6 Common FAQs about Mice

February 8, 2022

Mice are out and about looking for shelter and food.  You may not see them or hear them often, but they are acting under cover of night.  There are many misnomers about mice, so we thought we do just a simple Q&A and share some FAQs as asked to our staff and technicians.

How do I know if I have a mouse in the house?

You will know if you have mice given some simple tell-tale signs.  Thanks to thespruce.com for sharing:

  • Gnawed holes in stored foods, piled papers, insulation, etc.
  • Food scraps or wrappings left behind, especially in out-of-the-way places, such as inside shoes or boots or in the corners of closets and cabinets.
  • Droppings or tiny hairs.
  • Runways—narrow pathways where dust and dirt have been swept clean, noticeable grease marks, or urine trails can be seen under a black light.
  • Nests or piled nesting materials.
  • Skittering or scratching sounds coming from wall, ceiling, or floor cavities.
  • Stale, rank, or musty odors.

How long do mice live?

A mouse’s life span is short, as they often fall prey to cats, foxes, and other predators shortening their life span to under six months. They may live longer without predators and have easy access to food in your home.

Why do you use peanut butter on mouse traps?

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We are asked this question all the time when a homeowner sees the jar of peanut butter come from the technician’s bag. It is not cheese that draws them; the scent of peanut butter is very effective. We have been asked about other food options like sticky things, but we have not found them effective.

I never see mice. Are you sure I have mice?

Mice are nocturnal and are active from dusk to dawn. Rarely seen during the day, but if you do see a mouse during the day, it could be a sign of an infestation.  Mice will go out in search of food if there are so many mice that found is scarce.

How did mice get in my house?

The National Pest Management Association shares this comprehensive list of tips. Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can proactively prevent and get rid of rodent infestations in their homes:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Inspect screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Use caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar & weather stripping around basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. They are a host and breeding site for pests.
  • Inspect all items brought into your home, especially from big box stores.

What is the difference between a mouse and a rat?

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Close up of Wild Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) feeding on stones in water of river

Mice and rats are both rodents.  The main difference is their size. However, other visual differences are easy to spot:

  • Mice are smaller in weight and length, and a rat is visibly larger, rounder, and displays a distinctly long and often banded tail.
  • Mice have that sweet little face with big ears and a pointy snout. But, oooo, rats have larger heads with tiny ears and rough fur. Quite scary looking!
  • Can we talk about droppings? Well, as you might expect, rat dropping looks more like an olive pit mice droppings are the size of a grain of rice.

We hope we answered your questions about mice!

Mice are a part of community living, especially in suburban areas. Be mindful of your home and surroundings. Please do not make it easy for them to be your new houseguests. Fall and early winter are prime times for mice and other rodents to find a warm place to live and breed.

Contact us for mice removal and prevention service in:

Albany County, Columbia County, Fulton County, Green County, Montgomery County, Rensselaer County, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Warren County, Washington County.

Stu says give us a call for a free inspection!

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