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Why Do I Have Mice In My Home This Summer?

July 21, 2020


mice in short hills pantry scavenging for food

Just last week we discussed how the coronavirus is affecting the rat population in New Jersey and since then we’ve continued to see an increase in rodent activity throughout the counties we serve.  In fact, many homeowners have discovered mice in the attic, mice in their A/C units and elsewhere in and around their homes this summer. And if they haven’t found actual rodents, they’ve found signs of an infestation including rodent damage.

While mice and rats are active all year-round, they are typically most active in the fall when it’s time to find warm shelter where they can hide away during the cold winter months.  This year though, nothing is typical. COVID-19 has affected our lives in every way and that includes the pest pressures we are seeing.  Mice are commensal, that means they partially rely on us for survival.  Since the amount of food and waste that is normally produced in New Jersey cities is down, rodents are getting a bit more desperate, a bit more aggressive and are making their way into homes (and businesses) sooner than they normally would in order to find the elements they need to survive.  

Mice or rats?

One thing the Arrow team has noticed when speaking with concerned property owners is that they know they have a rodent problem and, in some cases, just assume its mice.  And it very well could be but with the current rat problem in our state, there’s also a good chance that homeowners are dealing with rats and not experiencing a mouse infestation.  Here are a couple of identifiers to help you tell the difference between mice and rats.

Appearance

Though they are similar in appearance, there are notable differences. For example, mice have smaller bodies with long, thin, hairy tails and triangular snouts and long whiskers.  Rats are larger bodied rodents with long, hairless, scaly tails and snouts that are blunter than mice. Both rodents may appear in shades of white, brown, gray, or black.

Feces

Mouse poop is small, dark in color, and shaped like rice (they have pointed ends).  Rat poop, on the other hand, is longer, darker and shinier, and has blunt ends. The volume of feces present is also an indication of the type of rodent. Mice produce more droppings in day than rats.  

Behavior

Curiosity has always been an attribute associated with cats but mice are very curious critters. In fact, their desire to explore new things (including mouse traps), makes them bolder than rats.  That said, they are timid creatures and are primarily nocturnal.  Rats are also mostly active at night but are more cautious than mice.  They will avoid new things until they have had time to get use to them.

How rodents get inside

If you’re dealing with a mouse infestation, you’ve probably asked yourself “how do mice get into my home?”. The answer is any way they can! Mice are opportunistic and will capitalize on any opening on the exterior of the home that their bodies can fit through. Unfortunately, an opening as big as the eraser on a pencil is all mice need to make their way inside. Gaps under doors, holes in screens, garage doors left open, openings around utility entrances, and vents not fitted with mesh are just a few potential entry points. Likewise, rats will take advantage of any opening that their bodies can fit through.  Though the openings they need are bigger, they would probably surprise you on how small a hole they can slip through.   

The roof is another area where mice and rats (primarily roof rat) may gain entry. Overhanging tree limbs serve as bridges and holes in the roof are ideal entry points.  Rodents may even chew through your soffits and other building materials and parts of the structure to get inside.

Damage caused by mice and rats

Left un-treated, rodent infestations can result in extensive damage.  With their chewing and nesting habits, mice and rats will damage:

  • Books, newspapers, clothing, and other personal belongings
  • Drywall and other building materials
  • Wooden and upholstered furniture
  • Air compressors in A/C units
  • Appliances

Additionally, rodents contaminate insulation with feces and urine and create fire hazards by chewing on electrical wires.

Get Rid Of Mice & Rats With Effective Rodent Control From Arrow

For over 45 years, Arrow Pest Control has been providing comprehensive rodent control in Short Hills, Elizabeth, and Maplewood as well as in communities throughout Essex, Union, Hudson, Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Ocean, and Somerset counties.  If you have a mouse infestation or a rat problem, give us a call.

Our local pest control professionals are well-trained in the best rodent control methods and will inspect your property to identify the rodent type and determine the severity of the infestation. Based on findings, your Arrow pest control technician will:

  • Eliminate the existing rodent population using proven rodent extermination methods
  • Implement exclusion measures to stop mice and rats from getting inside
  • Monitor for rodents using exterior bait stations
  • Point out potential hiding and breeding sites and make recommendations on how to make your property less attractive to rodents.

For more information about Arrow’s mouse control and rat exterminating services or to schedule your free estimate, please reach out today!

Tags: mice | rat control | mouse in the house | rodent control |



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