Although mice can live outdoors, they are attracted to the inside of our properties for shelter and food during the fall and winter season.
Generally, mice won’t be seen during the day as they are nocturnal. Therefore, looking for signs of them - such as mouse droppings - may be a safer bet to confirm if you do have an existing mouse infestation problem. Looking for the evidence they leave behind rather than the actual mice, is also often far easier than trying to catch a glimpse of the rodent to identify the species that is invading your business.
Do you think you have mice in your business? Don’t waste time. Call Rentokil at 800-837-5520 for a free mouse inspection. A Specialist will thoroughly inspect your building for all signs of mice and provide you with a recommended rodent control program.
Signs of mice in your business
Of course not all mouse infestations are exactly the same. Nevertheless, there are a number of common signs and indicators you can look for to help determine if you have a mouse problem in your business.
Mouse droppings - Droppings are usually the most easily identifiable sign of mice in any building. Mice produce a lot of droppings throughout the day and they're usually found along walls, in cupboards or under sinks. The droppings are the size of a grain of rice, pointed at one or both ends and typically brown to black in color. The average length of a house mouse’s dropping is ¼ inch.
Dirty smudges - Look for dirty smudges on floors or baseboards. Mice tend to run alongside walls as they don’t have great eyesight, so this helps them navigate. They tend to stick to the same route too. Over time, the increased contact from their fur and body along the same stretch of wall leads to distinctive marks. You might also notice small patches of urine along the same route.
Distinctive smell - Have you noticed a strange smell recently? The presence of mice may also be detected through a distinctive ammonia-like smell (very strong urine scent) that will be particularly obvious in more enclosed areas. The smell helps mice orientate inside a property as it is often stronger along established routes and acts as a marker for their territory.
Mouse damage - Mice damage can include damage to furniture and wiring as well as to stored foods and other readily available food sources. When mice get into food, it can lead to food contamination from their feces, urine or fur, which may cause Salmonella or other rodent-related diseases.
Mice teeth grow continuously, so they need to gnaw on wood, plastic, cables and other hard materials to keep their teeth shorter. This is also the reason why mice can be seen as a fire hazard. They are able to chew through electrical cables causing equipment malfunctions and power shortages.
In terms of food damage, they can make up to 20-30 visits per day to an identified food site. Adults will consume between 3 and 4 grams of food in one day and they prefer cereal grains, seeds, nuts, meats and candies. It is also important to note that they are also fond of foods high in fat, such as nuts, bacon, butter and sweets.
Scratching noises - Listen for unusual or unfamiliar noises, especially at night when mice are most active. You may hear scratching noises in the walls or noises coming from ceilings above your head as mice scurry around. You might also hear them squeaking or gnawing.
Mouse nests - Keep a look out for nests. Mice build nests with shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests tend to be in hidden places such as behind fridges, in wall voids, ceilings, cabinets and storage boxes etc., and relatively close to food sources. Nests will often contain young mice.
Live or dead mice - Spotting a mouse during the daytime can be an indication of a heavy infestation.
Where to check for signs of mice
Where in your business should you start to look for the signs of mice and damage they can cause? Mice are agile creatures, able to use their flexible skeletons to squeeze into the tiniest spaces, so you need to check your building for mice from the very top to the bottom, inside and out. Here are some common places you might find mice hiding within a property:
HVAC/equipment room - when mice gain access to these areas, they will begin to gnaw on wires, cables and other equipment. Check for evidence of bite marks and droppings.
Shipping and receiving areas - these areas create open entryways for mice and should be frequently monitored for signs of activity.
Garbage areas -many businesses accumulate a large amount of trash, creating a haven for hungry mice. If trash is stored near the entryways of a building, the risk of mice invading your property becomes higher.
Break room/kitchens areas - check behind all appliances, as mice can easily squeeze into gaps behind refrigerators, water coolers and cabinets. Any areas where pipework or cabling enters through walls from the outside offers mice a chance to sneak in, so check behind the dishwasher too.
Above ceilings and cavity walls - check any hidden spaces such as suspended ceilings and crawlspaces. Mice will make use of these places because they are secure and protected locations that often go unnoticed.
Worried about a mice infestation?
You can take some practical steps now to deter mice and prevent a mouse infestation. For an existing problem, you can rely on Rentokil to get rid of mice safely and effectively.
Take advantage of Rentokil’s PestConnect to help guard your business against unwanted mice and rats around the clock, every day of the year.
Call Rentokil at 1-800-837-5520 for further advice on mice or to arrange a free pest inspection.