Finding a mouse inside your home is typically an unwanted surprise unless you happen to have a friendly pet mouse who escaped its cage. Mice can quickly multiply and can become a much larger issue if left untreated. If a mouse finds its way into your home, will it nestle into your furniture and potentially disrupt other areas of your home?
Mice can find their way into numerous enclosed crevices and small holes throughout the home – including your furniture. Mice build nests in small spaces and especially enjoy undisturbed areas such as drawers, walls, closets, attics, under appliances, and even unused furniture.
If you suspect a mouse is living in any of these areas, you will need to address the issue promptly. According to Terminix, a single female mouse can birth up to 60 offspring in one year, with a 19 to 21 days gestation period for a new litter. One single mouse can quickly become a mouse infestation if left untreated.
The Common House Mouse
According to Brody Brothers Quality Pest Control, a house mouse is listed as one of the most common types of mouse found in homes across North America. This species typically has dark gray fur and is relatively small in size, weighing roughly ½ an ounce. The house mouse can carry and spread diseases through its fecal droppings, contaminate food in your cupboards, and spread fleas and other pests throughout your home.
What Attracts Mice to Your Home?
Mice are considered omnivores and will eat both plants and animals. Mice enjoy eating crumbs and smaller items such as grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, and other high carbohydrates foods. Your home may be full of a mouse’s favorite things and can end up being the perfect place to nest.
Ideal Conditions for Mice
Mice prefer to burrow and live in small, enclosed spaces. Given the small size of a house mouse, it is effortless for them to slip inside through cracks in your foundation, around windows or doors, or other openings into your home. A house mouse will feed off crumbs left out in your home or food found in cupboards. If you suspect a mouse is living in your home, you will want to double-check your cabinets for signs of a mouse invading your pantry.
Can Mice Live in My Couch?
A couch can serve as the perfect nesting ground for a mouse. Couches are soft, have multiple spaces full of insulation and soft cloth, and empty spaces within the frame to build a cozy nest. If a mouse is living in your couch, you may be unable to hear them gnaw or squeak.
Much like humans, mice prefer to be warm and cozy and keep their bellies full. If you live in a climate with cold winters, you may find yourself with a new tenant in the home. Orkin notes that mice will do their best to make their way inside buildings during the winter months to stay warm and access food. Particularly if your area has snow, a mouse may struggle to find food and shelter outside and prefer to nest inside.
Signs of Mice in Your Home
The surest sign of a mouse in your home will be a mouse sighting, but if you suspect a mouse is present, you can look for these additional signs:
- Mouse droppings left around your home in cupboards, drawers, along the floorboards, or in other small spaces.
- Gnaw marks on furniture or other physical objects throughout the home.
- Tracks left by mice can include rub marks and spots along baseboards or the floor as oil gets rubbed off their body.
- A musky odor that mice emit can help narrow down their nesting spot within the home.
- You may find damaged pantry items if a mouse has identified a way into your boxed goods. A mouse may chew through the boxes to reach the food inside.
- The scent of urine may be present if multiple mice are living in your home.
Complications From Mice
If you have mice in your home, there are multiple risks to leaving the situation untreated. As mentioned previously, mice can carry several diseases, including salmonella, hantavirus, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV). Each of these diseases transmits through their urine and feces. As mice track their waste throughout your home, they could be spreading the diseases with their feet or as their waste turns to dust and pollutes the air.
In addition to diseases, mice can very quickly populate. If your mouse starts multiplying, then what once was a slight problem can morph into an entire infestation. As mice spread throughout your home, your food, clothing, and storage can be at risk of being ruined as the mice gnaw their way through your belongings. Mice are considered nocturnal, so they will do most of their traveling at night, making them difficult to spot.
How To Get Rid of Mice
There are a few different approaches to getting rid of a mouse that resides in your home. You can try the following solutions on your own before calling an exterminator:
- Mousetraps are an effective solution to catching and disposing of mice in your home. You can purchase traps like the Vector EZ Set Wooden Snap Trap to trap the mice in your home. Even if you only have one mouse, you may want to consider setting out multiple traps to increase your chances of catching the mouse.
- Use good bait on your traps. If you set out various traps or snares, you can have better success by using bait such as chocolate or peanut butter on the trap.
- Proper mousetrap placement is essential to successfully catching the mice in your home. Since mice frequent the floorboards, consider setting traps out along the baseboards of your home, near entryways, in cupboards that previously were contaminated, or in other areas you suspect their nest.
- Glue traps can be utilized in place of wooden snap traps. Like the wooden traps, place bait on the glue trap and wait for the mouse to find it. Consider using the Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap, as it has a small enclosure for the mouse to enter into after accepting the bait.
- Contact a pest control specialist to remove the mouse or eliminate an infestation.
Best Practices To Avoid Mice
A mouse infestation is most certainly something to avoid in your living space. Mice are attracted to crumbs and other food droppings, and they seek out holes and openings to enter your home. Mice can survive on very little food each day, so keeping your home cleaned and sanitized consistently will help make your house less appealing to mice.
Utilizing food storage containers like the Chef’s Path Airtight Food Storage Containers Set can give you peace of mind and keep your food free from pests. Sealing any potential entry points into your home will help eliminate the possibility for mice to enter your home unannounced. You can help close the bottoms of doors using the XCLUDER 162600 36-inch Residential Rodent Proof Door Sweep to prevent any rodents from entering.
In addition to living in your furniture, a mouse can also nest in other secluded areas in your home. Mice can find their way into your house through open cracks or entry points that aren’t properly sealed; and challenging to trap once discovered. Be sure to look for signs of mice in your home, and if you suspect anything suspicious, it may be time to lay traps or reach out to a local pest control specialist.
- Franklin Pest Solutions: How to Keep Mice Out of the House
- Terminix: The 8 Best Ways To Help Get Rid Of Mice
- American Pest Professionals: 3 Ways Mice Spread Disease in Your Home
- Pest Control Products: Mouse in the sofa?
- Mice Mob Exterminators: Tracks and Rub Marks: Identifying a Mouse Infestation
- Orkin: Mouse Home Infestation
- Orkin: Where Do Mice Go In Winter?
- American Pest: The Difference Between Mice And Rats
- LiveScience: Mouse Facts
- Orkin: What Do Mice Eat?
- PestWorld: Health Hazards Posed by Rodents
- Wikipedia: House mouse
- PestWorld: House Mice
- Preventative Pest Houston: How Fast Do Mice Multiply in Your Home?
- Terminix: The Life Cycle Of A Mouse
- Cooper Pest Solutions: Where Do Mice Hide In My Home?
- Wikipedia: Salmonella
- Wikipedia: Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis