How Do Mice Keep Finding Their Way Into My Colorado Springs Home?

Mice eating food in a cupboard.

As winter approaches, mice are searching for an abundant source of food, water, and shelter. What better place to find such amenities than your Colorado Springs home? Today, we're going to discuss everything you need to know about this pest and what you can do to keep mice out of your home for good. 

The House Mouse

The house mouse, so named for its propensity for living amongst humans, is found throughout the United States. In fact, it is arguably the most common pest to invade the home. As fall comes to a close and temperatures continue to drop, house mice may consider making a shelter out of your home. The house mouse - small, cute, and seemingly harmless - is an insidious troublemaker and prolific breeder. Their brown-gray fur, leaf-shaped ears, and long scaly tails help to differentiate the house mouse from other mice.

The Dangers Of A House Mouse Infestation

House mice have an almost parasitic relationship with humans. Opportunistic and savvy, house mice are drawn to human activity and waste. As the weather gets more and more inhospitable, they seek shelter indoors. The warmth and protection of your Colorado Springs home is an attractive solution for house mice. House mice will inhabit granaries, feed houses, barns, and homes. 

House mice are omnivorous and have been known to feed off of carrion when it is available. Once inside the home, mice will eat almost any human food or livestock feed that is accessible and has even been known to eat soap as well as glue. 

The small stature of house mice gives them ample ways to enter your home. A house mouse can fit through a gap the size of a nickel! They burrow behind rafters, in stud cavities, woodpiles, and plumbing. They are notorious for causing fires by chewing electrical wires. Their incessant gnawing and tunneling not only weakens the integrity of your home but also gives water and weather damage a foothold. 

House mice are a well-known enemy of the farmer; they are infamous for their commercial crop destruction, and mice may also be responsible for machine and equipment malfunction. These pests are capable of causing massive losses in commercial farming enterprises, as food that mice have contaminated is rendered unfit for consumption. While the physical damage caused by house mice is daunting, the health implications of an infestation are perhaps the most dangerous side effect. 

According to the CDC, mice spread over 35 diseases worldwide; directly: via bites, urine, and feces, or indirectly: through parasites like Lyme disease-carrying ticks. The two most common diseases passed from mouse to human are hantavirus and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. 

Hantavirus is an infection caused by breathing in an infected mouse's feces, saliva, or urine. It causes flu-like symptoms, but if left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia or a more severe respiratory illness, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, with a 38 percent mortality rate.

 Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis is another viral infection passed through the feces, urine, and saliva of infected mice. It can cause serious neurological problems, and in severe cases, fatal swelling of the brain.

The Prolific Breeding Of House Mice

House mice are second only to humanity as the most populous mammals in urban areas. They are biologically designed to have as many babies as possible. The estrous cycle - when a female is in heat - is approximately 4 to 6 days, with the female giving birth to a litter of 3 to 12 after a 20-day gestational period. Within 18 hrs of giving birth, females can mate again. If conditions are optimal, a female house mouse could have up to 10 liters per year. At three weeks, babies are fully weaned, and by five to seven weeks old, they reach sexual maturity. Therefore, where there is one mouse, there are dozens. Their great numbers only serve to multiply the health risks and the property damage that mice inflict.

Stopping A House Mouse Infestation With Beeline Pest Control

Mousetraps and mouse poisoning are common methods used to combat a house mouse infestation. However, house mice are extremely intelligent and will often learn to avoid such entrapments. Furthermore, because they reproduce so rapidly, for every mouse trapped, there are several more waiting to take their place. As always, the best way to avoid the aforementioned risks of a house mouse infestation is prevention. 

Here are a few ways to prevent house mice from making a home on your property:

  • Ensure that food isn't left out.
  • Remove any clutter or debris from your property.
  • Check wood piles before bringing them inside.
  • Keep vegetation cut back and avoid allowing your lawn to grow high.
  • It is imperative to block any points of entry. All openings greater than a quarter inch should be closed off. Due to their small size and strong teeth, plastic and mesh screening will not be enough to keep mice out. Sealing around pipes, vents, and utility cables with concrete is the most secure option. Metal can be used around the edges of doors and windows to prevent chewing.  

These are all great ways to keep house mice at bay, but the best choice is always a professional. A professional, like Beeline Pest Control, can help Colorado Springs residents keep their property and their families safe from pests like house mice. Beeline Pest Control ensures safe removal and efficient prevention of infestations. Reach out to us today to learn more about our year-round rodent control options!

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