One of the best ways to prevent extensive damage from a major mouse infestation is to catch the little critters as soon as they start to move in. Get to know the early warning signs of mice in the house, and you can keep a small problem from getting too large.
The main signs of mice in the house are their droppings. They look like irregularly-shaped dark brown grains of rice, and they will leave them absolutely everywhere. After that, you’ll find damage from chewing on fabrics, food packaging or even wood furniture.
The trick is to know where to look, not just what to look for.
The signs of mice are almost never out in the open. Mice are timid little beasts and will stay hidden as much as possible, even when they roam around under the cover of darkness. So don’t expect to see any droppings or damage out in the middle of the room.
- Check behind large pieces of furniture, along baseboards in rooms that don’t get a lot of use. Bookshelves or hutches that have space under them can also hide signs of mice.
- Basements, attics and garages are potential danger zones, but mice are more likely to spend time where there is food around. That usually means the kitchen or pantry areas. Again, look behind and under cabinets or cupboards to find the tell-tale signs of mice. A sneaky spot can be inside the drawer units, so pull out those drawers and use a flashlight to see inside the cabinet itself.
- Closets can also be busy places for mice who are looking for soft material to steal for their nests. Pull out the boxes and junk, and see what’s lurking in the back corners or the top shelves of your closet.
Never assume that a hole or space is too small for a mouse to get through.
A hole the size of a quarter can easily allow a mouse access, as well as narrow cracks no more than a 1/4 inch deep. They can also climb vertically to reach high shelves, especially if there is rough wood or other material that they can get their little claws into. Smooth plastic can sometimes deter them. That means you should even check hard-to-access spots on high shelves or inside closed cabinets and boxes.
When you do start to see signs of mice in the house, immediately take steps to protect any exposed food and start administering Shake Away mouse repellent in the affected areas.