Sometimes, noticing you have mice in your home is easy enough. You take a look at a hallway at the right time, and boom: a live mouse.
Unfortunately, things are rarely that simple. Most of the time, you won’t know you have a mice infestation on your hands unless you know what to look for. By the time you notice them, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in damages.
Want to avoid the worst-case scenario? Keep an eye out for these five telltale signs you have mice on your property.
1. Teeth Marks
Mice have teeth that never stop growing, so they have to wear them down. In a house, that means gnawing on inedible materials such as cables.
On top of being annoying to deal with, this makes mice a serious fire hazard. Since they can chew through wires and shielding, they can cause power outages and equipment damage. In some cases, they could even set the house on fire!
2. Night Noises
As nocturnal creatures, mice are most active during the night. This lowers your chances of seeing one, but you should still be able to hear them.
Pay particular attention to scrabbling or scratching noises in the walls. Mice are great climbers, so they can seamlessly travel from one part of the house to another. Watch out for squeaking as well—that’s how they communicate with each other.
3. Missing Food
Did you know that mice like the same food as us? This includes anything from seeds to fruits—and they’re particularly fond of high-fat foods like cheese.
Once a mouse identifies a food source, it can visit it up to 30 times per day. They can only eat three to four grams a day, but they’ll contaminate the rest of it. If you suspect you’re sharing food with a mouse, throw it away as soon as possible.
4. Mouse Droppings
When it comes to the common signs of mice, mouse droppings top the list. You’ll find them in areas where the mice are most active, i.e. nests.
These droppings are about 1/4 inch long, black, and cylindrical. If you want to dispose of them, use gloves and sealed plastic bags. If you’re dealing with a large rodent infestation at home, you may also need to use a respirator.
5. Musky Odors
Strange smells are another common sign of mice in homes. If you notice a musky odor that smells like stale urine, you may have a mice problem.
Mice use these odors to mark their territory and let other mice know that a place is safe. The smell is most noticeable in enclosed areas, such as drawers or cabinets. You should also be able to sniff it out along the walls where they frequently travel.
Other Signs You Have Mice in Your Home
Once you know you’re dealing with mice, contact a pest control professional right away. The longer you wait, the more time you’re giving the mice to settle in. As the saying goes, “Where there’s one mouse, there are likely more.”
Want to know about the other signs you have mice in your house? Keep checking out our home-related content!