Mice are the smallest animals we deal with on a regular basis. But don't let their small size fool you: Mice can be a big problem.
In fact, the mouse's diminutive size and inquisitive nature are two of the reasons why mice are such a big problem. Their small size allows them to travel through openings that larger animals can't get through, and their natural curiosity leads them to explore more than animals like rats that tend to be more suspicious and cautious.
What this means is that mice tend to get a lot closer to where we live than other animals do, such as in our cupboards where we store our food, or in our drawers and cabinets where they pee and poop all over our tableware and cooking utensils. They also can get into the heating and cooling ducts, where the airflow blows the odors and germs associated with their bodies, urine, and droppings all throughout your home.
Some of the diseases carried or transmitted by mice are very serious. For example, mice are known to be involved in spreading:
Like we said, mice are small animals that can be a big problem.
A lot of folks raise their eyebrows when they hear about mouse damage. After all, how much damage can a mouse do? The answer is quite a bit.
The most potentially serious damage done by mice occurs when they gnaw on electrical wiring. If they gnaw on electrical power lines, they can cause fires. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association estimates than thousands of homes are lost every year due to mice and other animals gnawing on wiring.
Mice can also damage low-voltage wiring such as television antenna cables, doorbell wires, and telephone and Ethernet (computer networking) cables. These low-power lines don't carry enough electricity to start a fire, but they can knock out whatever services depend upon them and can be expensive to replace. Computer data centers and other places where maintaining network uptime is critical consider a single mouse to constitute a major emergency.
Finally, mice can do major damages to stored items, especially clothing, shoes, books, and furniture. Like all rodents, mice are gnawers. In addition, their droppings and urine can contaminate and stain stored items (especially non-washable items like books and artwork).
The vast majority of exterminating companies treat for mice using poisons as their first line of attack. They may do a bit of sealing here and there, but rodenticides are the thrust of their treatment program.
That's exactly the wrong way to treat a mouse problem.
There are many reasons not to use rodenticides to treat for mice. For one thing, the mice may very well die inside a wall, ceiling, or other structural void. The common belief that mice "go out and seek water" after eating the poison is nonsense. Mice die where they live. And once they die, they smell. How bad the smell will be will depend on how many mice died, where they died, the temperature and humidity, and other factors; but one thing we can be sure of is that the smell won't be good. The mouse's carcass will also be a breeding medium for insects, especially flies.
Another problem with rodenticides is that they may be set out for mice, but they can also kill larger animals. In the case of other rodents (like squirrels and rats), they may eat the bait and be directly poisoned. If that happens, and the animal dies inside your home, you will have a major odor problem and most likely a major fly problem.
Most rodenticides can also kill animals that don't directly eat the bait, but that do eat rodents. Most mouse and rat poisons don't kill the animals right away. Most of them take several days. If an animal like a dog, cat, carnivorous wild animal, or bird of prey eats a mouse or rat that's been poisoned, there's a chance that that animal will also get sick or die. We call that secondary poisoning.
Finally, killing mice with poisons is, at best, a temporary solution. Chances are that you'll have to pay the exterminator to come back and refill the bait stations when "new" mice get into the house and replace the "old" mice. More than likely this will happen again, and again, and again, most likely in the fall of every year, when mice start migrating inside.
That's why at Rid-A-Critter, we don't rely on poisons for mouse control. In fact, we complete most mouse extermination jobs using no poisons at all. We concentrate on trapping the mice who are already in the house, and then performing exclusion ("mouse-proofing") of your home to make sure that "new" mice don't move in to replace the "old" mice that we removed.
Our environmentally-responsible, non-chemical mouse control system avoids all the pitfalls of using poisons, provides long-lasting control, and eliminates the chances of a non-target animal being poisoned. It's the right way to do mouse extermination.
Here are a few pictures of mouse-control jobs we've done in the Macon, Georgia area.
Mouse hole on the outside of a Zebulon home
Mouse damage to a car's electrical system
Mice got into a home through the A/C line
Mouse droppings inside a wall in Macon
Mice increase cooling costs by gnawing insulation
Mouse gnawing can cause electrical fires
Mice damaged these books stored in an attic
Mouse damage to pipe insulation in an attic
Miouse damage to a dresser drawer
Mouse poison left by one of our competitors
Mouse burrows through attic insulation in Macon
Gap in garage door allowed mice to get in
Mouse hole in a crawl space in Macon
Mouse damage to HVAC ducts in an attic
Mouse-proof dryer vent installed on a house
Mouse hole in a vent in Thomaston
Gap under bay window allowed mice into home
Wires gnawed by mice create a fire hazard
The classic mouse hole!
Mouse nest in the engine compartment of a truck
Mouse hole around an electrical ground
Rid-A-Critter provides environmentally-friendly mouse control throughout the Macon, Georgia area. Please contact us for more information and a no-obligation inspection.