Mouse in House and in Richmond Homes If you've been hearing strange noises at night, such as squeeking, scurrying and scratching, you may have a mouse in your house, mouse in walls, mouse in attic, or mouse in kitchen. Mice may be tiny, but they can pack a punch when it comes to destructiveness. Damaged insulation, chewed wires and odors are a few problems related to mouse infestations. Critter Control of Richmond has trained professionals that can safely and humanely remove mice in house, mice in walls, mice in kitchen, mice in attcs and other rodents from your home. We thoroughly inspect your home to detrmine points of entry and can seal holes and repair damage. Call our office today! Introduction There are two different types of mice which enter buildings in our area. The first are white-footed mice, which many people refer to as “field mice.” These mice are native to Virginia and are common in our fields and woods. Relatively speaking, they are large mice, with adult body lengths of 4-4 ½ inches (tail not included). The second type is the house mouse. These mice are native to Central Asia. They spread to Europe, and from there settlers brought them to North America. Over time the house mouse has adapted to live with people. In fact, they are never found very far from human activity. The house mouse is about one inch smaller than the white-footed mouse. Both types may live in the same building. Biology and Habits Mice commonly enter buildings near ground level through preexisting holes. Common places for entry are where pipes or wires pass through a foundation wall, through vents with damaged screens, attached garages or sheds, and loose or damaged crawl space access doors. Once entry is gained, mice can move throughout the building, including vertically by climbing up the insides of walls and may end up nesting in crawl spaces, attics, floor voids, or inside walls. Mice can reproduce very rapidly. House mice will have five to ten litters per year, with four to six young per litter. White-footed mice generally have three to five litters per year. To make matters worse, a mouse is ready to breed at only two months of age. Mice generally eat grains and seeds, but will eat just about any type of food. Mice are nibblers, taking small samples of food, then moving on. House mice eat food as they find it. White-footed mice will hide some food in nests and other secure places. In some cases mice will use the building as a place to live, but go outside to forage for food, so just because mice are not getting into food in the house does not mean they are not in the building. This behavior is especially common with white-footed mice. Control Mice are most commonly controlled by putting out poison baits for them to eat. Generally speaking, these baits contain poisons called anticoagulants (blood thinners) which kill by inducing internal bleeding. To be effective, small placements of ½ to 1 ounce of bait need to be made 10 to 20 feet apart in the areas being used by the mice. Mice die 4-7 days after eating the bait. There is no way to control where poisoned mice will die. However, in most cases a mouse that dies in a wall, attic or crawl space will not create enough of an odor to be smelled inside the building. Mice can also be trapped. The advantages of trapping are faster results, and control over where the mice die. The main disadvantage is that it is more time consuming, and therefore more costly. We have found the snap trap to be the most effective type of mouse trap. Homeowners interested in trapping mice can bait snap traps with peanut butter or lunch meat (especially salami), and place traps along walls in areas the mice use. Mice are usually easy to catch. Regardless of the control method used, efforts must be taken to eliminate any food the mice are feeding on in the building. Food items should be removed, or placed in metal containers. This is especially important with high value food items such as birdseed and pet food. Control efforts may fail if the mice have these other food sources. Management To the extent possible, potential mouse entry points into the building should be located and sealed. On some buildings this is easy to do, and virtually eliminates future problems. On other buildings this is nearly impossible. (Most building fall somewhere in between.) It may be necessary for us return on a regular basis to re-treat for mice, and we can set up such a program, if needed.