You may never come across signs of mice in your home, even when they are there. But when the mouse population grows, or when us humans are particularly sensitive to their presence, it becomes much easier to spot the tell-tale signs that mice have taken up residence.
Mice are nocturnal creatures so the signs of their activity will be subtle, but many SUPERPROOF customers do say they also see mice, which prompts them to take action. Here are 10 signs of mice in the home, and how they can be interpreted:
1. Scratching sounds in walls and ceilings
Mice set up home in cavities and cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, and roof spaces, only coming out at night to search for food. Mice are generally very quiet animals, but they can make noise a bit like scratching sounds in walls and ceilings, which can be very disconcerting for home owners. Often, these noises are not caused by mice moving, but by them burrowing or gnawing on material, such as plasterboard, wood, or, even worse, wiring. This may be to create a new route through your property, or to create a nest.
2. Mice droppings
Often the first thing people notice is signs of mice droppings. These are small and dark – around 5mm in length, and can be scattered around your home, because mice defecate a lot, up to 80 times a night. As mice like to stay away from open spaces, you might find these faeces in cupboards, and along skirting boards. Though mice can reach every corner of your home, so you may also find them on kitchen counters and window sills.
3. Urine pillars
Where infestations have become particularly heavy, grease, dirt, and hair can combine with mouse urine to create what are known as urine pillars. These small mounds indicate that mice have been active in the space for some time.
4. Grease rubs
Mice have glands that produce oil to keep their coats in good condition. As mice move around a property, using regular routes, this oil, combined with hair and dirt, is left as marks know as grease rubs where the rodents brush up against walls, doors and furniture. These are often found along what are known as rodent runways, regular routes taken by mice between nesting sites and food sources.
5. Mouse smells
Mice urine has a strong smell, a bit like ammonia. Often, the first sign of mice infestation is when people notice this acrid smell lingering in the property. Especially first thing in the morning, before a home is aired, and human smells, like cooking, can mask the mouse odour. The stronger the smell, the worse the infestation you face.
6. Track prints
No matter how good we are at cleaning our homes, dust and dirt still builds up in out-of-sight and hard-to-reach corners. These dusty areas can reveal tell-tale signs of mice, as they leave footprints or tail marks, as they move about.
7. Damage to foodstuffs and furnishings
Mice take up residence because us humans leave food where they can reach it. Often, this will be crumbs dropped on floors, and kicked under cupboards. But mice are expert foragers, so they can just as easily nibble their way into a cereal or biscuit box, or a plastic container. They will also chew through furniture and furnishings, either to gain new access points, or to gather material for nests.
8. Unusual pet activity
It is a myth that cats will always catch mice. Some will not be bothered by them at all. But both cats and dogs are inquisitive animals, so if they appear to be taking an interest in a particular spot under a kitchen cupboard, it’s a sign that mice might be present. Remember, cats and dogs have much better hearing than us humans, so they might detect mice long before we notice them.
9. Live or dead mice
Mice like to stay out of the limelight and usually come out into human space only at night, but it is possible to see them. As mouse populations grow, so do food demands. Also, mice can become bolder, if they do not feel threatened. Both these factors increase the chance that they will forage during the day.
Our customers often report seeing things out of the corner of their eye. This is often a mouse darting from cover to cover. Another sign of mice is their remains when they die. Usually, they will crawl into a hidden space to die, but you may come across a mouse body out in the open. Or you may smell a mouse decomposing in a wall or ceiling cavity, or within or under furniture.
Just as some people are allergic to cats or dogs, allergies can be triggered by the presence of mice. These are commonly triggered by mouse faeces or urine. So, if you start to feel fatigued or ill, and there is no other obvious reason, it could be a sign of mice in your home, and your allergic reaction to them.
How to get rid of mice
Spotting the signs of mice is one thing. Once you have identified that you have a mouse control problem in your property, the question is: what are you going to do about it? Mice have evolved to live alongside humans. They have developed strategies to resist our attempts to dislodge them. Think about it: mice have lived in our homes for tens of thousands of years. All that time, the conventional methods for trying to get rid of them has been to poison them and trap them, and they are still with us.
Mouse proofing is best
SUPERPROOF provides an innovative and effective way to get rid of mice – mouse proofing. The process is explained by our How to Get Rid of Mice page. We use our mouse behaviour expertise to identify all potential entry points for mice into your home, and then block them effectively.
That way, mice cannot access the food they need to survive. Therefore, they must move to another property, or perish. Have you got signs of mice in your home? If so, choose the most effective, long-term, humane, and guaranteed way to get rid of them. Call SUPERPROOF today on 0808 133 2330.