The Adult House Mouse is small and slender and about 2-4 inches long, not including the tail. The house mouse has large ears, a pointed nose and small eyes. The tail is as long as the head and body combined. The fur color varies, but it is usually a light grey or brown, but could be darker shades. If there are good living conditions(food, water, and shelter), they can multiply rapidly. Mice sexually mature in two months, producing about 8 litters in a year. Each litter has 4-7 pups(Do the math and wow!). The greatest economic loss from mice is not due to how much they eat, but what must be thrown out because of damage or contamination. Food, clothing, furniture, books and many other household items are contaminated by their droppings and urine, or damaged by their gnawing. House Mice gnaw through electrical wiring, causing fires and failure of freezers, clothes dryers and other appliances. They survive well on weeds, seeds, or insects, but when their food supply is shortened by the colder months they move inside nesting closer to a food supply. They make their nest from soft material like paper, insulation, or furniture stuffing. These nest are found in many places including in walls, ceiling voids, storage boxes, drawers, under major appliances, or within the upholstery of furniture. Outside the nests are found in debris or in ground burrows. Mice forage only short distances from their nest, usually not more than 10-25 feet. When food and shelter are adequate, their foraging range may be only a few feet. Mice are nibblers meaning they eat many times at different places, they do have two main meal times, just before dawn and at dusk, they only snack at other times at intervals or every 1-2 hours. Mice can eat about 10 to 15% of their body weight every day, the adults weigh about 1 oz. Mice also cache food as supply permits. They get much of there water from food products. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours. A house mouse is an excellent climber and can run up any rough vertical surface. It will run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up 13 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. Their droppings are about 1/8-1/2 inches long, dark and pointed at both ends, similar to a grain of rice. They gnaw small, clean holes about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Many times in kitchens you will find gnawing damage on the corner of boxes and paper, shredded for their nest. A house mouse can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch across. The Importance of Rodent Proofing or Screening Rodent Proofing is the art of sealing off all Exterior holes that a mouse or other rodent uses to enter a structure. Mice can enter your home through an opening as small as a 1/4 inch. Most Mouse Control Companies will not seal off these holes. In my opinion that is a great way that they insure ongoing business. Cobra Pest Control will always inspect the building to find these openings that rodents use. Exterior Baiting Some times it is not possible to find all openings (rare for Rob at Cobra Pest Control). This is especially true here in Rhode Island where you can find some very old buildings where the foundation is not a solid cement border but a rock foundation. In this case Cobra Pest Control will use tamper resistant bait stations full of a rodenticide. These are a hard plastic or a metal box that is mounted to the ground around the exterior perimeter. The goal of these boxes is to kill the Mouse or other Rodent before it has a chance to enter the structure.
I have never heard a true story of a Mouse seeking out a victim to bite. But don't pick one up with bare hands. Most animals will defend themselves.
Signs: Mouse Droppings under sinks, behind oven, on counter tops and other areas. Mouse droppings are black, about the size of a grain of rice with pointed ends. For every Mouse Fece you see there is probably 3 drops of Rodent Urine you can't see. Another sign is noises like scratches and scurrying. Very small nibbles taken off of food. Finding piles of pet food hidden away, like in seasonal shoes not worn often and out of the way places. Black smudges in out of the way areas.
Mice enter your home at night through openings as small as a 1/4" usually at ground level. Mice in homes are very common in Rhode Island . Most people never realize they had a Mouse. As fall turns to winter and it gets colder. Mice will move in where it is warmer and there is a food source.
The best way is to Seal off the Exterior Rodent Openings. These can be as small as 1/4". There are many Mouse Traps and Baits for Mice on the market you can try. The trick is to use a lot of traps and bait as many as 30-50 placements throughout. This can cost as much as a Pest Control Company that buys them in bulk and knows what they are doing. Be very careful with Rodenticides (aka poison). Kids and pets are vulnerable.
With other Exterminating Companies it depends on what the Company actually does which is usually very little, cheap upfront and ongoing (in the long run? A lot). Most Pest Control Companies want to sell a long term service contract. Cobra Pest Control actually does it right the first time and gives a long term guarantee. We seal off ALL the openings as part of the job. For this you need an Rodent Inspection on site (Cobra gives FREE Mouse Inspections). Many companies price Mice Work over the phone. Most Companies do not Rodent Proof, at best they will point out a few and tell you to stuff it with steel wool (one drop of water and in a week its a pile of rust powder). I recommend that you always get at least 2-3 estimates. Go with price, experience, and what your instincts about the technician tells you. Ask ALOT of questions.