General Mice Facts
Mice are members of the rodent family and are usually smaller than rats. Their bodies weigh between 11 and 22 grams, depending on the type of mouse. Mice are amazing climbers and their color is usually grayish brown, and some species have white markings. Mice have poor vision and are colorblind. A mouse’s other senses, especially its hearing, are keen. House mice, deer mice and white-footed mice are some of the most common mouse pests in the United States. You can tell house mice from the others since their eyes are usually smaller.
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Frequently Asked Mice Questions
Q-1. Where do mice live?
Q-2. When are mice most active?
Q-3. What foods do mice eat?
Q-4. I have mice in my attic, walls, kitchen, food storage room, or crawlspace. How did they get there?
Q-5. Why should I learn how to get rid of mice in my crawlspace, kitchen, food storage room, ceiling, walls or attic?
Q-6. I have mice in my attic, walls, kitchen, pantry, or crawlspace. Will they cause any damage?
Q-7. I heard mice carry diseases. Is that true?
Q-8. I heard insects live on mice. Is that true?
Q-9. Will mice hurt my dog or cat?
Q-10. I want to trap or kill the mice myself. Is that ok?
How can United Wildlife's mouse pest control help me get rid of my mouse problem?
Q-12. What are United Wildlife's payment options for mouse removal or to get rid of mice?
What should I do after United Wildlife mice control removes the mice?
Q-1. WHERE DO MICE LIVE?
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A. Many species of house mice live all across the United States. Deer mice are also found throughout most of North America, but white-footed mice mostly live east of the Rocky Mountains. Very urban and very rural areas attract mice either because of garbage or crops, respectively.
In the outdoors, farms, fields, wooded areas and vacant lots provide excellent mouse homes. Mice will often build nests in underground burrows or at ground level. They’ll line their nests with cloth and paper; mouse nests look like a ball loosely woven together.
More often than not, house mice, deer mice and white-footed mice move into human territory. Mice will burrow into sheds, homes, businesses, porches, decks, attics, crawlspaces and woodpiles to create a home. They will enter foundation openings, scurry under door thresholds, and climb walls and stucco to get to kitchens, pantries and food-storage areas.
As humans build their homes and businesses closer and closer to natural mouse habitat, the mice take up residence in manmade living spaces. These locations are warm and often surrounded by food sources for both male and female mice, young and old. Female mice, in particular, enjoy the safety of human areas. They must protect their babies from predators. Areas like woodpiles, leaf piles and stacks of bricks also serve as mouse shelters outside your home or business.
Attics, walls, kitchens, pantries, storage rooms and crawlspaces are hot spots in your home where mice seek shelter. Some mothers go so far as to tuck their babies down into crawlspaces, between floors, in wall cavities, in storage areas and in attic insulation. Mice will also live between floors in two- or three-story homes and businesses. Some mice enjoy living in large electrical appliances, such as in the backside of an oven, where they can cause lots of mice oven damage. Mice love areas of the kitchen, including drawers holding food, storage boxes and foodstuffs. They also like to live in clothing.
Q-2. WHEN ARE MICE MOST ACTIVE?
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A. Mice will most commonly enter the attic, walls or crawlspace in the fall because there is a scarcity of seeds and plants outside. Mice are mostly nocturnal, so you won’t see them out much during the day. They usually start to become active around dusk, when they go looking for food and water. If there are a lot of mice in your storage room, attic, or kitchen, some mice may venture out to find food during the day.
Female mice are only pregnant for about three weeks, and then they have a litter of five to six babies. Though the hairless babies look very helpless, they grow up fast—they’ll be independent in about a month. The average mouse female has five to ten litters a year. You can see how one or two mice in the attic or walls can become 20 in no time.
House mice will usually travel no more than 10 to 30 feet from their nests to find food or water. White-footed and deer mice travel much farther, often several acres. Because of this limited range, they can be much more difficult to control than rats, which travel greater distances.
Q-3. WHAT FOODS DO MICE EAT?
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A. Mice are omnivores, meaning they will eat just about anything. Some mice prefer meat over other foods, while other mice prefer grains, fruits and vegetable matter over meats. Mice are considered nibblers since they are not afraid of trying new foods. Even when grains and seeds, their ideal foods, are present, mice may sample chocolates, bacon, and other foods high in protein and sugar.
Unlike rats, mice can survive on little or no water, though they will drink water if it is available. Mice extract their water from the foods that they eat.
Mice also like to feed on garbage in kitchens and food storage rooms if they are living near humans. Dumpsters provide an easy and plentiful source of mouse food. Landfills, garbage dumps and unkempt yards are full of mouse food, also.
Q-4. I HAVE MICE IN MY ATTIC, WALLS, KITCHEN, FOOD STORAGE ROOM OR CRAWLSPACE. HOW DID THEY GET THERE?
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A. Mice are thought to be the most common mammal living in cities, besides humans, and mice only need a ¼-inch hole to access your house or business. Mice in homes are a very common, yet annoying, occurrence. Mice will get into any opening they can squeeze their heads through, including fireplaces, chimney flues, roof vents, loose siding, garage doors and soffit gaps. They can gnaw into a roof’s overhangs, shingles, gable and soffit areas and where two roofs meet, or simply anywhere they sense a void. Mice can even get into the attic through crevices in the chimney, through loose brick, stucco gaps, and at points where water lines and wires enter the home.
Getting onto your roof is no trick, either. Mice are excellent climbers. Mice will climb right up wood siding, stucco, brick and trees to gain access to the house. Jumping and swimming are other ways mice have been known to gain entry into a house or building.
Q-5. WHY SHOULD I LEARN HOW TO GET RID OF MICE IN MY ATTIC, KITCHEN, FOOD STORAGE ROOMS, CEILING, WALLS OR CRAWLSPACE?
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A. Once mice get cozy in your attic, walls, or crawlspace, they can make a mess and cause a lot of damage that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. They will also return year after year, using your attic as a home base — they have no problem living alongside humans. The holes that mice use as an entry will become a great place for leaks to form and a passageway for other animals, including rats, chipmunks, bats, honeybees and insects.
Mouse noises in the walls, ceiling, attic or crawlspace can be very irritating and loud. You may hear mice gnawing, climbing, scratching, squeaking and fighting right above your head as you try to sleep.
If a house mouse, deer mouse or white-footed mouse should choose to die in a wall, closet, food storage area or ceiling, the dead mouse odor will emanate into the living quarters, causing headaches and nausea. Mice bodies can take up to eight weeks to decompose, and for the dead mouse smell to stop.
If you have a mouse infestation in your attic it will tempt raccoons, rats and squirrels to enter the attic, too. Raccoons, rats and squirrels will hunt down mice that may already be living in the attic, and then feed on the mouse’s existing food supply.
Mice will tear into areas of your home or business and haunt it for years to come. Sometimes, so many shack up that the space becomes a mouse hotel.
All these mouse pest problems will affect the value of your property. It is difficult to sell a home that has a mouse infestation and actually, it’s required by law that you fix the mouse problem before you sell your home. Property value can decrease between five percent and ten percent due to mouse problems. It’s also dangerous to allow a mouse infestation to continue because of flood and fire hazards, disease and contamination.
Q-6. I HAVE MICE IN MY ATTIC, WALLS, KITCHEN, PANTRY OR CRAWLSPACE. WILL THEY CAUSE ANY DAMAGE?
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A. House mice are considered some of the most troublesome rodents in the United States. An attic that has served as a mouse home may have shredded ductwork. Mice may tunnel through the insulation, rendering it less effective. Chewing on wires and tearing insulation off pipes is not uncommon. You may come home from vacation to find your home has flooded because of mice chewing on water lines. This kind of damage to your residence can pose a fire hazard, raise your utility bills and cost thousands of dollars in repairs.
House mice, deer mice and white-footed mice also go to the bathroom just like any other animal. Your insulation will become a trampled bed of mouse fecal matter and urine. Eventually, these bathroom smells can spread into your living area, causing a very unpleasant odor. You might get used to it, but your house guests, neighbors and prospective homebuyers will not. The smells from mouse urine and rod-shaped mouse poop attract other mice and rodents.
Though mice are small and don’t eat large quantities, they do graze and nibble a lot. It is very easy for mice to live in the attic but they can venture down through a wall void to your kitchen at night while you sleep. Though they will not eat very much of your food, they will contaminate a lot of it with their urine, droppings and hair.
If a mouse is nesting in your oven or other large electrical appliance, it can cause damage to the appliance’s insulation and wiring, creating a severe fire hazard in your home. But what if the mice just live in my attic, you say. Mice can do considerable damage to stored items like photos, books and other heirlooms which can be impossible to replace.
Mice keep their teeth worn down by gnawing on surfaces. You may wonder why there are chew marks on your rafters and doors or why there are fresh wood shavings in your attic. This is probably because a mouse has been honing its teeth in your attic. Along with chew marks, mice will leave greasy tracks and fur along their normal routes of travel.
Q-7. I HEARD MICE CARRY DISEASES. IS THAT TRUE?
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A. Mice’s reputation as dirty animals is 100 percent accurate. House mice, deer mice and white-footed mice are primary carriers of leptospirosis, salmonella, Mousebite fever, ricketsiallpox, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tapeworms, ringworms and hantavirus.
Humans become infected with leptospirosis when they come into contact with water, food or soil containing urine from an infected mouse. If a mouse has been scurrying around in your food or water, leptospirosis can be easily transmitted once you consume that food and water. The disease starts out with flu-like symptoms which can develop into liver failure or meningitis.
Mice carry the bacteria salmonella. People who pick up salmonella bacteria can become seriously ill with diarrhea, vomiting, fever and chills. Salmonella can also affect the blood. Mouse salmonella can be spread through mouse droppings.
Humans may contract Mousebite fever from a mouse bite, hence the disease’s name. But humans can also get Mousebite fever by coming into contact with mouse urine or nose, mouth or eye secretions of a sick mouse. Rash, flu-like symptoms and heart illnesses can all be symptoms of Mousebite fever.
Ricketsiallpox is characterized by a rash at the site of a mite bite. Mice carry around a colorless mite, which then can be transferred to humans and bite them. After the rash appears, humans can also get fever, chills and headaches.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a virus that can infect humans when they come into contact with mouse droppings and urine. It can lead to inflammation of the brain and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women, in whom it can cause abortion and retardation of the fetus.
Tapeworms and ringworms are parasites of the digestive system that live in human intestines.
Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted through mouse excretions. Humans can get it by breathing in the airborne virus. Hantavirus can cause fever, muscle aches, cough and respiratory failure and, potentially, death.
Q-8. I HEARD INSECTS LIVE ON MICE. IS THAT TRUE?
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A. Mice are also heavily infested with pests, which can spread into your home or business searching for hosts. Lice, fleas and mites are all known carriers of disease.
Several cases of mites biting humans indoors have been reported.
If a mouse brings fleas into your home, most likely the biting bug will hop onto your house pet’s back. Once inside, large flea populations can build up quickly. Fleas live on the outside of their hosts’ bodies and need to feed on blood in order to produce eggs.
Mice carry two kinds of lice—one bites its host and the other sucks the host’s blood. Lice can cause hair loss and itching, and can transmit parasites.
A bug living in a mouse nest can become an infestation in your kitchen, pantry or carpet in no time. One or two mites may stray from the mouse nest and crawl along your kitchen table. But if the mouse abandons its nest for any reason, the whole caboodle of mouse bugs will enter your home, looking for a new host. This is why it’s especially important to have our mouse-control experts remove mouse nests and other garbage after all the mice have been exterminated.
Mice are a liability for businesses and restaurants. Mouse bugs and illnesses may infect your employees, guests or food. There are documented cases of illnesses occurring in these situations, and the plaintiff successfully sues the owner of the business. State health departments may shut down a business if it has a mouse infestation. Also, if you are an employer and your workers’ environment is being contaminated by mice, you will see a drop in productivity due to illness. Remember, United Wildlife’s mouse pest control experts can eradicate and manage a pest infestation brought in by a mouse. Call 1-888-488-1415.
Q-9. WILL MICE HURT MY DOG OR CAT?
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A. Because of mouse diseases and mouse insects, house mice, deer mice and white-footed mice living in your attic, kitchen, pantry, storage room, walls or crawlspace can pose a danger to house pets. Mice may also bite your dog or cat and transmit any of the diseases listed above.
Q-10. I WANT TO TRAP OR KILL THE MICE MYSELF. IS THAT OK?
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A. We understand the desire to take care of a mouse problem yourself. It may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, but in the long run, you could put yourself, your family and your home at risk of damage, distress and disease.
Using only store-bought mouse traps and mouse poison is not a good option to get rid of mice. Mice have a keen sense of direction, and they are always memorizing their pathways to food and water. Mice also have an amazing sense of taste. They can sniff out contaminants and poison with no problem, and may become bait-shy to certain types of kill baits or poisons. It is quite hard to fool a mouse with poisons and traps because of this.
The mouse removal experts at United Wildlife will humanely trap any existing house mice, deer mice and white-footed mice and then offer mouse prevention ideas and techniques. United Wildlife’s mouse exterminators use multi-dose versus single-dose poisons so the mice don’t become bait shy. United Wildlife’s mouse control only uses mouse poison outside the home, and never inside.
A homeowner may successfully trap and kill an adult mouse, only to smell the nasty odor of baby mouse carcasses rotting in the attic or walls. It can take between four to seven weeks, depending on the size, for a mouse body to decompose, and even longer for the odor to dissipate. Along with dead mice come maggots and other bugs, including fly larvae.
Q-11. HOW CAN UNITED WILDLIFE’S MICE PEST CONTROL HELP ME GET RID OF MY MOUSE PROBLEM?
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A. United Wildlife's specialty is the removal of house mice, deer mice and white-footed mice from attics, walls, crawlspaces, ceilings, sheds, porches and other hard-to-reach locations through special mouse trapping techniques, mouse repellents, mouse poisons and use of fiber-optic and infrared cameras. Depending on city, county, federal and state law, the mice will either be relocated or euthanized once they are taken away. No matter the course of action, the mice will be treated in a humane manner.
If a mouse has already died under or in your home, porch or business, our professional mouse trappers offer dead mouse removal services and can also help clear odors caused by dead mice.
We are professional mouse trappers who will travel to any location to get the mice out. We can do professional phone and Internet coaching for those who live in remote areas and want to perform pest control for mice by using digital pictures sent by e-mail. Either way, we will work with you to solve your mouse invasion. There is not a mouse problem that can’t be solved with United Wildlife’s professional mouse trapping service. Call us at 1-888-488-1415.
Q-12. WHAT ARE UNITED WILDLIFE’S PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR MOUSE REMOVAL OR TO GET RID OF MICE?
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A. Call United Wildlife’s mouse trapping specialists at 1-888-488-1415 and we’ll give you our rates. We charge incrementally per mouse, number of service calls and time spent on the project. Prices will vary depending on the severity of the mouse problem. Depending on the amount of mice and where they are living, you may be able to assist us with the mouse problem as we are dealing with it. There is no free government service that takes care of mouse control. The good news is, insurance companies will often pay for some, if not all, of the costs incurred to get rid of mice.
United Wildlife mouse experts accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We also take purchase orders and cash.
Q-13. WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER UNITED WILDLIFE MOUSE CONTROL REMOVES THE MICE?
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A. After our mouseremoval experts have taken care of the mouse problem, it is best to contain or properly secure any food sources the mice may have been enjoying such as garbage cans, dumpsters and the like. Don’t entice other house mice, white-footed mice or deer mice to return. We will also help you make sure the building is in proper repair to deter any future furry friends from entering.
United Wildlife’s mouse blockers can install special products which block mice from entering your attic, walls, crawlspace, commercial or industrial areas.
Cleaning up mouse droppings, urine and nesting material is crucial in the mouse prevention process. If you leave any mouse waste behind, it will entice other mice to come make a home in your house or business and the mess will provide a breeding ground for mouse disease. United Wildlife can help with hantavirus clean-up, attic decontamination and mouse odor control needs. United Wildlife’s attic clean-out technicians can remove contaminated insulation and install new insulation when the mouse contamination is great.
Do remember that mice are wild and unpredictable. Though we have years of experience in the mouse removal field, a particular mouse situation may require that we return more than once to get the job done right and to prevent mice from living under or in your house or business in the future. Incremental pricing will apply for our professional mouse removal and all mouse solutions are custom-made and custom-priced.
In the end, if you’re happy with our experienced, professional mouse exterminators, any referrals are always appreciated.