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Why Are Mice A Problem

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  • 27-05-2021
Why Are Mice A Problem

Why are mice a problem? This article looks at why it is bad to have mice  in your house and the problems that they cause. 

Why Are Mice A Problem?

Mice have a strange reputation. They are often compared to rats and found to be far less problematic in comparison. 

When you think of rats, I would imagine a lot of negative imagery comes to mind, while when you think of mice, you might imagine Stewart little or some sort of cute pet. The reality is that mice are just as problematic as rats. Rats and mice both multiply at an incredible rate when left to their own devices. 

This rate of breeding increases exponentially as their young reach sexual maturity, which typically occurs when a mouse is six weeks old. If left unchecked, a single pregnant mouse living in your home could become hundreds of mice after only a few months. 

These mice can and will get everywhere. Your cupboards, your walls, your fridge, your furniture, nowhere is out of reach for a mouse due to the fact that they are adept climbers and much smaller than most rats. 

While they wander around, they will be dragging filth all over the place and leaving droppings wherever they go. In this way, they can even be worse than rats. This is because, unlike rats, who tend to leave droppings in a single area regularly, mice will poop anywhere. 

Mice also have the perception of being somewhat less filthy than rats, and while that may have a measure of truth to it, that doesn't mean they aren't also rodents, known to carry dozens of diseases harmful to humans.

So yes, mice are a problem and need to be handled quickly and efficiently lest you wind up with a rodent infestation on your property. 

Why Mice Are Bad In Your House?

Unless they are domestic mice that you are keeping as pets, there are no circumstances where mice in your house is a good thing. 

You might think that rabbits breed quickly, but the rate at which mice can multiply puts the fluffy bunnies to shame. Many rodent species are like this. Their breeding rate is one of the reasons they are so virulent and so difficult to deal with once they get dug into a place.

brown-mouse

And naturally, with all of the little mice babies being produced, they have to eat something. It just so happens that the closest and most available food source is your pantry, fridge and trash. 

Not only will they do their level best to get into your food supply, making it unsafe for human consumption in the process, but mice also need to entertain themselves. 

So what does a mouse do in its spare time when it isn't eating, sleeping or breeding? It's most likely chewing on something. Mice will take a bite out of just about anything but they in particular love chewing on things you really wish they wouldn't like the wiring in your walls. 

This can quickly lead to some pretty severe fire hazards if the mice manage to chew through certain wires as exposed wires can spark, and the inside of your walls is often filled with things like insulation and wood fibres which are all very flammable. 

Why Are Mice Harmful?

Mice are rodents, and one of the first things people attribute to rodents is their propensity for transmitting disease. This perception exists for a very good reason as mice are known carriers of some very nasty diseases, and they are just as good as rats when it comes to passing it on to humans and pets. 

This is because mice will eat up to 20 times a day and will try and make their nests close to their preferred food source. This means that with their regular thoroughfare, the family of mice will traipse filth, droppings and urine all over and around whatever food source they can gain access to. This faecal matter is the mode of transmission for most rodent-borne diseases, of which there are three of particular note:

Hantavirus

Hantavirus is a rodent-borne disease often attributed to rats, but it is also carried by various species of mice, such as deer mice. 

The Hantavirus is a potentially lethal disease that is typically contracted when dried urine and faeces becomes dry and produces dust which is then inhaled by a human. 

The symptoms of Hantavirus include fever, shortness of breath and eventually acute renal failure, which results in death.

Salmonella

Most commonly associated with eating raw chicken, the salmonella bacteria is also carried by rodents such as mice and rats. 

Salmonella is commonly contracted when touching a contaminated surface or food item and then proceeding to eat something. 

The problem with salmonella is that its symptoms can often be mistaken for food poisoning but worse. 

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis

Also known as LCMV, this disease is typically transmitted by rodents when a human touches or otherwise comes into contact with some of their fresh faecal matter or urine. 

Nesting materials can also cause LCMV due to the fact they are likely covered in the mice bodily fluids and mouse droppings. This disease can cause severe neurological damage. 

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis

What Problems Do Mice Cause?

Besides the damage mice cause to the infrastructure and electronics of a house and the countless diseases they carry, there are more health hazards they pose to humans and our pets. Rodents are not clean animals. 

This is both due to the unsanitary conditions they usually live in as well as the fact that they don't clean themselves much. This makes rodents prime carriers for not just microbial disease and viruses but also parasites. Fleas and ticks are just some of the more common creatures that you will often find on rodents. 

Having a mouse problem will bring these parasites into a home where they will multiply along with the mice themselves. By having a mouse infestation, likely, your home will also become a haven for fleas and ticks, which each come with their own heap of problems and health hazards.

In particular, fleas are terrible for pets such as dogs and cats, and the ticks are potential carriers of one of the worst diseases known to man, the black plague. 

Pest Advice For Controlling House Mice

We would advise a 3 step response to get rid of mice in your home.

Step One
The first step is to prevent them from settling into your house in the first place. This can be easier said than done as your average house mouse and rodents like them are infamously tenacious and crafty. 

Your best bet will be to identify gaps in your walls and the entry points into your home where you think a mouse could fit through. An adult mouse only needs a 5mm gap to squeeze through somewhere, so be thorough and block them all off. Keeping your property clean and tidy helps as well by denying them potential food sources and hiding spots to build a nest. 

wood-mouse Pest Advice For Controlling House Mice

Step Two
The next step if prevention fails is to call a professional pest control service. This should be the only step you need, but if, for whatever reason, you don't want to call for an exterminator, then you can move straight to step 3. 

Professional pest control specialists are perfectly qualified to make a mouse infestation go away. They have experience and training that allows them to know what methods to use as well as equipment that is not commercially available such as powerful poisons. 

Step Three
The final step that you should only take as a last resort is DIY solutions. You will be able to find a large variety of mouse traps and poisons designed to catch and kill mice at your local DIY store, as well as a number of tutorials and guides online on how to go about it in a safe and effective manner. 

The problem is that these commercially available solutions are often not effective at completely getting rid of or controlling the threat, so it will likely be a long and arduous process unless you can deal with the infestation in its infancy. 


Are you experiencing a mouse pest infestation in the Stevenage or surrounding Hertfordshire areas?

If you are worried that your home or the exterior of your home has a bug or pest problem or infestation we can help.