How Do Mice in Walls Survive?
Love them or hate them, almost every homeowner has encountered a mouse at least once in their home. These furry creatures are generally harmless in small numbers, but it can be a major pain when you have a large-scale infestation. Mice are usually attracted to your home seeking warmth, shelter, and food.
Mice will make themselves at home wherever they feel accepted. It’s important that you know of these areas and how to evacuate the rodent before reproducing.
Can a mouse live in a wall?
Mice can, and often do, live in hidden areas inside homes. They prefer storage boxes, lofts, basements, attics, and, of course, walls. Once mice gain entry into a home, they are difficult to get rid of because they can fit through small openings in floors, walls, and foundations. You can often detect that a mouse or mice are living in your walls because you will hear them scratching or running about at night. The best way to get rid of mice in walls is to set snap traps. Mice tend to run along the edges of walls when moving from room to room, so if you lay out a path of traps, you’re guaranteed to catch some.
If you suspect you have mice in your walls, don’t use poisonous traps. The mice will often retreat into a wall before dying. This will leave you with walls that smell like dead, decaying mice, and it could also attract other pests. If you do end up with dead mice in your wall, you will need to locate the corpse and remove it by cutting a hole in the drywall. Otherwise, the body could soon attract fleas and create an even larger pest situation.
What attracts mice in the home?
Mice generally first enter a home in the fall or winter months. Your home provides the necessary heat, food, and shelter they need to get through the colder months. While one mouse is generally not a problem, a single female mouse can birth five to ten litters, with up to six babies each, within the course of the year. A single pair of breeding mice can lead to a large-scale infestation in just a few short months.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent mice from entering your home. First, make sure all gaps and holes are sealed. Mice are incredibly agile, with the ability to fit into holes smaller than the diameter of a nickel. Replace all holes in screens, as well as those in floors, walls, foundations, vents, or chimneys.
Keeping your home clean and tidy can also prevent you from attracting mice. Mice seek easy food sources, so clean up any crumbs or spills as soon as they happen. Get rid of any clutter around and inside your home, as these provide good habitat for mouse nests. Mice like to use materials like old magazines, newspapers, clothing, and other fabrics to help build their nests. Removing these helps prevent the attraction they provide to mice for entering your home.
Mice are also attracted to easy food sources. Place all food or trash in sealed, airtight containers. This will also help eliminate other types of pests and sanitation problems.
How long do mice live up to?
While the average lifespan of a mouse will vary depending on the specific breed, health, location, and size of the rodent, most mice live about six months. In some cases, mice can live up to two years, especially if they live in ideal conditions. Ideal conditions are those in which they are provided with a steady supply of food and limited competition from natural predators or animals with similar diets. Often, you can inadvertently create these desirable conditions for mice inside your home.
How long does it take a mouse to die without food?
Most mice can live for only two or three days without food. Because mice are omnivores, they eat foods such as cereals, nuts, and seeds. Any food that you keep in your home can be attractive to mice, which is why a small population of mice living in your house can quickly turn into a full-blown infestation.
How can you tell if a mouse is a boy or a girl?
While most people don’t care to take the time to determine if a mouse is male or female, knowing the exact gender of a mouse can be helpful if you’re trying to determine whether you’ve found a breeding population in your home. There are several methods of sexing male mice, known as bucks, and female mice, known as a doe. It requires close attention and gentle inspection. Keep in mind that if you’re trying to determine the sex of a juvenile or baby mouse, this can be difficult, if not impossible.
Generally speaking, if a mouse has nipples, it is most likely female. Furthermore, you can also determine the sex of a mouse by looking at the distance between the mouse’s genital area and anus. A female mouse has a genital area that is closer to the anus, usually about a quarter of an inch apart. Females will also have an orifice near the urethra that looks like a bump. Males, on the other hand, have a genital area much further away from the anus. He will also have testicles, provided that they have already dropped.
How do you get rid of mice in the house?
There are several easy ways of removing mice from your home. If you have a dog or cat, these can help deter mice from entering your home in the first place. Cats are also great hunters and will help eliminate a mouse infestation once it has occurred.
You can also utilize natural or chemical repellents. A few natural, nontoxic repellants include mint, which provides an unpleasant odor to rodents, as do bay leaves. You can also use mothballs, odors or ultrasonic repellents. Keep in mind that mothballs are toxic to humans, so they should be used with caution. Similarly, if you use any chemical repellent, you should always check with an certified pest control specialist first, to make sure that the chemical is not toxic to you or to your pets.
A final option of controlling a mouse population is to set some traps. These traditional live traps are best placed near potential entryways. You can bait them with peanut butter or cheese. The mice will become trapped in the spring-loaded trap and you can release them at other times.
Contacting an Exterminator for Mice in Walls
If the infestation has grown out of control, consider contacting a certified pest control specialist or exterminator. These professionals will go through each possible entry point of your home and eliminate any temptations for mice to enter your home. They will also determine the size, scale, nature, and origin of your infestation, and take appropriate steps to mitigate and eliminate the population of mice. They will determine the best strategies and solutions for the infestation at your home, usually taking into account your budget, lifestyle, and concerns about safety.
Don’t let mice live rent-free in your home. Instead, take these steps to ensure you reduce your likelihood of a large-scale infestation.