December 20, 2021 / Rodents

Not a Creature was Stirring, Not Even a Mouse

Close-up of a red ornament dangling on a Christmas tree in front of a fireplace

The holidays are here, and with them comes so much excitement. As your friendly neighborhood pest professionals, we want to ensure that any squeals and shrieks are the result of gift exchanges and children who’ve consumed too much sugar. This Christmas, trust our team to ensure that when the lights go out, no uninvited creature, not even a mouse, will be stirring.

Protect your hearth and home this holiday with expert pest protection and take a quick peek at some preventative measures you can take to keep your house pest-free, year-round.

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Make a Move Against Mice 

Sure, they seem so cute in every cartoon and Disney movie made to date, but the reality is that no one wants mice in their homes over the holidays -- or ever! -- and for very good reason.

Unfortunately, mice are known vectors for a variety of diseases, including bubonic plague (you might recognize this from your high school English or history class as the “Black Death”), hantavirus, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis.

The risk doesn’t come from encountering the rodent, necessarily, but is associated with evidence of its existence, i.e., urine, fecal matter, their fleas, and even saliva, which can potentially contaminate food sources and possibly induce allergic reactions in some individuals. 

Moreover, the real threat of exposure to pathogens and disease will likely come from indirect contact with mice via ticks, fleas, or mites.

As with most pests, it’s best to prevent them rather than deal with them on your property.

The following prevention tips are ideal for not only this time of year, but year-round protection against mice.

Mouse-Proof Your Home this Holiday 

Here’s a fun holiday game: hold up a nickel to a crack in the wall. True or false: a mouse can squeeze through such a tiny space.

Gross as it might be -- and is -- mice need only a nickel’s width of space to enter your home.

Take a time out from the hustle and bustle of the holidays to carefully inspect your property for any potential spaces that might allow a mouse entry into your home. 

Focus on doors, windows, and crawl spaces, along with ducts, garages, basements, cabinets, pantries, and attics.

Sneak a peek at your pipes and drains; mice love leaks and will seek out these spaces as ideal breeding sites.

This time of year finds many of us relying on wood stoves and fireplaces. If you fall into this camp, make sure you keep firewood stacked well away from your house -- a minimum of 20 feet is the recommendation and, while not a big problem during the winter, try to keep all shrubs and bushes pruned back and away from your house to discourage nesting and safe shelter for mice populations, year-round. 

Speaking of mice populations

There Are No Solo Acts 

Let’s say you saw one mouse in your pantry… upsetting enough, sure, but the reality is when it comes to mice, seeing should not be believing. In other words, just because you saw a single mouse doesn’t mean that others aren’t very close by. This is, in part, due to a mouse’s rapid reproduction ability.

Unlike the holidays, breeding is in season for mice year-round. On an annual basis, a single female mouse might produce anywhere from 5-10 litters with average litter size ranging between six to eight babies

Without a mouse sighting, how do you know you have mice?

There are a few basic signs of a mouse infestation every homeowner should be aware of…

Does This Mean Mice? 

Unless you actually encounter a mouse while making eggnog or popping corn to watch a festive family fave, it can be hard to know if you do, in fact, have a mouse problem in your home. 

In this case, watch for signs like gnaw marks along walls or food packing, any foul odor that peeks the attention of family pets, nests, incessant scratching sounds in the walls or ceiling, and/or mouse tracks made obvious by droppings punctuated throughout.

You have enough to worry about this holiday season. Why not leave the mouse hunt to us and focus on enjoying the spirit of the season with the ones you love -- and actually invited? 

Contact JP Pest Services for professional pest control you can count on all season and throughout the year.

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