Mice as a Pest

Mice are small mammals that belong to the order of rodents. In the wild, they create burrows for nesting but when mice find their way into a home, they can pose a serious problem.

Mice not only cause damage to property but carry various diseases which can be passed on to humans. What starts as a small infestation can quickly spread throughout the home, causing damage and creating a fire risk from wiring that has been gnawed by their constant chewing.

House mouse eating cantaloupe

House Mouse

A single female mouse can have up to 10 litters a year, with as many as 6 young. And, the newborn mice may start conceiving as early as 5 to 6 weeks of age! Mice look for food and shelter within the home, building their nests in attics and crawl spaces causing not only damage to the home but to our health.

Mice spread various diseases through the air we breathe and in food that has been contaminated by their feces and urine.

Mouse Droppings and Disease

Mice contaminate food and water with their waste and spread diseases such as hantaviruses which can lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Humans can become sick after breathing air contaminated with the virus from mouse droppings and urine.Symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscles aches, followed by coughing and shortness of breath.

Their urine can also trigger allergies, especially in children because their immune systems are still developing. In 2010, a wild deer mouse trapped in Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA) was tested positive for the potentially-deadly hantavirus. The best defense from these carriers of disease is to keep mice out of your home in the first place.

Extensive Mouse Infestation

Extensive Mouse Infestation

Mice in the Home

In most cities and towns, the House mouse has become the number one rodent pest. There are several species of mice but the most common in the home is the House Mouse.

Under optimum conditions, “well fed” mice reproduce at a higher rate.Since mice eat 15 to 20 times per day, their nest needs to be close to a good food source.

A mouse can enter the home through a hole or crevice ¼ inch in diameter and then quickly disappear. Evidence of mice can often be found in the pantry or attic.

Once an infestation of mice has occurred within the home, it is important to have a professional remove the hazardous materials left from mouse feces and urine.

Hearts Pest Management´s technicians understand the health dangers associated with cleaning out a mouse infestation and wear protective equipment while practicing the appropriate safety procedures.

Deer mouse destroying furniture

A Deer mouse making a nest out of fabric.

Entrance point for rats and mice, called a "grease rub."

Entrance point for rats and mice, called a “grease rub.”

Besides urine and droppings, mice leave behind what is called “grease rub” or “grease marks.” The marks are caused by mice rubbing their fur along a surface.

Rodent fur contains oils and dirt that create the dark grease marks.

A hole in the stucco of a home provides easy access for rodents. Note the “grease rub” left behind from their fur.

Other signs of mice infestation include gnawing marks on wood for sharpening their teeth, chewed wires, holes in cushions made for nesting material, damaged food with small holes in bags of pasta, rice, and beans.

Read more about using caution when cleaning up rodent droppings:San Diego County Center for Disease Control – Hanta Virus Press Release.

A bag of dog food is another favorite for mice to get into and contaminate. To keep your home free of mice, consider checking your property at least once a year for any entry points and close off these areas. Limit access to food:

  • Keep pet food in a sealed container; dry pet food left in the garage in a bag is an easy food source for mice.
  • Remove crumbs under the toaster.
  • Spilled food left out overnight; clean up any food and crumbs that have fallen onto the floor.
  • Pet food left out in dishes overnight; mice are nocturnal and do most of their eating at night.
    If possible, keep food in the pantry and on the counter in metal or glass containers.

Pipe from air conditioning unit covered with mouse urine and “grease rub.”Hearts Pest Management provides free inspections for possible mice infestations. During the inspection, a certified professional technician will check for mice entry points and check for any damage to wiring, insulation, and/or pipes. Should you have an infestation, Hearts Pest Management technicians will recommend the best solution by applying the following methods:

  • Indoor trapping and/or outdoor baiting
  • Exclusion (blocking entry points to home or building)
  • Full service clean-out
  • Replace damaged insulation from urine and feces

See this page for more detailed information on how we remediate mice infestations and prevent future infestations.

Common mice species found in Southern California

Review these webpages for more information on mice species found in Southern California:

The House Mouse
The Deer Mouse
The California Mouse
The Meadow Mouse or otherwise know as a Vole

Call today at 1-800-986-1006 for help with mice or contact us.

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Locations

City Services for Pest Control in Los Angeles
Los Angeles • 800-986-1006
Agoura Hills North Hollywood
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City Services for Pest Control in San Diego
San Diego Inland • 858-486-1006
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Back Country • 760-789-4004
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Julian Santa Ysabel
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North Inland • 760-745-1331
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Escondido Pauma Valley
Fallbrook Valley Center
San Diego City • 619-440-6080
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Otay Mesa
North Coastal • 760-753-8008
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South - East San Diego • 619-440-6080
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Bonita Jamul
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East Lake Chula Vista Lakeside
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City Services for Pest Control in Orange County
Orange County • 800-986-1006
Aliso Viejo Laguna Hills
Anaheim Laguna Niguel
Brea Lake Forest
Buena Park Los Alamitos
Capistrano Beach Mission Viejo
City of Orange Newport Beach
Corona Del Mar Orange
Costa Mesa Rancho Santa Margarita
Dana Point Rossmoor
Fountain Valley San Clemente
Fullerton San Juan Capistrano
Garden Grove Santa Ana
Huntington Beach Tustin
Irvine Villa Park
La Habra Westminster
Laguna Beach Yorba Linda

City Services for Pest Control in Ventura
Ventura • 800-986-1006
Moorpark Thousand Oaks
Simi Valley

City Services for Pest Control in Riverside
Riverside • 951-693-5005
Canyon Lake Norco
Chino Hills Perris
Corona Sun City
Eastvale Temecula
Lake Elsinore The City of Riverside
Menifee Wildomar
Moreno Valley Winchester
Murrieta

City Services for Pest Control in San Bernardino
San Bernardino • 909-793-0252
Chino Ontario
Fontana Rancho Cucamonga
Highland Redlands
Loma Linda Upland
Montclair Yucaipa

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