Mice are very small, timid rodents who spend most of their lives alternating between finding food and not becoming food. Almost all carnivorous animals and birds consider mice a tasty snack, so they've developed biological traits and habits that serve as survival skills. They also are among the reasons why mice get into homes.
First of all, mice don't like being exposed. They also have fairly poor vision, so they spend a lot of time running along walls, using their whiskers and body hairs to feel their way along. When they come across a hole or a gap, they explore it. Holes and gaps that are big enough for a mouse to get through, but too small for a predator to follow, can mean the difference between life and death to a mouse; so they like knowing where all the good holes are.
Most homes have dozens of gaps and holes that mice can get through if they want to. They can easily get through cracks about the size of a pencil's diameter or holes about the size of a dime. And once they get in, they can easily travel through the walls and ceilings to any location in the house. They usually settle near the food, generally near the kitchen or pantry.
Another interesting survival characteristic mice have is that they don't need free water in their diets. They'll drink it if it's available, but they can survive on the water that's in food. Not having to travel to find water means that much less chance of being eaten by a cat during the journey. It also means that once mice settle down in the wall behind your kitchen cabinets, they can stay there literally forever, having young and raising families.
Like most mammals, however, mice are somewhat territorial; so as a mouse population grows in numbers (which happens very rapidly), the mice will spread out to nearby areas. Consequently, a small mouse problem can very quickly become a big mouse problem as population pressures cause the mice to spread out.
What it comes down to in the end is that the best way to avoid mouse problems is to prevent any mice at all from getting into your house or commercial building in the first place. That's why our safe, non-chemical mouse control system relies heavily on mouse exclusion, which means sealing mice out of your house to make it mouse-proof. Once we're sure that no "new" mice can get in, we trap and remove the existing mice so you can enjoy your mouse-free home.
Because they're small, and because many people think they're cute, most people don't associate mice with disease. The truth, however, is that mice carry most of the same diseases that their larger and less-popular cousins the rats do. In fact, because mice tend to live closer to humans and are more likely to contaminate the food we eat and the utensils we use to eat it, mice arguably present a bigger health risk than rats do.
In addition to carrying diseases, mice also have this annoying habit of gnawing on wiring, a trait they share with most other rodents. This wire-gnawing can cause problems ranging from doorbells not working, to houses burning to the ground. Many fires of "unknown origin" are believed by fire safety experts to have been caused by mice and other rodents.
At Rid-A-Critter, we control mouse problems non-chemically using trapping and exclusion ("mouse-proofing") and without using pesticides. Many exterminators will tell you that it's impossible to seal mice out of a house, but we beg to differ. It's not impossible. It's just hard work. We do it every day, and we back up our work with the best warranty in the business.
Non-chemical mouse control is the safer, more environmentally-friendly, more-effective, and more-permanent way to eliminate a mouse problem. It also avoids all of the risks and hazards associated with mouse poisons, such as accidental poisoning of pets or non-target animals, fouled baits attracting insect pests, and mice dying in the walls and stinking up your house. It also eliminates the possibility of mice tracking the poison into your pantry or the drawers where you keep your utensils. It's just safer all around.
Exclusion-based mouse control is also more permanent because it prevents "new" mice from getting in and taking the places of the "old" mice. If you don't seal up your house to make it mouse-proof, you'll never truly eliminate a mouse problem. That's why our technicians spend a lot of time on their bellies shining flashlights into gaps and holes. To seal a mouse out of a house, you have to think like a mouse. Our technicians painstakingly find and seal any gap or hole that a mouse could possibly use to get into your home.
Here are some randomly-selected pictures of mouse-control and mouse-proofing jobs we've done in Metro Chattanooga, Tennessee and elsewhere.
Mouse gap around a gas pipe in Chattanooga
Mouse droppings in an attic in Chattanooga
Mouse droppings in a garage in Collegedale
How mice got into this house in East Ridge
Mouse hole into a house in Chattanooga
How mice got into this house in Chattanooga
How mice got into a house in Harrison
Mouse gap into a house in Collegedale
Mouse damage to wires in Chattanooga
Mouse droppings in an attic in Middle Valley
How mice got into this crawl space in Chattanooga
Mouse damage to a car's electrical system
Inspector Tim found a mouse hole
Mouse entry into a house in Harrison
Mouse hole into a garage in Chattanooga
Mouse hole under a bay window
How mice got into this Chattanooga home
Mouse gap into a house in Chattanooga
How mice got into a house in Chattanooga
Mouse dropping in an attic in Red Bank
Evidence of mice in an attic in East Brainerd
Mouse damage to air conditioning lines in Harrison
Mouse droppings in an attic in Middle Valley
How mice got into this house in Middle Valley
Please contact us to learn more about our non-chemical mouse-control services in the Chattanooga, Tennessee metropolitan area. We look forward to your call.