Mice are a common problem in Amarillo, Texas and many homeowners understandably get nervous when they catch a glimpse of one scurrying across their kitchen floor. However, Jason Wheeler, owner of Ace Pest Control, has some reassuring words.
“There’s a standard thought process that if I have one mouse, I have a million mice and that’s usually not true,” he said. “If you see a few mice here and there, you’re probably early enough in the infestation process where we can get the problem under control and keep it under control.”
More about mice
So what causes mice to enter a home rather than staying outdoors where they belong? According to Wheeler, anytime their natural habitat is disturbed, whether by cold temperatures, fire, flooding or a lack of food, they’re going to start looking for a new place to live. And, he added, we happen to build our homes to be ideally suited for mice.
“If they can find their way in, it’s always going to be a safe environment for them,” he said. “It's always going to be dry, there’s always going to be plenty of food and they don’t even have to help pay the rent.”
Once the mice are inside - and they can enter a home through a hole as small as a nickel - they can start multiplying fast. Female mice are ready to mate within six weeks of being born and can have anywhere between six and 12 pups per litter. Additionally, because they are capable of having pups every three weeks and are only pregnant for about 20 days, a single female mouse can have as many 13 litters a year.
As far as food goes, while mice prefer fruits, grains and seeds, they will eat just about anything they find in your home. And if all else fails, they’ll eat one another. Unlike humans, mice need almost no water to survive and can go months without drinking any.
Another important thing to know about mice is that they can carry and spread hantavirus, a severe and sometimes fatal respiratory disease in humans. Although hantaviruses aren’t common, they are another reason you definitely don’t want these pesky critters in your home.
Treating the problem
Taking care of a mouse problem is pretty straightforward, Wheeler said, and can usually be accomplished in just one visit. It’s also part of Ace Pest Control’s signature service which means should any mice pop up later - which is unlikely - Wheeler and his team will take care of it.
Wheeler uses single-feed treatments which means mice only have to eat it once for it to be fatal. Then, when the mice die from digesting the active ingredient in the treatment, that active ingredient is no longer present so if a cat, dog or bird were to eat that mouse, there’s nothing dangerous in the mouse’s system to cause harm.
To ensure that mice don’t pose an ongoing problem, Wheeler will leave a treatment in place to catch any future infestations before they start. In heavy activity areas such as rural environments, he’ll put larger bait stations out around the perimeter of the home so that the mice population doesn’t have a chance to bloom.
Mouse-proofing your home
The best way to keep mice out of your home is to make sure that you’re keeping the mouse population around your home under control.
“You don’t want to do anything that’s going to cause an abundance of food out there for them or provide them with a place to nest,” Wheeler said. “Once they begin nesting near the house, it’s only a matter of time before they get in the house.”
Here are some things you can do to make your outdoor spaces less attractive to mice:
- Don’t leave dog food outside
- Limit the amount of birdseed in bird feeders
- Clear out “harbor areas” such as wood piles
- Keep your garage door shut when possible
- Store firewood at least a foot and a half off the ground
- Clean overgrown shrubs
- Keep trees trimmed three to five feet from the roof
- Don’t let ivy or vines grow up the foundation or structure of the home
- Manage moisture by not leaving water pooling around the property in birdbaths, bird feeders, old tires, etc.
By taking a few simple steps, you can ideally avoid inviting these unwelcome visitors into your home. But if you do find yourself experiencing a mouse problem, you can rest assured that the team of experts at Ace Pest Control has you covered. To learn more about Ace’s signature pest control package and how it can protect your home and family, contact us today.
We offer mice control services in Amarillo, Bushland, Canyon, Dumas, Panhandle, TX and other surrounding areas.