During the winter months, the number of calls regarding mice and other rodents goes up for my business drastically. This time of year, pests are doing everything that they can to find shelter from the cold weather. Here in Oklahoma, we have both mice and rats, like most places in the country. Most people are amazed by the ability of mice to get into places by flattening themselves. How do mice flatten themselves? Mice have a very flexible bone structure. This gives them the ability to bend and contort their ribcage more than most other animals.
Because of their ability to do this, they can get through very small places and gaps. As a general rule, if they can get their head through an opening, they can get their body through as well. For mice, this means that they can push through holes as small as a dime, and for rats, holes as small as a quarter. When mice find holes that are too small to enter they will also chew those holes until they are big enough to get through.
MICE BIOLOGY AND LIFE CYCLE
The common house mouse is an invasive species that is believed to be originally from central Asia. Ships covering the globe have brought mice and rats to at least six of the seven continents. Mice are very adaptable animals, and have found ways of living with and around humans. They predominantly eat cereals and seeds, but have made meals of fats and proteins found in most homes.
Mice reproduce very quickly. They usually have a life span of between nine and fourteen months. A female mouse can have five to ten litters each with up to ten babies. These young are born in less than a month after conception, and reach sexual maturity within six to ten weeks of birth. Because they reproduce and mature so quickly, their population growth can be exponential. If you have a large population in your home or business, contact an Oklahoma exterminator for help.
In addition to being able to squeeze through tight places, mice have a lot of physical abilities. Despite being only two to three inches long, they have a vertical jump of up to twelve inches. That’s six times their height! They are excellent climbers and can traverse almost any rough surface. Mice have great balance and can run across horizontal ropes or wires with ease. Contact your Tulsa exterminator for more information.
As stated before, they can reproduce very quickly. Because they find themselves at the bottom of the food chain, this helps to keep their numbers high enough to survive severe predation. Mice have a very good sense of smell, touch, taste and hearing. Their sight is not so good, though. Mice can see about six inches in front of them. Because of this, they will run close to walls where their whiskers can help guide them. Since they are mostly nocturnal, sight is not as important a sense for them.
DAMAGE CAUSED BY MICE
Mice are one of the most costly pests that we have today. They chew holes in our homes to move around. They feed on our food in the pantry. They leave droppings that can spread diseases such as salmonellosis. The amount of food that must be thrown out after they have eaten from it alone is staggering. Mice are also known to chew on the bark of saplings and small trees. They can damage or even kill trees if left unprotected. If you are having any of these problems, it is time to call a Tulsa pest control company for help.
Most people are more likely to put up with a mice infestation than a rat infestation. Because of this, mice are twenty to thirty times more likely to infest a home than rats are. Their size allows them to hide better and find more places to nest. Their amazing ability to reproduce makes them hard to control, and their ability to squeeze through tight holes makes them hard to exclude.
There are plenty of home remedies professed by internet gurus that are just plain wrong. Smells such as peppermint and vinegar are often toted as wonder solutions. These are totally wrong. For a good meal and a warm place to stay, a mouse will easily put up with an unpleasant smell. And vinegar implies rotting fruit, which may even attract them. Used kitty litter is another pseudo solution. While the presence of a predator such as a cat may make a mice weary, it won’t stop them. And cat droppings are unsanitary and unhealthy to have around.
But there are some things that home owners can do to protect their home. Mice, like most pests, need three things to infest your home. They need food, shelter and water. Water is usually obtained by going outside. But if you can exclude mice from your home to begin with, then you’ve already won the battle. Fill gaps and holes with steel wool. Keeping your home clean with dishes washed and food picked up eliminates foods for them. If you find plastic bags chewed on, it may be a good idea to move cereals and breads into plastic containers.
ELIMINATING MICE FROM YOUR YARD AND HOME
If you find yourself in a situation with a rodent infestation, it may be time to call in a professional. Your local Oklahoma pest control company can set you up with a program to get rid of the mice in your home and keep them out. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we can get you a free estimate on rodent elimination for your home, send out an experienced and licensed technician, and get your home and life back on track. We service the greater Tulsa area including Bixby, Jenks, Broken Arrow, Sapulpa, Coweta, Turley, Sand Springs, Berryhill, Claremore, Pratville, Catoosa, Owasso and much more. Call us today! We’re here to help!