Pest of the Month: Mice

picture of mouseA mouse (plural: mice) is a small rodent characteristically having a pointed snout, relatively large rounded ears and small, black eyes. They weigh about 1/2 ounce and usually are light brownish to gray. An adult is about 5 to 7 inches long, including the 3- to 4-inch tail. The best-known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus).

They are known to invade homes for food and shelter. Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks indicate areas where mice are active. Mouse nests are made from finely shredded paper or other fibrous material, usually in sheltered locations. House mice have a characteristic musky odor that reveals their presence. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours. Mice often live in hidden areas within homes, including storage boxes, attics, lofts and wall interiors.

How Mice Enter Homes

Mice enter homes through cracks and holes found in walls, floors and foundations. Residents commonly do not recognize mouse holes until other signs of their presence appear. As a result of dropping temperatures, mice start entering homes at the beginning of fall. After mice enter a structure and find it to be safe and warm, they rarely venture outside again.

Prevention

In order to prevent mice from entering the home, all cracks, openings and holes should be sealed. All doors and windows must close properly. Do not store any food outside or in basement storage. Store food indoors in glass, plastic or metal containers with tight lids, and be certain to dispose of all food waste as soon as possible.  Mice like to nest in leaf piles –  so please remove all property outside of apartments by October 1st so that leaves can be collected.  If you think you may have a mouse problem, place a work order through the online system, and it will be responded to within 24 hours. You may also contact a University Apartments pest control professional at (608) 262-1530 for help.