As kids, we were all told to leave bird nests alone because if we touched them, the birds would not return. While this is not always a fact when it comes to birds, what about mice? If you find a mouse nest in your home, is the mouse likely to return?
Unlike the stories we were told about birds, mice are very likely to return to a nest, even after it has been disturbed, but only under certain conditions. So, what should you do when you find a mouse nest in your home?
Here we take a close look at the connection between mice and their nests and the steps homeowners should take when they discover a mouse nest in their home.
- Understand the behavior of mice when it comes to their nest
- Learn how to identify a mouse nest
- Explore the steps needed to properly remove a mouse nest
Whether a mouse will return to a disturbed nest or not depends on how long the nest has been established and whether or not there is young present. To a mouse, the nest creates a place of security from other predators, as well as a place to raise their young. Mice reproduce frequently, so a comfortable nest is essential. In addition, a mouse takes great care to create a nest that provides security, and comfort and is close to its food source. They take the time to carefully find a location and make a comfy place to call home. If the nest is well established and in a prime location, a mouse will simply come back once you are gone. If this is a new nest, however, they may decide it is safer to find a new location.
If the nest currently has babies, the female mouse is very likely to return in order to rescue her young. Mice have a strong instinct to protect their young, so a female mouse will do everything she can to rescue her babies once the coast is clear.
What does a mouse nest look like?
A mouse nest is made from whatever nesting materials the mouse has easy access to. This can include grass and plants from outside to insulation and cloth material they find inside. They can measure anywhere from three to six inches in diameter and are typically circular in shape. They make these nests in dark areas where they feel safe, such as in basements or attics that you don’t frequent. You will likely find evidence of mouse droppings around the nest area.
How do mice find their way to their nest?
Mice have a very keen sense of smell, and they use this to their advantage. When a mouse leaves a nest, they create a scent trail as they go. Once they have found food, they will follow this scent trail back to the location of their nest. Even when new obstacles arise or, for example, you move their nest, they can still follow their scent and locate a new location.
What to do if you find a mouse nest
When you find a mouse nest in your home, it should be removed as soon as possible. If you find a mouse nest, chances are you have a mouse infestation, and it is important to address it as soon as possible.
However, mice may appear small and cute, but the fact is they can spread many germs and diseases that can make you and your family sick. Removing a mouse nest and treating your home must be done with caution and bringing in a professional rodent control company is often recommended. However, if you plan to address a mouse nest on your own, it is important to follow these steps.
1. Protect yourself
Because mice can spread germs and diseases, such as hantavirus, it is important that you protect yourself before you consider addressing a mouse nest. Wearing a facemask, goggles, and gloves can help protect you from germs you may pick up when handling the nest.
2. Look for the presence of young
Before removing the nest, look for the presence of baby mice. If babies are present, how you remove the nest changes slightly. When babies are present, the mother is likely to return for her young and you want to remove them all at the same time.
3. Place the nest in a container
Find a container that has a lid that you can secure. If your nest has babies, transport the nest and babies outside your home and near a potential entry point. This will allow the mother mouse to find and return to her babies. Keep an eye out for her return.
4. Seal the nest
Once you have the nest in a container, seal the container shut. In the case of a nest with babies, keep the container outside and open until the mother returns before sealing the container.
5. Dispose of the nest
If you are simply disposing of a nest, throw the nest away in the sealed container, making sure that the germs it may carry are secure. If you have live babies and a mouse in the nest, transport them far away from your home for release.
6. Thoroughly clean and disinfect
Once you have removed the nest, it is important to disinfect the area with bleach to kill any potential germs that can make you and your family sick. It is also important to thoroughly clean the area in order to help remove any scents the mice may have left behind.
When mice make your home theirs
When you find a mouse nest in your home, it is likely the mouse will return when you are no longer there. Removing the nest can help deter their return, however, if they find your home comfortable, they are likely to just find a new location and build a new home. To make things worse, if you find one nest, chances are you may already have a mouse problem throughout your home. A professional rodent and pest control service can help you identify additional mouse evidence and help you create a mouse-free environment as well as reduce the risk of future infestations.
Helping you keep your home mouse-free
At Insight Pest Management, our team of experts understands mice behavior and how to best deal with mice infestations. Our technicians can provide an initial inspection to identify additional nests as well as locate and seal all potential points of entry while eliminating the furry pests from your home. To learn more about how we can help you live mouse-free, contact us today for a free evaluation.