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Learning Centre

House Mice

Physical Characteristics
Brown or gray, it grows up to 8 in. 20 cm long, including a 4-in. 10-cm tail. It consumes almost anything edible, even sampling soap, paste, and glue. It matures quickly and is ready to mate two to three months after birth. In warm areas or heated buildings, it breeds throughout the year. Mice travel over their entire territory daily, investigating each new change or new object. Mice have poor vision relying on smell touch and hearing. Mice also have an excellent sense of balance, enabling them to travel along wires, ropes and similar thin objects. They are capable of leaping 12-16 inches vertically. They can run up any vertical surface (wood, brick, weathered sheet metal, cables, etc). Mice are generally nocturnal in nature.

Breeding Habits / Life Cycle
Mice breed throughout the year and can become pregnant within 48 hours of producing a litter. There are usually 6 mice per litter and females may produce 10 litters (50 young) per year. It takes 18-21 days for gestation and 35 days for a mouse to mature. Their lifespan is 15 to 18 months.

Nesting Habits / Feeding Habits
The house mouse has been distributed by humans from Eurasia to all inhabited areas of the world and usually seeks shelter and food in human dwellings. They make their nests out of any soft material and as many as 3 females may use the same nest. Mice usually only travel 12-20 feet from their nest. Nests are found in wall voids, under stoves and behind refrigerators. Mice normally feed 15-20 times per day and will eat anything humans eat. Mice are "nibblers" and do small amounts of damage to many food items rather than doing extensive damage to any one item. They normally feed at dusk or just before dawn. They have to consume 10%-15% of their body weight every 24 hours and require extremely small amounts of water.

Damage and Disease Risks
Mice dropping are smooth with pointed ends and are 3-5 mm long. In 6 months one pair of mice can eat 4lbs of food and produce 18,000 fecal droppings (50/day each). Mice droppings and urine can transmit salmonella and other food diseases. In order for a mouse to wear down their teeth, mice have to constantly nibble and chew on their surroundings (wires, cables, and other building structures).

Pest Control Services - House Mouse
House mice are the most common pest problem we see at Aanteater. Our technicians have done thousands of mice exterminations in homes and businesses in southern Ontario.
  1. Our service starts with one of Aanteaters exterminators making an inspection of your property to determine problem areas.
  2. The exterminator will use a variety of methods including baiting, exclusion and traps. Baits are placed only in areas inaccessible to children and pets with safety our highest priority.
  3. The technician will then determine how mice are gaining entry to your home or building and complete a written report locating these areas and detailing the best methods to seal all potential entry points.
  4. Finally, if requested the technician will give the home owner a quote to perform all necessary work detailed in the service report.
At Aanteater we believe the best pest control means removal of the underlying problem not simply masking the symptoms. If you have any questions please call your local 24 hour number or 1-888-390-7378. We would be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to prepare for a mouse treatment?
Clean up your kitchen to eliminate crumbs or other sources of food. Also disinfect areas where mice have been to eliminate scent trails and disrupt normal patterns of behaviour. This will force mice to spend more time searching for food and increase the likelihood of them encountering our control measures.Have children and pets out of the way when the service is done. Take note of any places of high rodent activity as this information may be of aid to your technician.

Do mice love cheese?
Actually mice donít even particularly like cheese. They love sweet foods like chocolate and peanut butter. They also like grains and meat.

Is it true that mice go outside in the spring and summer and only move indoors in the fall?
Mice are the most common pest to infest your home or office. Mice are always happy to move indoors however they do infest our homes more often in the winter. At Aanteater we normally see about twice as many mice indoors during the winter as in the summer.

Is having a mouse in your house an indication of poor sanitation?
We see mice in almost every neighbourhood.Large houses have more places that mice might gain entry. Itís a good idea to have a 3 ft. barrier around your house where there are no plants. This creates a sort of no mans land that mice are afraid to cross. Having your house professionally sealed from the outside will guarantee that mice are permanently excluded from your living space.

Do mice dropping pose a health hazard?
Many diseases are carried by mice and mouse droppings.

Salmonella: This is a bacterial infection caused by ingesting food contaminated with droppings. Usually symptoms are fairly mild however ingestion of large amounts of the bacteria may cause severe inflammation of the intestine and diarrhea. Individuals with suppressed immune systems may become seriously ill.

Leptospirosis: Although many animals are carriers of this disease it is most often spread to humans by food that may contain the urine from mice. Initial symptoms resemble the flu after which the patient will appear to recover until the second more serious phase occurs which may cause meningitis, liver or kidney failure and death.

Hantavirus: Rarer than Salmonella , this is probably the best known disease transmitted by mice. Hantavirus is transmitted through mouse droppings and may become airborne when the dropping dry out. Usually it starts with generalized symptoms (fatigue, fever and muscle aches) gradually becoming more severe over the course of about a week. Late symptoms are shortness of breath coughing and severe pressure around the chest as the lungs fill with fluid. Hantavirus is fatal in 38% of cases. Hantavirus is much more common in deer mice than in house mice although deer mice do commonly get into our homes and offices.

I was told that anticoagulant rodenticides dehydrate mice causing them to go off in search of water so that they often will die outside your house.
Actually it thins their blood making it impossible for them to get enough oxygen; the mice will gradually become tired then pass out, and are asphyxiated. Most often they will die in their nest site. A mouse has less than 2 ml of water in its entire body and it is very rare that you will notice any smell.

Does attaching a special one way mouse door to the exterior of your house and then sealing up all other potential entry points a good method of removing mice from your house?
House mice often will never leave your house once they have entered. Mice do not need to drink water; they get all the water they require in the foods they eat. Attaching one way doors to the exterior of your house is a very ineffective method of eradicating mice. Sealing the exterior of a house after the mouse population has been eradicated will insure that you are not reinfested again.

Where do mice live in my house?
Mice will live in any dark void within the infrastructure of your house. Favourite place include under the kitchen cupboards, buried in insulation in the attic, under bathtubs and between floors.

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