Got Mice? Here’s How to Tell If You Have an Infestation in Your Home

A mouse sitting underneath some floorboard

With the weather in Overland Park getting colder as winter approaches, many critters such as mice and other rodents may find their way into your garage, attic, or even your house in search of shelter. While it is not unusual to spot a mouse inside your home this time of year, you may find yourself wondering if you are dealing with one stray mouse or a full-blown infestation that will need to be eliminated. Unfortunately, mice in your home can quickly reproduce, meaning that even if you’ve only seen one mouse, there could still be others elsewhere in your home. Luckily, it is easy to tell if you are dealing with a mouse infestation if you know what to look for. Keep reading for a look at some of the most common signs indicating that you have a mouse infestation in your home.


You See Droppings

One of the easiest ways to tell that you’re dealing with a mouse infestation is if you discover droppings in your home. Mouse droppings are dark brown or black and are shaped like a thin grain of rice. As they dry out, they turn more of a gray color and start to crumble or turn to dust. You are most likely to discover droppings in secluded spots near where mice are feeding or nesting, such as in drawers or cupboards. It is easy to tell if you are dealing with a single mouse or a widespread infestation based on the number of droppings you find. While finding a few droppings, or finding droppings in one place could mean that you are dealing with a single mouse, if you find large collections of droppings, and/or you find droppings in multiple locations throughout your home, then you are likely dealing with a bigger problem.   


There’s a Strong Odor in Your Home

Another clear sign of a mouse infestation in your home is if you start to notice a stale/ammonia-like smell that won’t go away. When mice are present, urine and feces will start to build up in your home, which can cause a strong smell to permeate your home. Additionally, if you have an infestation, mice will build nests and reproduce. Urine, feces, and nest material can all add up to create a fairly unpleasant aroma in your home. This smell will likely be most noticeable in enclosed areas where mice spend most of their time such as cabinets, drawers, and pantries. 

If you have tried cleaning out your pantry of stale food and airing out your home with fresh air and fans but there is still a stale smell in your home, then it is likely that a mouse infestation is to blame. The best way to get rid of this smell will be to reach out to a pest control specialist to eradicate your mouse infestation.


You Discover A Nest

If you have a mouse infestation in your home, the mice will likely build a nest in order to have a place to breed and raise their young. When mice build a nest, they will use any soft material they can scavenge such as shredded paper, bits of fabric, sawdust, and even fluff from your clothes or pillows. Since mice are primarily nocturnal, they tend to build their nests in dark places such as storage boxes, cabinets, and inside walls or ceilings. If you notice other signs that mice are present in your home (such as droppings), try to see if you can find their nest. Look in dark corners of your home for dirty clumps of soft debris that could act as a mouse’s nest. If you discover a nest, it is all but certain that you are dealing with a widespread mouse problem that will need to be eliminated.


Gnaw Marks

What many people don’t know about mice is that their incisors never stop growing. In order to keep their teeth at a manageable length, mice have to gnaw on hard materials such as wood, plastic, and even electrical wiring. If you have a mouse infestation, they can quickly damage furniture and wiring throughout your entire home, leaving behind distinctive gnaw marks. If you suspect that you have mice in your home, take some time to inspect your home for these telltale gnaw marks on furniture, cardboard boxes, and on food containers in your pantry. Extensive gnaw marks is a clear sign that you have a mouse infestation and you need to contact a pest control specialist. You may also need to have your home’s wiring inspected, as mice frequently cause dangerous electrical damage in homes where they have been present.


You Hear Strange Noises

Since mice are nocturnal, you are most likely to notice their presence at night when they are out and about scavenging for food. In fact, you may even be able to hear them scurrying about in the middle of the night. While you aren’t likely to hear much noise from a single mouse, if you have a full infestation you may hear scratching, squeaking, and gnawing sounds throughout your home in the middle of the night. Some people even report hearing so much noise in the middle of the night that they have a hard time sleeping. If you are being kept up at night by identified noises coming from your walls, cabinets, or from under your floorboards, then you likely have a significant mouse infestation in your home. 


If you discover a mouse in your Overland Park home, do not dismiss it as an isolated issue. The fact is that mice can quickly reproduce in your home, and you may have an infestation on your hands. If you discover evidence of a mouse in your home, it is critical that you contact a pest control service as soon as possible before the infestation gets out of control and becomes harder to treat. 


At Advantage Termite and Pest Control, we know the dangers that mice can present in your home, as they can quickly gnaw through wiring and infect the food in your pantry. If you believe that there are mice in your home, feel free to contact us for advice. As experts in our field, our pest control specialists can help create a customized plan to eliminate mice and other pests from your home.

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