Ever heard of the nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice”? Well, there’s a bit of truth in it. While house mice aren’t entirely blind, they don’t have the best eyesight in the animal kingdom. They can only focus on objects that are a couple of feet away. On top of that, they’re colorblind.
But these hardy pests make up for their poor vision with incredible motion detection. That’s why they can navigate their way around your home and find food and shelter without trouble. If mice are invading your space, it helps to familiarize yourself with their traits and habits. That way, they can’t outsmart you.
If all else fails, seek professional help. Pest control specialists have the expertise and equipment to control these pests and restore peace in your home.
Are Mice Blind? How Do They Get Around?
Many animals depend on their impeccable vision to survive. But mice aren’t one of them. You are probably asking, are mice blind? No, but they have such bad eyesight that they’ll often bump into objects around them. They’re near-sighted and can’t see much detail beyond what’s in front of them. Shape and orientation are the most their eyes can perceive.
But that doesn’t stop them from taking over people’s homes. At just three weeks old, mice are ready to leave their nests. By then, they’ll have an acute sense of motion, able to detect movement as far as 45 feet. They also have their noses to help them navigate unfamiliar territory. Their smelling abilities almost entirely make up for their poor vision.
Even when mice are outside your home, they can smell the food you have inside. Their sensitive noses also alert them when there are predators around. They can even sniff out chemical changes in the air, allowing them to prepare for bad weather. In addition, mice use their noses to communicate with each other. They’ll leave their pheromones for others to smell. These impressive skills help them survive in whatever situation they’re in.
Aside from their powerful noses, mice also have sensitive whiskers that help them find their way around. These specialized hairs act like fingers, deciphering objects, food and other mice through touch. Their ears are of great help to them, too. They have excellent hearing that alerts them of nearby humans and predators. Mice may be almost blind, but their heightened senses compensate for that.
Homeowners tend to underestimate mice because of their poor vision, but these pests are more capable than you think. They have impressive hiding skills and can stay out of sight while you’re awake. They’re also expert foragers, unafraid of stealing your food at night. If you start seeing them during the day, your infestation at home is growing. They’re running out of space and have nowhere to hide. Contact pest control specialists, who know what mice hate, so they can control the situation.
Squirrel Poop Versus Mouse Poop: How Do You Tell Them Apart?
Squirrels and mice may be small, but these pests can do significant damage. They’ll invade your home through small gaps, feast on your food and chew various objects. They’ll also keep you up at night with their scratching and scampering noises. The worst part is they’re not shy to leave poop in your home.
But if there’s one upside to poop, they allow you to identify which pest you’re dealing with. Once you know whether you have squirrels or mice on your property, you can take the correct measures to control them. To help you, here are the differences between squirrel and mouse poop:
When homeowners spot squirrel poop, they often think it’s rat droppings because of how similar they are in size. But there are differences to look out for.
You’ll know it’s squirrel poop when it has rounded edges, giving it the look of a coffee bean. Rat feces have tapered ends, making them look like rice grains. Squirrel poop is also slightly smaller.
Because of their diet, squirrel poop is a lighter brown than rat droppings. They may also have a mixture of various hues like tan, green and red. In addition, they lighten even more over time as they dry up. Rat poop remains dark.
Squirrels have more manners than rats and mice. It’s their habit to poop in the same spot every time. You’ll know it’s squirrel droppings because they’ll be in a big pile in one location.
Compared to rat and squirrel poop, mouse droppings are much smaller. They have the same pointed ends as rat poop, resembling rice grains, but they’re only an eight to a quarter of an inch long.
While squirrel poop tends to be light brown, fresh mouse droppings are much darker and are almost black. They also have a sheen to them. However, they’ll fade to a grayish-brown color as they age. They’ll also become very hard and eventually turn powdery.
Mice aren’t as considerate as squirrels and will poop wherever they want to. You’ll usually find their poop inside the pantry and kitchen cabinets. They might even raid the refrigerator and leave droppings if you forget to close it or the seal isn’t tight enough. The garage, basement and roof are other common locations for mouse poop sightings.
If you spot mouse or squirrel droppings in your home, contact a pest control professional immediately. They can control the infestation before it gets out of hand.
How to Clean Up Rodent Droppings
Squirrel and mouse poop can be dangerous to us and our beloved pets. Like most rodent droppings, they can carry diseases. If you spot them on your property, you must dispose of them, even if it’s something you’d rather avoid altogether. Be cautious when doing so to keep yourself from getting sick. You can follow these steps to clean squirrel and mouse droppings:
- Wear plastic or rubber gloves.
- Spray the rodent droppings with an EPA-registered disinfectant or a bleach solution until they’re soaked. Let them sit for at least five minutes.
- Wipe up the droppings and cleaning products with paper towels.
- Dispose of the paper towels in a garbage can that you regularly empty. Cover it with a lid.
- Use a sponge or mop to disinfect the soiled area and surrounding hard surfaces.
- Without removing the gloves, wash your hands with soap and water.
- Remove the gloves and your hands. You can also use rubbing alcohol if there’s no visible dirt on your hands.
How Long Are Mice Pregnant?
At six weeks old, female mice reach their sexual maturity and are ready to have babies. Their fast development gives them impressive breeding capabilities, and their numbers only grow when they’re indoors. Outside, mice breed only in the fall, summer and spring. But inside, they can mate and reproduce all year round.
Mice are only pregnant for 19 to 21 days. A litter usually has five to six pups, but it’s not impossible to see up to 12 babies. A female mouse can give birth five to 10 times a year and will keep doing this for the rest of its life. The female mouse doesn’t need a break after giving birth and can mate again immediately. It can produce a new litter in as little as 25 days. By that time, the first batch would already have their own babies.
When pups are born, they have no fur and can’t see. They’re defenseless and need the protection of their mother. The mother will nurse them for 21 days, helping them develop rapidly. They’ll have fully functional ears by day four and hair growth by day six. By day ten, they’ll have a full coat of protective fur. On day 13 or 14, they’ll open their beady eyes, practically adults by then.
Come day 21, the pups won’t have to depend on their mother anymore. The males are ready to leave their nests, while the females will stick around for a bit longer. But soon enough, all of them will be raiding your food sources. They also like to gnaw on everything they see to maintain the length of their teeth. Anything is a possible target, including drywall, plastic pipes, insulation and gas lines.
If left unchecked, mice infestations can reach uncontrollable levels fast. Contact pest control specialists once you notice mouse infestation signs in your home. They have the tools and expertise to control these stealthy pests and prevent future infestations.
Let the Pros Help With Your Mice Problems
Mice may not have the best vision, but their other senses are extra sharp, allowing them to thrive inside your home and breed. Fortunately, you don’t have to take them on yourself. Pest control specialists effective strategies to control mice. Turning to the pros is still the best way to solve your mice problems.
ABC Can Get Your Rodent Problem Under Control
Dealing with mice can feel like a disgusting chore that never ends. Instead of wasting time and money trying to deal with a pest problem on your own, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our licensed professionals will control these pests and can provide ongoing pest control services so you can have peace of mind.