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Here are some facts about mice that you might not know.

Mice are everywhere. I saw on a site that it is estimated that mice enter about 21 million homes per winter! Whether that's right or wrong, that's a lot of mice. But don't be taken by their whiskers, big brown eyes and overall cuteness. They cause all sorts of problems ranging from destruction of property to carrying disease. 

First let me give you the science about mice. The house mouse is a mammal, Mus musculus of the order Rodentia, which have a pointed snout, large rounded ears, and a long and hairy tail. It is one of the most abundant species of the genus Mus. They have a relatively short life span out in the wild, about 5 months but longer if they get into your house. They use their tail for balance and there is usually one dominate male with multiple females. Male house mice urine has a strong odor and they use their whiskers to sense surface and air movements. Their vision is about the same as humans and their sense of smell is very strong. Boring I know but some people like the technical stuff.

How do mice get into your home? Well there are numerous ways but one of the most common ways is your  garage door. A mouse needs a dime size opening to squeeze through. A dime! That's not very big so if they can get their head through, their body is going too. Other ways are doors left open for a breeze and I've also heard about mice coming down through the vent pipes in the roof. Another common way for mice to get in is if your home has a crawl space. If they can get through the door/opening into the crawl space under your home, then they can find a way up through pipe openings or construction holes. When you think about it, all those little creatures making nests under your home, it's kind of creepy.

Why do mice want to come in where we live? Every living thing needs shelter, food and water. Most times, especially here in New Mexico, during the Spring, Summer and Fall months, mice build their burrows outside, away from our homes and occasionally come check it out. See what we've got to eat and drink, kind of like a drive-thru restaurant. But it's during the colder months that they want to winter-out with us. 

Mice eat a lot. And if they can find food, from us, then they are here to stay. Every home owner needs to be aware of the possible entry points for mice to get inside.

They also are not potty trained. Silly to point out but it's true. One of the first indicators that you have a mouse in your house is finding their droppings. They look like little black or brown grains of rice. And they can produce 40-200 droppings a day. If you see a few, just think of how many you can't see! And they literally urinate all the time; it's their way of marking their territory. I have a black light in a flashlight and I use it when clients suspect they might have mice, say under the kitchen sink. It glows and then I usually have to calm down the client.

If you see one mice, there might only be one but there is a good chance there could be more. They are prolific reproducers. A single female is able to have anywhere from 7-10 litters a year with up to a dozen pups per litter! One mouse can quickly lead to many.


And finally, they can spread disease. Everyone has heard of mice spreading the Hantavirus and Salmonella, but there's so much more. A website I found actually says they can spread as many as 200 human pathogens. I know, you already had me at Hantavirus and Salmonella but wow, just the word pathogen makes my skin crawl.


On a side note, mice are considered one of the holy animals in India, linked to Lord Shri Ganesh. And I know this next tidbit is about rats but look up the Karni Mata Temple or the temple of rats in Rajasthan. People leave food and bowls of milk for them and they are everywhere! 

So all this being said, yes they look cute but they can cause big problems. Message me and I will be happy to talk about the certified pest control services that a local business can offer. Also, there are numerous ways to take care of mice from snap traps and live traps to rodenticide that is environmentally and pet friendly. There are many ways to catch a mouse!

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