Scientists might know them as Mus musculus, but most homeowners identify these unwanted guests as the house mouse. Native to Asia, the house mouse set sail with European settlers hundreds of years ago and discovered an appealing new home in the New World. Incredibly adaptive, they’ve been living side-by-side with Americans ever since.
Invariably, the arrival of cooler fall temperatures motivates these mammals to move from open fields and woodlands into an environment offering food, water and shelter from inclement weather – namely, places like the garage, the basement, the attic and even the kitchen. The pressure for mice to move indoors increases as the temperature declines.
Mice are perfectly comfortable rearranging your home to make it a more welcoming environment. That can mean burrowing into wall and attic insulation for starters, not to mention unauthorized access into upholstered furniture (look under cushins). Papers, clothing, electrical lines, appliances and more are equally likely to fall victim to mice looking not only for a secure place to build a nest, but to line it with many of the valuables we treasure most. Machinery and vehicles parked in the garage aren’t safe either, as an engine compartment can often make for an ideal place to build a home.
Capable of fitting through incredibly tiny holes, a house mouse can access openings about the same width of a good old-fashioned No. 2 pencil. Wood, plaster, brick, siding, metal pipes, mesh and cables are scaled easily and provide access to potential entry points in the home.
Tell-tale sights and sounds of a mouse infestation like squeaking and scuttling at night and fresh mouse droppings.