WILL MICE COME OUT IF LIGHTS ARE ON?
No other creatures on earth are as polarizing as mice. It is either you like them or you hate them, or at least that is how it looks like. Those who like mice argue that they look cute and are more intelligent than let us say cats or dogs. Those who hate mice consider mice as uninvited guests and can become real problems in the households they attack. They build nests, they contaminate food and water, they transmit nasty diseases, and they damage property. They can shut down an entire business just with their presence alone. Indeed, the presence of these creatures is something no homeowners must tolerate.
The legendary Chinese army general Sun Tzi wrote that “If you know your enemy and you know who you are, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. Similarly, if you want to get rid of mice, it is important to know their behaviors.
So what are the behaviors of mice that we need to know? Well, for one, they are nocturnal, meaning they are active during the day. They do not like sunlight. If that is so, then it should follow that they do not like it when the lights are turned on, do they?
In this article, Go-Forth Pest Control, the leading pest control company in the Triangle region and is a local and friendly exterminator for bugs, would like to talk to you about mice, their behaviors, and how to get rid of them. Read on.
Overview of mice
Mice are among the most common household pests in the United States. Mice have large rounded eyes, have pointed muzzles, have tails that are longer than their bodies, and have four legs. They come in gray colors with cream-colored bellies. Their bodies may be up to 3.75 inches, excluding their tails.
Mice are said to be very intelligent creatures. They are more comfortable crawling beside walls and do not like to be exposed in open spaces, which works to their advantage. Mice have incredible memories and can easily remember the paths that they took. They also recognize a new obstruction in their regular paths and would quickly recognize it as something dangerous.
Social life and reproduction
Mice are highly social creatures. They live in a single nest, where they sleep, eat, and play together. They get lonely when they are left alone. When a mouse dies, they mourn their loss.
Mice are always sexually active. At 5 weeks of age, mice can already reproduce. They can reproduce every 3 weeks and can do so until they reach the age of 2 years. What makes their species successful is that they breed rapidly and can adapt easily to ever-changing conditions.
Mice are active at night
Mice go out of their nests at night, when humans are in bed and asleep. They forage for food, they play with each other, and do most of their damage after daylight.
Mice’s natural predators like cats, owls, and foxes know this, so they too stalk at night. As home and business owners, we also have to be aware of this as it could help us in dealing with these pests.
How mice react to light
Mice, being so used to the dark, react to light much differently than humans. Mice’s eyes are suitable for the dark. It also allows them to see well in dim lights and pitch blackness. They respond to ultraviolet light as well. Humans cannot see any ultraviolet light waves.
Studies have shown that mice can react to light even though they cannot distinguish shapes. The study also says mice’s eyes contain a protein that detects light that is known as melanopsin. Melanopsin transmits messages to a mouse’s brain about the degree of brightness in the surroundings.
A mouse’s body clock
All living organisms have their own body clocks or circadian rhythms. Body clocks tell us when to sleep and when to wake up. This establishes the daily cycles associated with metabolism, hormone secretions, and other bodily functions.
Mice are so used to the darkness that when scientists exposed them to light that was more than they could handle, they found out that mice became sluggish and unable to function. When they are exposed to lights at night, their normal metabolisms get disrupted. Exposing them to light makes them eat at abnormal times for them. They become obese and unhealthy. It also activates their estrogen way beyond their normal levels, making them less aggressive. Due to the negative effects of light on mice, they tend to migrate somewhere else.
If that is the case, can we use light to deter mice?
Unfortunately, the light inside your house is not a very effective deterrent to mice. Once inside a house or a building, they can easily look for dark areas to hide until such time as all lights are turned off. Places they can hide include inside the walls, crawl spaces, attics, and ceilings. The best thing that can happen with turning on the lights is limiting the movements of these mice. Nevertheless, they would still be there.
What seems to be effective is the lights that are set up around the perimeter of a house. Mice are somehow prevented from crossing the lighted perimeter and thus prevented from trying to enter into the premises. Mice would rather go look for food in a dark area.
Signs of mice infestation
Sometimes it is difficult to know if you have mice in your house since they come out of their nests only at night, and you rarely see them during the day. Fortunately for us, mice leave signs that give away their presence. Here are signs to look out for.
- Seeing a dead mouse means there are probably more somewhere in the house. Mice live together in a single nest because they do not like to be alone, so there is a huge probability that the dead mouse had some company before it died.
- Mice droppings scattered all over the house. Their droppings look like tiny black pellets. Mice leave lots of droppings because they eat a lot, so they poop a lot. Be careful not to have these droppings contaminate your food and water.
- Food scraps, seeds, or wrappings left behind, especially in areas that are out of the way for humans and pets like inside shoes or in the corner of cabinets.
- Scratching sounds coming from the inside of walls, ceilings, or floor cavities.
- Grease marks on walls. Mice usually crawl beside walls since they are not comfortable being out in the open.
- Gnaw marks on food packages, boxes, cardboards, papers, walls, gas pipes, and electric cables. Mice have incisors that are constantly growing, and in order to stop growing, they need something to nibble on.
Dangers of having mice around
Mice can transmit some deadly diseases. Their droppings, urine, saliva, and vomit can contaminate the food and water. When we ingest contaminated food and water, we can get infected with diseases like salmonella, leptospirosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Lassa Fever, and Rat Bite Fever.
Their penchant for chewing electric cables and gas pipes makes them fire hazards.
Effects on business
If you are a business owner, mice are among your worst enemies. If your business is in the food manufacturing or restaurant industries, be vigilant and always check for signs of mice. The presence of a single mouse can result in your business being shut down. States require businesses to be totally pest free for health reasons. It will also ruin your business’ reputation since it is now easy to spread pictures of your restaurant with mice running around your premises.
Here are some tips on how to get rid of mice.
- Make an inspection around your house for holes, cracks, and small openings. Bring with you a pencil to test the size of these holes; if the pencil can fit into the hole, then a mouse can too. Seal it by caulking to prevent mice from entering through it.
- Put your food inside sealed containers. This will keep your food safe from contamination.
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Mice are attracted to water sources.
- Remove clutter in the house where they can hide. Boxes and cardboard should be kept away as well.
- Cover your trash cans using lids and regularly dispose of your garbage.
If you are already overwhelmed by a mice infestation problem, then it is time to call the professionals. For the best pest control company in the Triangle region, contact Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control is your best bet to solve your mice infestation problems. If you feel that mice are getting their way inside your own home, Go-Forth Pest Control will find ways.
Go-Forth has 61 years of excellent experience in handling pests like mice, rats, mosquitoes, roaches, bed bugs, and many others. Their expert technicians will work with you in finding a solution to these pests.
For more information, call Go-Forth Pest Control now!