Do Mice Hibernate?
Mice do not hibernate. They are relatively cold-tolerant but survive winter due to their ability to forage. When their hoards run out, they start looking for warmer spaces to call home. If they can enter your house, they will. As winter arrives, sightings of mice in homes increase. Even those who think their home is mouse-proof can encounter rodents, which are both clever and sneaky.
Where Do Mice Go in the Winter?
Mice spend most of their time searching for food, water, and shelter. In warmer months, there is an abundance of foods like nuts, berries, grains, and scraps on the ground. They take these to their nearby homes in tree trunks, hollow logs, brush piles, and burrows. As winter arrives, mice hoard food and nesting materials to help them survive the colder months.
Mice weigh less than an ounce and only need a hole the size of a quarter to enter a home. Boards that expand and contract when the temperatures change can leave just enough space for a mouse to enter. Cracks in a wall, broken screens, uncapped chimneys, and doors with openings above or below are other examples of entry points for mice.
Mice Activity in Winter
Mice are just as active in the winter as any other time of year. Even when temperatures are freezing, mice can find ways to conserve energy and stay warm. One way is by mating, which mice can do between five and ten times a year, giving birth to five or more mice with each litter after a short gestation period of three to four weeks. As soon as a mouse gives birth, she can become pregnant again.
The more mice living in one area, the more warmth it will create. It does not take long for an infestation to occur. If this infestation occurs in your home, expect costly damages.
Searching for food is a priority. Mice will eat pet and human food. Their teeth are ever-growing, and they chew on wood, metal, plastic, vinyl, fabrics, and more to keep them filed. They will even chew their way into pantry cabinets and open packaged goods, contaminating your groceries.
In their travels, mice will gather materials to improve their nests. Pieces of carpet, lint, newspapers, and garbage are examples. Mice will ruin sentimental items that aren’t stored properly and chew electrical wiring. It’s essential to find out where the rodents are living in your home.
Where do Mice Live in Winter?
Mice build nests using materials they scavenge outdoors and indoors. A mouse building a nest inside your home may do so in the attic, walls, basement, ductwork, and under appliances. Some mice will build nests in your car’s air filter or a warm spot under the hood. If your vehicle has food crumbs or unfinished drinks, mice will try to access them.
When mice build nests in your vents, ducts, and appliances, it creates a fire hazard for your home. Mice do not travel too far from their nests. You can usually follow the feces and urine trails they leave behind to locate their nest.
Mice in Your Home
If you think mice may be living in your home this winter, look for specific signs. Everywhere they go, they leave a trail of feces. Mice feces look like tiny pellets scattered, usually on countertops and along baseboards. Feces and urine trails are also found in cabinets and around stoves, air fryers, toasters, and other appliances where food crumbs exist.
If you hear scratching, shuffling, or running noises when your house is quiet, you may have mice. Also, mice smell bad, usually with a musky odor. Urine pillars occur when dust, grime, hair, and loose materials get stuck in a urine trail, causing a buildup. Urine pillars are often a sign of multiple mice living in that space.
Grease smudges can be found wherever a mouse rubs up against something, caused by the greasy oils on a mouse’s fur.
Mice are known carriers of many diseases. Mold spores can grow in their feces. If these spores travel through your home and are inhaled by you or your family, it could lead to an allergic reaction or respiratory issues.
What to do if Mice Are in Your Home
Hiring a wildlife control expert is the safest and most effective way to eliminate mice. One reason is that they can quickly identify how many mice live in your home and how they get inside. They can also assess the damage to your home caused by the mice.
Next, you need a removal plan that works. You can put out a trap and hope the mice take the bait. Some do, but some don’t because you didn’t use the right bait or the correct size trap. Errors like these can lead to larger infestations. Or a larger mouse will carry a small trap into a space you can’t access, leaving you with a rotting mouse smell in your home.
Wildlife control technicians know which traps and baits to eliminate all mice. They can also take steps to prevent mice from returning by sealing entry points, improving food storage, and reducing food and water sources that mice find attractive. Mouse-proofing is something you can do before you have a mouse problem. Call our technicians today to get started.
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