Do Field Mice Infest Houses?
Field mice are known to infest gardens and are the root of several problems. These pests usually cause a lot of damage outdoors like feeding on garden plants and digging burrows across the yard. They can also spread various diseases through their urine and droppings.
But do field mice infest houses? The answer is yes, these creatures can make their way indoors. When faced with a field mice infestation inside your home, it’s best to learn about what attracts them into your home, how they enter into your home, and what to do when dealing with the problem.
What Attracts Field Mice Into Your Home
You might think that just because you’re indoors, you’re already safe from a field mice infestation. However, one of the main reasons why these rodents infest your home is because it provides them with the resources that they need to survive. Here of the resources that encourage field mice to live and breed inside your home are the following:
1. Food Sources
Although field mice usually feed on fruits and vegetables in your garden, there is plenty of food inside your home that can also serve as their resources. More specifically, any food that is left unattended on kitchen countertops and the floor attracts mice indoors. Take note of the following kinds of food that attract these creatures into your home:
- Nuts and its byproducts like peanut butter and hazelnut spread
- Fruits and vegetables
- Raw meat and uncooked meat
- Sweet and salty snacks
- Pet food
- Grains and seeds
The outdoors can get too cold for field mice, so they tend to look for shelter indoors and houses provide field mice with the necessary warmth they need to survive. This is why rodent infestations are more likely to occur during the colder seasons like the fall and winter time. The time when rodents look for warmer areas to live in is referred to as “rodent season.” In the United States, rodent season usually occurs around August to late October.
Mice are able to detect the warmth of a building through the wall openings and so they find ways to enter your home. Houses with heating are more susceptible to rodent infestations so check areas that provide insulation like water heaters.
These rodents love to nest and burrow in cluttered spaces because it provides them with the warmth they need to survive. Examples of great nesting sites are stacks of paper, cardboard, and office drawers. Areas like the garage, attic, small storage spaces, and basements are prone to clutter and can attract mice if left unattended.
How Mice Enter Your Home
After identifying the different factors that attract mice indoors, you should then determine the areas and ways the pests are able to enter your home. The following things help lead field mice indoors:
- Small Cracks and Gaps: Mice are able to squeeze themselves into spaces as small as 2 centimeters, so any cracks and gaps can lead them inside your home. A good tip is to check whether a pencil can fit into any cracks or gaps. If a pencil can go through, then a mouse can also fit.
- Shrubs and Tree Limbs: Shrubs are great hiding places for field mice and tree limbs connect your house to the garden. You can prevent indoor infestations by making it a habit to regularly trim your plants and to clear your garden of any wood piles.
- Doors and Windows: When left open, doors and windows make it extremely easy for rodents like mice and rats to enter so always remember to shut these entry points.
How to Identify a Field Mouse vs. House Mouse
Learning and identifying the differences between the two rodent species helps you deal with the problem more efficiently. If you don’t know what kind of mouse is inside your household, here is a table that lists some key differences between the two species:
|Characteristic||Field Mouse||House Mouse|
|Physical Characteristics||- Brown or tan color with a light underbelly
- Tail is short and covered with small hairs
- Usually 7 inches long
- Smaller eyes and smaller mouth
|- Light brown or gray with a solid coat
- Hairless tail
- Usually 5 inches long
- Larger eyes and larger mouth
|Behavior||- Field mice tend to gather food and store it near their nests.
- Good climbers
|- House mice are more likely to eat food that they find in their way.
- Good jumpers
|Habitat||- More likely to live in areas near open fields and parks||- Commonly found in residential and urban areas|
What to Do When Faced With a Mice Infestation
When you’re faced with a mice infestation, you should act on it quickly to prevent the rats and mice from breeding inside your home and creating more problems. Here are some temporary measures you can do to make your house safe from field mice:
1. Sealing Access Points
To prevent mice infestations indoors, make sure to seal any access points that lead the rodents into your home. Any small gaps and holes can be best sealed with a compound of caulk and steel wool. This compound can smoothen out various surfaces and is strong enough that mice cannot gnaw or chew through it.
You also want to check any areas near your walls for possible access points and seal them with the following materials:
- Strong metals
- Hard Plastic
2. Removing Food Sources and Clutter
Make sure to remove any resources in your home that will make it easy for field mice to survive and breed like food and clutter. You can deprive them of food sources by making sure that no food or water is left unattended or scattered. Transferring your food into airtight containers or glass jars makes it more difficult for rats and mice to chew through. Since mice are also known to rummage through trash to look for food, remember to throw away your garbage properly and secure your trash bins.
It’s been mentioned earlier that mice love clutter, so you should also be mindful of any clutter that is building up indoors. Make it a habit to clean up regularly, especially areas that are in the dark. Learn to avoid hoarding unnecessary items inside your home to prevent clutter from forming.
3. Using Rodent Repellents and Poison
Rodent repellents and poison are solutions that are cheap and easily accessible. Some repellents and poison you can use to eliminate field mice are the following:
- Household Items: Mice are sensitive to items with strong scents so you can dip cotton balls into household items like peppermint oil, ammonia, and citronella oil and place them near your house’s access points. You can also try putting ingredients with bad odors like garlic, onion, and chili flakes around the house to deter field mice.
- Mouse Traps: Setting mouse traps indoors and outdoors is an affordable method to eliminate mice. Snap traps, glue boards, and catch and release bait are some of the most popular kinds of traps you can use.
- Electronic Repellents: Electronic repellents can help keep away pests like rodents and other insects. The small device works by using an ultrasonic sound that rodents are sensitive to yet humans cannot hear.
Professional Rodent Control at Pinnacle Pest Management
When faced with a rodent infestation either outdoors or indoors, the best solution to the problem is to call professional rodent control. Here at Pinnacle Pest Management, we provide professional pest control services in Sacramento and other parts of Northern California. Our team is composed of experts who are eager to help you with any pest problems you face.
We are prepared to eliminate rodents in your property and guarantee excellent service to all our clients. Pinnacle Pest Management is equipped with the latest technology to offer the best solutions to your problems. Give us a call today to know more about how we can help you.
Read more: How to Sanitize After a Rodent Infestation