The House Mouse

Your Chicagoland Guide on House Mice

The Breakdown

COLOR

SIZE

LEGS

DANGER/DESTRUCTION RATING

Brown/Gray

7.5 – 10 cm

Four

Moderate High

The House Mouse

House mice can vary in colors from light brown to gray. Their bellies are always a lighter shade of fur, however, and their ears and tail are bare. As an adult, a house mouse can range from 7.5 to 10 cm and weigh anywhere from 12 to 30 grams. House mice are always on the hunt for shelter, food and water sources. They typically have a preference for seeds, but will eat anything they can get their paws on in your kitchen. Even if you close your bag of chips, they can chew a hole in it so you want to try your best to leave snacks in hard to reach areas.

Anything a mouse touches can become contaminated because they often travel in sewers and trash cans before making their way into homes. These rodents try their best to stay hidden, typically roaming around inside the walls or vents where they won’t run into you or your pets. However this doesn’t mean that they won’t scavenge outside of these areas on occasion. House mice are extremely fast on their feet and rather diligent when it comes to mouse traps. They are most commonly found during the winter months when it’s too cold to be outside.

Signs of an Infestation

Rodent infestations can be horrifying for any homeowner. They are difficult to get rid of and, even when you do, they may have already done significant damage. Outside, try searching your yard and along the exterior walls of your home for signs of rodent activity. Inside, listen for any small scratching or scurrying noises; remnants of wood, fabric or plastic that have been chewed; and even rodent droppings. These droppings are tiny black pellets and can be found anywhere in your home – but take caution in cleaning them up as they can carry diseases.

The best way to find out whether or not there are any mice or rats around your house, however, is to place rodent traps near places where you think they might be active. Set up several of them so that you can properly know the extent of the risk of rodent infestation.

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Understanding the Seasons

Weather has a profound effect on pest life cycle. Most pests, rodents and insects breed aggressively during spring and go through periods of hibernation during autumn and winter.

When the weather slowly begins to heat up, pests start to get more active after having stayed dormant over the colder winter months.

  • Birds often start to find mates and start building their nests.
  • Moths which consumer leaves usually become active again.
  • Flies often emerge from their winter hibernation places and start to breed and spread out.
  • Squirrels also spend the winter in hibernation. When spring approaches these creatures start looking for a new home. This is usually the time when they make their way into lofts and other spaces.

Summer is arguably the best season for pests. It is the time when they are in full swing and breed as rapidly as they can. Wasps are one of the most common summer pests followed by flies and rodents. Many a summer picnics and BBQs have been ruined by the ‘home invasion’ of these pests.

  • Wasps build their nesting grounds and lay their eggs during this time. Although the creatures are not directly harmful, they can be very aggressive and territorial at this time of the year, because they’re at their strongest.
  • The number of fleas also multiplies. Since pets spend more time outdoors during summer, they are more likely to bring the pests back indoors with them.
  • Bees are also more active during summer as they go out to gather nectar. Many times, homeowners find a new beehive in their garden and require pest control to take care of it. Because of their sting, bees are more dangerous than some of the other pests and you should call our professional service to get rid of them.
  • Moths and flies usually start to multiply significantly during summer.
  • Ants begin to swarm to find new mates and start new colonies during summer.
  • Cockroaches become very noticeable in the summer, especially in the kitchen and toilets. This is due to the hotter temperatures and stronger smells.
  • Bedbugs are also very active in the summer.

Autumn is the month when things start to get cooler. The number of pests starts to dwindle as they begin to slow down their breeding activities.

  • Wasps start becoming dozy and docile. You may find them buzzing around occasionally as if they are drunk. This is usually the end-time for their life.
  • Spiders in particular are more active at this time of the year.
  • Squirrels will gather their food and start to look for shelter.
  • The second breeding phase for flies begins. These pests remain active during the season.
  • Rodents also become more active. Due to the approaching cold, rodents usually find shelter inside homes in the loft or inside walls.

The coldest months are when pests seek out warmth and shelter. You will find a number of insects especially rodents and lizards make their way inside your home.

  • Spiders come into our homes to escape the web-destroying frosts.
  • Rodents move indoors to escape the cold, increasing infestations.
  • In many cases, homeowners find squirrels nesting in lofts when they go to get their Christmas decorations.

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