Did you know that 82% of American homes have mice allergens floating around?
While this doesn’t guarantee an active infestation, it does mean mice have been in and around your Billings home at some point. Since performing an allergen test on your home isn’t exactly feasible, you can check for other common signs of a rodent infestation.
And these checks are the important first step in mice pest control.
By understanding what you’re dealing with right from the start, you can figure out the right pest control method and rid your home of these filthy pests for good.
Today, Best Pest Control in Billings, Montana breaks down everything you need to know about spotting an infestation and what your next steps should be to address the issue.
Signs of a Mouse Infestation
Mice infestation can happen quickly. A female mouse can give birth to up to 60 babies a year. This means it’s important to catch an infestation early.
With mice, it’s not just about protecting your food. Mice carry many diseases that can be harmful to humans. This includes gastrointestinal issues that can carry over from contaminated food.
You’ll want to check your Billings home carefully, looking for signs in dark spaces, gaps, and likely paths. Use a flashlight when searching to help you locate tell-tale signs.
What exactly are you looking for though to determine if you need mice pest control?
The most common indicator of an infestation is finding mouse droppings. These will be small pointed pellets and usually plentiful. If they’re fresh, they will be shiny.
If the droppings are old, they may look like piles of dirt around common areas. The likely places to find mouse droppings include:
- Around food supplies
- Along baseboards
- Behind appliances
- In cabinets or pantries
- Behind furniture
All the areas that mice usually travel or congregate are likely to have mouse droppings. If you find old droppings, it may mean you no longer have an infestation. This is not a guarantee though.
These droppings are one cause of disease contamination. If the droppings or urine get into your food supply, you can get sick. Make sure you check thoroughly for all signs.
Signs of Chewing or Gnawing
Mice teeth never stop growing. This means they constantly have to chew on things to keep their teeth under control. Mice will chew on almost anything.
If you find chewed up boxes, paper, plastic, or wood this could be a sign of mice. You may also find gnaw marks on pieces of furniture, especially wood furniture.
Another concern with mouse chewing is electrical wiring. Mice will also chew on wires along their paths, so keep a watch on these areas. Chewed wiring can lead to fires.
“Grease” Smears Along Walls
Another key indicator of mice activity in your Billings, Montana home is smearing along the walls or foundation of your house. This will look similar to a grease stain.
As the mice move along their paths, a combination of feces, oils, and dust create these smears as the mice go by. These smears will be more noticeable along well-used paths. They’ll also be more noticeable with larger infestations.
Baseboards and other hidden areas easily get missed during cleaning. These areas back behind appliances or furniture, or along the baseboards collect dust.
Check areas with dust accumulation carefully. If you find footprints or tracks from tails, this is a good indication you need mice pest control.
Any disturbance in dusty areas is a sign of infestation. While footprints may not be distinguishable, tracks and disturbances may still show.
Mice will chew into packaging to get to your food. If you find holes chewed into cardboard or plastic food packaging this is a sign of mice infestation. If packages have holes, or debris from the packaging laying around, this is a good indication.
You may also find food debris in the cabinet or pantry. Another indication is food trails along baseboards or behind appliances. As mice carry food back to their nests, they may leave some crumbs along their path.
The most common food that attracts mice is grains, oats, or corn. Mice will eat whatever they can find though, so check all food packages.
Mice make a nest in warm hidden areas. This includes:
- Wall cavities
- Storage bins
- Crawl spaces
- Unused boxes
Look for nests in dark areas out of normal traffic areas. The best indication of a nest is finding piles of shredded material such as paper, fabrics, or cardboard. Once found, nests are easily distinguishable.
You’ll want to dispose of nesting materials as soon as possible. Make sure you disinfect these areas as well.
Strong Musky Smells
Mice will leave urine and feces behind wherever they go. This includes around food areas. The mice use this urine to navigate their paths and help other mice to navigate.
If you notice a heavy, musky smell that you can’t get rid of in your Billings home, this is a sign you need mice pest control. The smell may be similar to ammonia. Mouse urine is strong, especially if you have several mice living in your home.
Mouse droppings may also start to smell. If you notice a strange smell that you can’t locate, check wall cavities and other openings for possible origin. This includes checking behind baseboards and under appliances.
If you have a mouse infestation, you may hear them moving around inside the walls, basement, or attic. Since they’re nocturnal, this noise will be most noticeable at night.
You might also hear squeaking noises as the mice communicate with each other. Scratching noises are also common as the mice move along pipes and wiring inside the wall.
These sounds are all signs of mice infestation. The amount of noise you hear will also help you determine how bad the infestation is. Just don’t wait until it becomes too pronounced to call in Best Pest Control for mice pest control in Billings, Montana.
Pets Acting Strange
Your pets are likely to notice an infestation before you do. Luckily, they give us a warning when they do notice the intruders.
If your pets begin barking or meowing more often, with no known cause, this is a good sign. You might also notice them pawing at areas such as behind or under appliances.
Your pets may also seem hyper-vigilant if they notice an infestation. If your pet shows any of these signs, make sure to check for other infestation indications. Also, pay attention to areas of interest for your pets.
Seeing a Mouse
Mice like to avoid human interaction when possible. If you find a mouse scurrying along, chances are you’ll find more somewhere else.
Mice usually travel in packs. If they’re scavenging in your home, they have a nest nearby. This is especially true if you find them in high-traffic areas in your home.
Another sign of infestation is finding a dead mouse. Dead mice are likely found along baseboards or under furniture. While this doesn’t guarantee more, it’s still very likely.
Make sure to take precautions when disposing of dead mice. Use rubber or latex gloves to remove them, and throw the gloves away immediately after use.
Getting Rid of Mice
If you discover signs of an infestation, the next step is getting rid of the mice. To start the process of mice pest control, all entry points need to be covered. Check for gaps and holes in common areas in your Billings home:
- Interior walls
- Exterior walls
Especially check areas along the floor line for possible entry points. Also, check areas where mice could easily hide. Remember, mice can gain access through even the smallest gap, so cover them all to be safe.
Make sure you look for their living area as you work to seal off entry points. Identifying their nesting areas will help speed up the treatment process. This includes checking old storage areas inside the house or piles of debris outside.
Check under your sinks and behind appliances. Entry points are easily hidden in these areas. You may also want to check behind furniture, near wiring, or around garbage storage areas.
Food is what attracts mice. That and water. If you take steps to protect your food, you’ll cut down on any infestation problems.
Make sure to store food in air tight containers with lids firmly in place. Also, make sure food is properly put up. Don’t leave any food debris out.
Cutting off the food supply also includes regular maintenance of all areas where food is stored and prepared. Clean counters and floors in these areas daily. Also, make sure dishes are washed regularly.
Taking away the access to food will help towards discouraging mice to stick around. Properly storing and cleaning food areas also cuts down on possible contamination.
To clean up contamination from an infestation and discourage further activity, you’ll want to make sure you clean the areas of mouse activity thoroughly. When cleaning, make sure to take safety precautions to remove the possibility of infection.
These safety precautions include:
- Wearing gloves while cleaning
- Spray urine and mouse droppings with disinfectant before cleaning
- Use paper towels to clean so you don’t cause dust to pick up
- Disinfect all areas you believe to have been contaminated
- Wash hands thoroughly after cleaning
You can do any sweeping and mopping after all areas have been disinfected and major contaminants are removed. Make sure to dispose of any materials used for cleaning immediately.
This cleaning process may need repeating several times until the infestation is under control and may not fully resolve the issue. May sure you check all likely areas regularly for further signs of activity.
Mice Pest Control
Once you have taken precautions to cut off access to food supplies, and you’ve cleaned thoroughly, it’s time to fully get rid of all the mice.
This is where professional treatment options are valuable. While you can place traps and bait on your own, professional pest control in Billings, Montana ensures you get proper treatment options.
A mice pest control specialist will go through three steps to treat your house against further infestation. This process helps ensure all entries are covered.
First, the specialist will do a thorough inspection of the inside and outside boundaries of your home. They’ll check for possible hiding places and entry points to make sure all holes are fully covered.
Next, they’ll determine the best treatment option for your infestation. Treatment options might include traps, bait, chemical treatments, or any combination of mouse repellent needed. Both the inside and outside areas get treated so new infestations are discouraged.
The final step is follow up treatment. The mice pest control specialist will come back to check on treatment measures and make sure the infestation is dealt with. Treatment is repeated if necessary.
Depending on how bad the mice infestation is, it may take more than one follow-up to get everything under control. Relying on a mice pest control specialist will ensure all treatment options are covered.
Since pest control specialists are trained on finding and treating an infestation, you’ll know nothing is missed. The specialist can also advise you on other measures you can take to discourage further infestation.
Consulting About an Infestation
If you suspect a mouse infestation, don’t wait to get the situation under control. While you can take steps on your own to start, it’s best to contact a mice pest control specialist immediately. A specialist can advise you on the best methods to control the situation.
They can also give you more information about safety precautions when dealing with an infestation. Safety is the number one priority when dealing with pests. It’s best to consult with a specialist as soon as you know you have an infestation.
If you’ve confirmed an infestation, and you’re ready to take the next step in getting it under control, contact a specialist. If you’re in the Billings, Montana area, contact us today to set up a consultation and treatment plan.
Best Pest Control has specialists ready to help you evict mice, spiders, roaches, bed bugs and many other creepy crawlies.