliminate your current live-in problems, and prevent future rodent entry.
House mice are small, typically 2-3 inches long in the body, with a tail that can be almost the same length. Their entire body is covered in fur, including their tail, and this hair is often grey, although can be variations of brown. They have pointed snouts and large ears, but they have poor eyesight due to their small eyes.
Unlike deer mice, house mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas within structures. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high. House mice can cause serious property damage by chewing through materials. In fact, they have been known to spark electrical fires by gnawing on wires inside homes.
One of the best ways to know whether house mice or deer mice have been in your home is to look for droppings. House mouse droppings are similar in size to a grain of rice. The droppings can be dark brown or black, depending on the rodent’s age and diet. The droppings don’t have a smell. However, house mouse urine has a strong ammonia-like odor. Deer mouse droppings look similar but have pointed ends.
House mice are most often associated with Leptospirosis and Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), both of which can be transmitted through the infected animal’s urine. LCMV can also be contracted through saliva, blood, or feces.
Deer mice, on the other hand, are often smaller, usually less than 3 inches in length, and their long tails are hairless. Their tails are also two-toned, with the top being a dark brown and the underside a white or tan color. The hair on the tops of their bodies is usually brown but can range from white to grey and black, but their bellies are all white. Unlike house mice, they have large eyes, as they are often nocturnal. They are also equipped with large ears and a pointed snout.
Deer mice prefer woodlands over wetlands. They often live in hollow trees, old fence posts, piles of debris or in nests underground. However, during the winter months, deer mice may make their way into your home as a means of avoiding the cold weather. Attics and basements also provide ideal deer mouse habitat. Deer mice can also be found nesting in storage boxes, stuffed furniture, drawers and wall voids.
One of the best signs of an infestation is their droppings. A single mouse can produce anywhere from 40 to 100 droppings in a day. Their droppings are rod-shaped and pinched at either end. You will find their droppings on the floor along walls.
Deer mice are associated with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which can be contracted via contact with feces or saliva, and Lyme disease.
Signs of Infestation
Infestations can be identified through chew markings and their droppings which are 1/4″ long and are pointed on the ends. Outdoors, look for nests made of grasses, leaves, roots, insulation and other fibrous materials. House mice are skilled travelers. They gain access to attics and rooftops by using power lines and foliage outside the house. Once inside, they use interior wall voids to move to different areas.These pests must be taken seriously because of the health hazards they present and their ability to cause damage to items as a result of their gnawing. Mice have oily bodies. If they are frequently traveling in and out of a single hole, they leave a dingy residue as oils from their bodies. Look for a cache of food supplies, such as acorns and seeds.
How Altus Pest Control Can Get Rid of Your Mice
Comprehensive rodent control should consist of these steps:
- A thorough inspection is critical to effective rodent control. Since the expert technicians at Altus know all about rodent biology and behavior, we know how mice travel and exactly where to place our baits to eliminate mice from your home.
- We search the perimeter of your home, identify entry points. Once the points of entry are identified, they must be sealed or screened off. Structural improvements must be made to correct the gaps or holes.
- Exclusion work reduces the likelihood of future infestations inside your home. Once access areas have been sealed, exterior baiting is extremely effective.
- An effective baiting program will reduce rodent populations on the outside of the home, thus reducing the risk of re-infestation. Bait stations are strategically placed in discrete areas where mice activity is most abundant. The bait stations can only be opened by a technician’s key and are virtually impossible for pets and children to open. Your family’s safety comes first, so any bait station location you are not comfortable with, we will happily relocate.
Our licensed technicians bring years of experience and knowledge of rodent behavior, which is important for effective rodent exclusion. If you suspect you have a mouse problem, call in the experts! We’ll customize a mouse removal plan that suits the details of your home and surrounding environment.