The holiday season can be a wonderful time to host parties and spend time with family and friends. But when mice invade your home to escape the increasingly cold weather outside, it's time to take action. The unwanted visitors can wreak havoc on your holiday food and safety. Like many other types of rodents, mice seek warm places to hibernate or hide during the cold season. Your home may offer the right conditions for mice to survive the winter months. Here's why mice invade your home in the cold season and what you can do to control them.
What Makes Your Home So Inviting to Mice?
Because of their innate abilities to survive, you can find mice in many different places in your home. Mice can live beneath floorboards, behind kitchen cabinets, and in the attic. Unless you keep your basement warm, it may not be the best place to locate mice. However, the walls and hidden recesses in your house can be ideal nesting sites for rodents.
Mice can squeeze their bodies through dime-sized holes and cracks around the house. The pests are also capable of jumping 12 inches, or a foot, to reach food, counters and other things they seek or need to access. Mice can also leave behind germs, feces and urine as they travel.
The rodents may also harbor fleas that carry dangerous pathogens. If you plan to cook this holiday or host many guests, the contaminants can place your loved ones at risk for various illnesses, including tapeworms and viruses.
To keep the pests from ruining your holiday plans or making anyone sick, take steps to control them.
Can You Control or Keep Mice Out of Your House?
If you scheduled a pest control visit to your home yet, do so now. Setting mouse traps with sticky glue and poisons will only solve your problem temporarily. Mice are very resilient, smart and creatures of habit. If the rodents find something wrong or notice changes in the places they frequent, they may move to other areas of the house to stay safe. In addition, mice reproduce rapidly, even during the cold season. If you have only a few mice in your home, they can quickly become many rodents over the winter.
Also, mice not die right away when they stick to glue traps. Although the pests are nuisances, it may be more humane to catch them alive and release them far away from the home and property. Removing dead rodents can also be unsafe and unsanitary for everyone involved, especially if the rodents attract filth flies. Filth flies can also spread disease to your holiday food.
A pest control company will generally look for feces, urine, and other signs of mice in multiple places before taking steps to eliminate the rodents. Contractors usually seal up openings to keep new mice from entering the home. In many cases, contractors set out humane traps that have one-way doors installed on them. The doors prevent mice from leaving the traps once they enter them.
Once the traps reach a certain capacity, the contractors remove them and release the mice in locations far from your home. The methods used by pest control experts can vary, so it's important to discuss your mouse control options with the contractors.
You can keep your house empty of mice during the holidays by storing cakes, breads, and pies in thick plastic dishes. If possible, place as many items in cold storage to protect them from mice. It's also a good idea that you wipe down your counters and other surfaces with a nontoxic kitchen cleanser immediately after preparing and cooking meals. You want to mask the scent of food as much as possible to avoid attracting mice.
For more information about keeping mice away this holiday or cold season, contact a company like A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc.