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Our days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting colder. While you get out the quilts for the beds, bear in mind that other creatures are eager to put the finishing touches on their winter nests, too. The nest-builders that I mean are mice, and they’re already creating a problem for homeowners in East Tennessee.

Mice can be cute (reference attached photo for evidence), but they’re considered one of the most troubling pests for mankind. They don’t just want to share space with humans—they also want to share supplies, and they are famous for contaminating food and spreading diseases with their droppings and parasites. Consider these statistics about mouse activity that the National Pest Management Field Guide documented. If two mice inhabit a structure for six months, they will eat about 4 lbs. of food. They will also leave behind about 18,000 droppings and will expel 12 oz. of urine, particularly while marking their territory (which they do often). Not a very pleasant thought, is it? Now consider that mice can produce litters of 5-8 young every six weeks. Suddenly, the rodent problem has taken on a broader scope.

Mice aren’t like rats—they are naturally curious and are not suspicious of changes in their surroundings. This can work to your advantage. If you know you’ve got mice in a certain area, move around the objects nearby and then add a trap with food on it. The mouse will be eager to relearn the once-familiar environment and is more likely to fall prey to your rodent control measures. Another home remedy for getting rid of mice is to block up the extra space around your plumbing and electrical openings with steel wool or copper mesh. As rodents, their tendency is to chew through obstructions, but the metal will hurt them when they try. Copper is toxic to rodents, so it has even faster effects.

We encourage homeowners to remember that one mouse isn’t too big of a problem, but a mouse colony is a major issue. If you find evidence of mice or know that you’re in a high-risk area for them (like land surrounded by fields or near construction sites), take action immediately. If you’re busy and just can’t find space in your schedule to handle rodent control, click here to hire a professional who can carefully monitor for mice and eliminate them efficiently if they get inside.

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