The weather is heating up, the flowers have bloomed, and you are eager to be outside. Even though you may be craving time away from your house, will any lingering mice vacant your home during the summer as well?
Mice tend to leave houses in the summer months to migrate from their wintry nests to a place more suitable for sustaining cooler temperatures throughout the warmer weather. Although they have more generous outside options, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will independently leave.
In this article, I will further discuss why mice are attracted to homes, the likelihood of their voluntary departure, and, if necessary, how to remove them. If you have extra company in your home as summer is approaching and you are wondering what their residency status may be in a few short months, keep reading.
Mice will create nests out of almost any material within their nearby reach. Items that can shred easily, such as paper, insulation, or fabric, are often used for nests. Nests are often balls of materials, including mouse droppings and bits of food, as they are not known for their cleanliness. A single nest can house 1-2 dozen mice at any given time and is in relatively dry places.
Mice are known to stay close to their nests. Typically, a mouse won’t stray more than 25 feet from its nests regularly. They need to choose a spot with access to resources such as food and additional material for their nest.
A young female mouse can mate and give birth as early as four weeks old. Once pregnant, their gestational period is between 19 to 21 days. The female can birth a litter of up to 12 mice at a time. Mice can get pregnant almost immediately after giving birth, making it possible to produce a new little every three weeks. If you have a pregnant mouse in your home, a small mouse problem may quickly grow into an infestation.
Mice are classified as omnivores and will eat both plants and meat. Typically, they prefer to eat fruits, nuts, and grains. These preferences may imply mice are picky, but that is far from the truth. The standard house mouse will eat almost anything they can get their hands on. Mice will even take a bite out of one another or their tail if they haven’t had access to food for a significant amount of time.
Similar to other pests, rodents pose many health risks to humans. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted over 35 diseases are carried and spread by mice and rats.
As mice travel throughout your home, they not only transmit diseases through feces and urine but also with their feet as they cross surfaces after walking through their excrement. A few notable diseases and viruses spread by mice include hantavirus, Bubonic plague, and Rat-Bite Fever.
Rodent season occurs during the fall and winter seasons, where rodents and other pests are trying to find a warm, safe place to call home to survive through the cold. Be sure to take extra precautions during this time and seal any potential openings into your home. Rodent season typically lasts anywhere between August to late October. Mice will be on the lookout for any potential homes, including yours.
As colder weather approaches, I’d recommend installing door sweeps like the Holikme Twin Door Draft Stopper. Not only will this product reduce cool drafts, but it will also work to prevent any unwanted pests from entering. In addition to sealing your doors, address any issues with cracks in your foundation or other areas that mice may sneak through. If you have any sheds or outdoor buildings, consider sealing all entrances and crevices for those, too.
Why Are Mice Attracted to Homes?
A mouse will build their nest inside homes for warmth, shelter, and safety from potential predators. So long as there is a consistent food source, your home may be the perfect spot for these rodents to enjoy. Mice will live in various areas, including attics, walls, basements, behind cabinets, and even in your air ducts. There they can be free to nest and stay safe through the colder weather.
While your living conditions may be ideal, there are a few more prevention tactics to reduce the risk of having unwanted visitors.
- Reduce clutter throughout your home. A mouse will see clutter as the perfect spot to hide and potentially scavenge for nest materials. If you have piles of clothes or other items, it will make things more difficult if you have to locate a mouse scurrying around.
- Seal pantry items in airtight storage containers so mice and other pests can’t access them. The Chef’s Path Airtight Food Storage Containers Set is an excellent option from Amazon.com and includes 14 different containers to maximize your space.
- Pest repellent is an excellent preventative measure that requires minimal effort. You can purchase scented pouches like the Fresh Cab Botanical Rodent Repellent to place around your home, or you can use an ultrasonic option. Amazon.com features the XVEN Ultrasonic Pest Repeller (6-Pack) that releases an ultrasonic noise to deter pests, including mice, cockroaches, spiders, fleas, and more.
- Maintain a clean home and work to remove any crumbs or scraps after meals. Don’t forget to wipe and clean down your counters and stove tops to reduce available food particles.
Will Mice Leave When It Gets Warm?
As warmer weather approaches, mice will need to maintain their ideal temperatures. If they were to continue living in their warm, cozy nests inside your walls or attic, it may become too hot for them and force them to move. While some may leave your home entirely, this doesn’t mean they will all vacate the property.
Do Mice Leave on Their Own?
Mice may leave on their own accord to seek a colder shelter. However, mice may find the cooler shelter by transitioning to the basement of your house. Basements stay relatively cool during the summer months and can be an ideal location for a mouse. Your basement will still safeguard the rodents from predators and continue to offer a steady source of food and materials for their nests.
How To Get Rid of Mice
Whether you’ve spotted a mouse, have noticed droppings, or heard scratching or squeaking in the walls, a mouse problem must be dealt with as soon as possible. If left untreated, your mouse may begin to multiple and will lead to an infestation. As you work to get rid of mice, consider the following solutions:
- Mouse traps that either snap shut when touched, or glue traps that keep the mouse contained are reasonable first-step solutions to dealing with mice. If you are using traditional snap traps like the Mouse Trap SX-5009 (12 Pack) or glue traps like the Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap (36 Count), you need to put these in multiple places throughout your home to increase your chances of success.
- Bait stations are another alternative solution to traditional traps. The Tomcat Mouse Killer Disposable Station for Indoor Use allows you to place the stations around your house and wait for mice to come to take the bait.
- Trap placement is crucial to getting rid of mice. You will need to place traps so that mice will naturally run into them as they are scurrying along your walls and throughout your house. For example, if you are using the glue traps, be sure the opening is parallel to the wall so the mice will naturally run through the trap during their regular commute.
While mice seek shelter in homes during the winter, they aren’t guaranteed to leave once summer starts. Take precautionary steps if you are concerned about mice seeking refuge in your home over the coming months. If you have mice in your home already, consider trying the listed methods to remove them. If there is an infestation or the above methods aren’t effective, consult a professional exterminator to complete the job for you.
- Victor Pest: What Is Rodent Season And How Long Does It Last?
- Terminix: Where Do Mice Hide In The Home During Fall And Winter?
- LiveScience: Mouse Facts: Habits, Habitat & Types of Mice
- Terminix: How To Identify A Mouse Nest In Your House
- CDC: Rodents
- Pest World: An Overview of the Real Health Risks Posed By Mice and Rat Infestations
- CDC: Diseases directly transmitted by rodents
- Varment Guard: Can I Get Mice During The Summer?
- Terminix: Eight Ways to Get Rid of Mice
- Wikipedia: Hantavirus
- Wikipedia: Bubonic Plague
- Wikipedia: Rat-Bite Fever