You probably know what a house mouse is. Most people do. If you haven't seen one up close and personal, you're sure to have seen one in a movie or television show. And you probably know lots of things about mice, such as the fact that cheese is their favorite food or that they live in a little apartment inside a wall of your home that has a little bed and a little fireplace. Okay. That last part might be a fact about cartoon mice. But the part about mice loving cheese more than anything else is right, isn't it? Actually, it isn't. While mice will eat cheese, they prefer fruits and grains when given a choice. As you can see, there are some misconceptions about mice. There is also a lot you probably don't know about mice. Here are a few facts every Pittsburgh resident should know about mice.
Mice Are Dirty
A mouse will leave its feces in the area that it sleeps. It may also leave bits of food where it sleeps. That food can rot and expose the mouse to harmful bacteria. Mice eat some unsavory things such as rotting animals, dead bugs, and sometimes their own droppings. And mice frequent dirty places such as dumpsters and trash cans.
Mice Reproduce Faster Than Rabbits
When mice get into a home, they can reproduce quickly. A mouse can reach sexual maturity in as little as 35 days from the time it's born. So a litter of 3 to 14 pups can turn a small infestation into a big one in under 2 months.
Mice Can Cause More Problems Than You Realize
- Mice spread harmful bacteria, human pathogens and parasitic worms.
- Mice have powerful front teeth that help them chew through wood and other building materials.
- Mice rip up insulation, wallpaper, and cardboard from stored boxes to gather materials for their nests.
- Mice soak areas with their urine and leave their droppings in many places.
- Mice spread ticks, fleas and other ectoparasites around.
- Mice get into food packages and taint the food within.
- Mice climb on pots, pans, dishes and silverware and contaminate them with harmful organisms on their fur.
- Mice chew on wires inside walls. This can lead to a house fire.
A Few Questions We Get About Mice
Can mice climb? Yes. Mice are great climbers. They're also great jumpers. Don't be surprised when you find a mouse in a place you wouldn't expect them to get into.
Are mice smart? Yes. Mice are highly intelligent rodents. When put through experiments, they have a surprising ability to solve puzzles and learn where traps are. Inside your home, they're going to be able to figure things out that would amaze you.
Are mice nocturnal? Yes. Mice prefer to do their foraging at night. They're getting up when you're going to bed. This is one of the reasons you probably won't hear mice moving around inside your home. They do it at night. If you do happen to hear scratching and bumping in the wall of your bedroom as you're going to bed, you might want to see that as a positive.
Is it common to get mice in your house? It depends on the house. There are many factors that attract mice to a home, such as birdseed scattered on the ground near a foundation wall. Mice are also more likely to get into a home that has an accessible entry point—though they are more than capable of making an entry point where there isn't one.
Traps are the best way to remove and exclude mice from your Pittsburgh home. Unfortunately, trapping mice isn't easy. There are many ways mice can outsmart your traps.
At Witt Pest Management, our licensed rodent control specialists use field-tested products and rodent control strategies to locate and remove mice. If you're noticing signs of mouse activity, reach out to us. It is never a good idea to let wild mice live inside your home.