While mice may be cute and cuddly in a cage at the pet store, the last thing a homeowner or business owner wants to find is a mouse scurrying across the floor or countertop. This is because while mice in the pet store are raised in captivity with the idea of being a pet, the mouse that made it into your home through a small hole is wild and likely to carry germs and parasites that can make you very sick. In addition, these pets can also be very destructive when looking to make a home or find food, leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go.
Here we take an in-depth look at the mouse and what a mouse infestation can mean for your home or business. We will explore the physical damage and health concerns a mice infestation can bring to your home or business.
While you may only see one mouse, the fact is your home or business may already be infested with many more, and as soon as you see one, professional pest management is likely your best course of action.
- Mice in your home or business can be a big problem because they carry germs and parasites that can make you sick.
- They can cause physical damage by gnawing on things like wires, furniture, and structural components.
- Mice can spread diseases through their droppings, urine, and parasites they carry, like fleas and ticks.
- They can contaminate food and create a mess by chewing through packaging and leaving droppings and urine behind.
- A mouse infestation can harm your business’s reputation, cause psychological distress, and be difficult to control on your own. Hiring professional pest control services is important for effective and long-term solutions.
Physical damage to the property
When mice infest a home or business, they can cause a wide range of physical property damage. In many cases, this damage occurs even before you know you have a mouse problem. In fact, home and business damage due to mice infestations can cost homeowners and business owners hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage each year. Some common ways mice can physically damage your property include:
- Gnawing: Mice have incisor teeth that continuously grow so they gnaw on various materials to keep them trimmed down. They can chew on electrical wiring, insulation, wood, plastic pipes, furniture, and even structural components, leading to potential fire hazards, water leaks, or compromised building integrity.
- Damage to belongings: Mice may shred and chew on fabrics, upholstery, clothing, paper, and other soft materials to build nests. They can ruin valuable items like clothes, furniture, curtains, books, and important documents.
- Food contamination: Mice are notorious for raiding food storage areas. They can chew through packaging, leaving behind holes and contamination. This not only leads to food waste but also increases the risk of foodborne illnesses.
- Nesting damage: When mice create nests, they gather materials like shredded paper, insulation, and fabrics. This can damage insulation within walls, attics, and crawl spaces, reducing energy efficiency and increasing heating and cooling costs.
It is important to address mice infestations promptly to minimize property damage and the loss and contamination of food and other items. Seeking professional pest control services or employing effective preventive measures can help mitigate the damage caused by mice.
Check “Types of Damages Rodents Can Cause to Your Home” to learn more.
Health hazards associated with mice
In addition to physical damage to your property, a mouse infestation poses significant health risks to you, your family, or your customers. Here we look at some of the health hazards associated with mice infestations.
While mice are not likely to bite, they can when they feel cornered or threatened. While a mouse bite always involves the risk of infection, it can also deliver health-threatening diseases, such as Rat Bite Fever. Contrary to the name, rat bite fever can be spread by mice through bites, as well as through the consumption of contaminated food or water.
Mice can carry and transmit diseases through their droppings, urine, saliva, and parasites they carry. Some common diseases associated with mice include hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV). These diseases can be contracted through direct contact, inhalation of contaminated particles, or consuming contaminated food or water.
Mice can carry parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites, which can infest homes and pose additional health risks to humans and pets. These parasites can cause itching, skin irritation, and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and typhus.
Mice shed hair and dander, as well as spread urine and feces throughout your home or business. The mouse urine, droppings, and dander contain allergens that can trigger allergies and asthma in susceptible individuals. Breathing in airborne particles from mice infestations can cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Food contamination and waste
Mice are really good at accessing food storage areas such as pantries, cabinets, and cupboards. They can chew through packaging, leaving holes and exposing the contents to potential contamination. As they move through your pantry or food storage area, they leave behind droppings and urine that expose the food they gnaw into and the food surfaces around your home or business.
In addition, mice are notorious for taking food to their nest and storing it for later. This means that food may be scattered throughout the nooks and crannies of your home or business and can attract additional pests, such as ants or cockroaches.
Impact on business reputation
A mouse infestation can have a detrimental impact on a business’s reputation. It can lead to negative customer experiences, health and safety concerns, and damage to the brand image. Customers may perceive the business as unclean, unsanitary, and lacking proper hygiene standards, resulting in a loss of trust and loyalty. Social media and online reviews can amplify the negative perception, leading to decreased foot traffic, sales, and potential legal implications.
The psychological stress of mice infestation
The presence of mice and the fear associated with infestations can lead to psychological distress, including anxiety and stress, in some individuals. Finding a mouse or hearing one scratching in the walls at night when trying to sleep can be very disturbing and can affect your overall sleep and mental health.
The challenges of controlling a mice infestation
Controlling a mouse infestation poses several challenges and considerations and, in the case of a major infestation, is likely to require professional pest management services. Common challenges homeowners and business owners face when it comes to mice include:
- Mice are prolific breeders: A small infestation can quickly escalate into a larger problem if not addressed promptly. Their ability to reproduce rapidly makes it challenging to keep their numbers in check.
- Mice are highly adaptable and can find multiple entry points into a building: This makes it difficult to completely seal off their access. Identifying and blocking all potential entry points requires a thorough inspection and diligent preventive measures.
- Mice are nocturnal and elusive creatures: Because of this, mice are good at avoiding detection and hiding in hard-to-reach areas. This makes it challenging to locate their nests and effectively eliminate them.
- Mice have a keen sense of smell: This means they are able to quickly learn to avoid traps or bait that they associate with danger, making traditional control methods less effective.
Importance of professional pest control services
While many property owners may try to manage a mouse infestation on their own, few prove successful in the long term. Choosing professional pest control services not only ensures that the infestation is eliminated, but they work with you to help ensure a reinfestation does not occur. The benefits of hiring a professional pest control service can include:
- Experience and expertise: Professional rodent control services have the expertise and experience to accurately identify the extent of the infestation and determine the most effective control methods. They can thoroughly inspect the premises to identify entry points, nesting areas, and other signs of infestation that untrained individuals may miss.
- Specialized tools and training: Professional pest control technicians have access to a range of specialized tools, equipment, and products that effectively eradicate mice. They have knowledge of the latest industry techniques and can employ targeted approaches tailored to the specific infestation, ensuring maximum efficacy while minimizing risks to humans, pets, and the environment.
- Long-term solutions: Professional rodent control not only focuses on eliminating mice infestations but also employs preventive measures to minimize the likelihood of future infestations. This may include sealing entry points, implementing exclusion techniques, and providing recommendations for maintaining a mouse-free environment.
Keeping your family or customers safe from mice
No one wants to find that their home or business is infested with mice. However, when you find one of these rodents, quick action is necessary in order to reduce the risk of property damage and health risks to you and your family or your customers and employees. While you can try and address an infestation on your own, it can be stressful, take a lot of work, and often proves unsuccessful while also allowing the infestation to grow. Calling in the professionals not only eliminates the infestation but also helps prevent the mice from returning.
Helping you manage and control mice infestations
At Insight Pest Management, we understand the stress that seeing a mouse in your home or business can cause and our expert technicians are here to help. For our technicians, every property is unique, and treating an infestation begins with a thorough inspection that identifies the type of mouse invading your home, where they are nesting and exploring, and how they got in. Once they eliminate the current infestation, they will work with you to help keep your home or business mouse-free. To learn more, schedule an inspection today.