It is very common to have mice living in a home and once in residence, mice can breed with happy abandon. The trouble is, although mice look a lot sweeter than rats, they are just as dangerous. Mice carry all kinds of nasty diseases and if you have mice running amok in your kitchen, you are putting the health of you and your family at risk. So what are the primary causes of a mice infestation?

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A Nice Warm Home

One of the reasons why mice choose to live indoors rather than in the shed is that a house full of humans is generally a lot warmer than a gloomy shed. Like humans, mice prefer to be warm and dry. If given the opportunity, mice will happily come indoors and make a nest inside your walls, in the roof space, under the floorboards, or even in the kitchen pantry.

Dark, Messy Corners

Mice like to nest in dark places where they won’t be disturbed. They will often nest out of sight under the floor boards or inside cavity walls, but if your house is messy and less than clean, don’t be surprised if you end up with a family of mice in residence. Mice like soft materials and newspapers. If there are piles of old newspapers or clothes lying around, an opportunistic mouse will soon take advantage and chew them up into a cosy bed for their mouse babies.

Food Lying Around

Leaving accessible food lying around is a primary cause of mice infestations. Mice are more than capable of chewing through paper packets and boxes, so if you have cupboards with holes in or you leave food on worktops or the floor, the local mice population will think all their Christmases have come at once. The best way to prevent mice from snacking on cereals and leftovers is to put waste food in the bin and store food securely in sealed plastic containers and rodent proof cupboards.

Access Holes

Mice can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps. They can find their way into homes through pipe inlets and gaps under the floorboards. Check windows and doors for gaps and if there are any, fill them up to deter pesky mice interlopers.

No Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs are a useful deterrent in the war against rodents. Having a cat, dog or both living in your home may not prevent you from suffering a mice infestation, but mice are less likely to take up residence if you have pets in the house. Most cats love to chase mice and given the opportunity will catch and kill them. However, it does depend on where your mice are living. For example, if you have mice living inside your walls or beneath the floor boards, your cat might not be able to reach them: cats 0, mice 1.

If you notice mice droppings on the floor or in cupboards, particularly in the kitchen area, or you hear scratching noises late at night, you could have a mice infestation. If so, buy some mouse control devices

The author of this article, Brian Harris, is an intern at Innovative Care of the Environment Inc., a trusted firm providing mice extermination services in Toronto. Brian loves to travel with his family and blogs in his spare time.