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Can Mice See in the Dark?

a house mouse nibbling on a piece of food

In the cartoons, mice have all kinds of superpowers. They can fly, speak and even save the world. But how about real-life mice? We know that mice are generally more active at night. Does this mean that real mice have superpowers too and can see in the dark?

The truth is that mice do not have strong eyesight. Mice are not completely blind, but they have trouble seeing objects clearly. This means that mice cannot see well in the dark or in the light. However, they do have other ways to find their way around a room.

For one, instead of using their eyes, mice rely on their whiskers to figure out their surroundings. A mouse has two dozen whiskers on their face, and each whisker has powerful sensors on it. When the whiskers touch things, they send signals back to the mouse’s brain. The mouse uses these signals to create a virtual map in their head of their surroundings. This map helps them figure out how to get around, choose which routes to take and decide when to travel.

In addition, mice rely on the sounds they hear and odors that they smell to understand what is around them. They use these sounds, smells and signals from their whiskers to find things to eat and avoid dangerous situations. Mice are clever and have good memories. That means that they can remember when they notice dangers, such as pets or poison. They can use these memories to avoid risky situations in the future.

The mighty memories of mice help explain why it seems like mice can see in the dark. They might run around during the day in places like theaters and nightclubs that are only busy at night. However, there are many different things in people’s homes that can pose a threat to mice during the day.

Most households are usually busiest in daylight hours. This is the time that homes are filled with the sounds, smells and actions of families’ daily activities like working, playing and cooking. It is also when your dog or cat is most likely to run around and threaten pests like mice.

Mice tend to travel when there is less danger present, so this is part of the reason mice are more active in the dark. They learn what times of day they are more likely to run into predators. Then, mice plan around these threats and choose routes and times that are less risky. This can make it difficult to catch mice if you try to deal with a rodent problem on your own. It is much easier to contact a pest control professional. They can take care of everything for you, so you do not have to worry.

a homeowner's cleaning supply closet

Does Bleach Repel Mice?

A quick search of the internet shows that some people recommend using bleach as a home remedy to get rid of mice. The idea behind this DIY approach is that the strong smell of bleach will repel mice. Plus, internet DIYers might also tell you that bleach can help get rid of mice because this chemical can kill them if they eat it.

Unfortunately, many DIY methods for rodent control can be even more hazardous than the mice themselves. Using bleach to try to repel mice is one example of an extremely dangerous approach. In fact, the risks of using bleach are much worse than the potential benefits.

The reason that bleach might be able to repel or kill mice is that it is a toxic chemical. Its fumes are not only a threat to mice, but they are also toxic for humans and pets. If your family members, guests or pets accidentally inhale or ingest bleach, it can make them extremely sick. Bleach poisoning can lead to skin irritation, vomiting, serious respiratory problems or even death.

This dangerous chemical can also damage materials in your home. For example, spreading straight bleach around your house can destroy paint and eat through other surfaces. Bleach can be helpful for cleaning up after mice. But it is critical to only use bleach that you have diluted with water and to wear protective clothing.

Even better, contact a rodent and wildlife control professional. These specialists are highly trained and can get rid of the pest infestation without putting you and your family at risk.

A trusted pest control professional can also help prevent mice from coming back in the future. One of the best forms of rodent control is to act early to prevent them from coming into your house in the first place. While mice can invade even the cleanest and best-kept homes, there are some steps you can take to make your home less attractive to mice.

For one, it is critical to close off spots where a mouse could potentially enter your home. Mice can squeeze through any hole that is thicker than a pencil. That is why it is important to carefully inspect the exterior of your home and seal off any holes with chew-resistant materials like steel wool. Some of the places where mice most often sneak into homes include:

  • uncapped chimneys;
  • openings in crawl spaces;
  • gaps around wiring, pipes or cables;
  • broken or loose bricks and shingles;
  • damaged vents or fans;
  • gaps around windows or doors and
  • damaged siding.

It is also important to clear away things that mice could use for food or shelter. Examples of preventative measures you can take include:

  • Trim tree branches, which mice can use to get into your attic;
  • Keep food in rodent-proof containers;
  • Avoid leaving uneaten food in your pet’s bowl;
  • Quickly clean up crumbs and food scraps after you cook or your family eats;
  • Store firewood piles and trash cans off the ground and away from your house;
  • Get rid of empty boxes or other clutter inside your home that you do not plan to use soon and
  • Use trash cans that have tight-fitting tops and are made from rodent-proof materials like metal.

a house mouse crawling in an attic

Do Mice Have Rabies?

Rabies is a hazardous virus that can kill humans or make them very sick. People are most often exposed to this disease when a rabid animal bites or scratches them. Mice can carry rabies and spread it to people, but this is not very common. Mice rarely carry rabies, and they usually only bite if someone picks them up or they feel threatened.

The bigger threat is that mice can carry and transmit other dangerous diseases, such as:

Salmonella

If mice are in your home, then you have a risk of salmonella exposure. Infection can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Mice can easily spread this dangerous disease by walking across your counter with dirty feet. With their paw prints, mice might leave behind dirt that is contaminated with feces dust and salmonella. People often get this disease after they unknowingly prepare food on a contaminated surface. They can also get infected by eating or drinking something that a mouse has tainted.

Hantavirus

This is a serious respiratory illness that mice carry in their urine, poop and saliva. It most often causes flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, kidney problems and vomiting. If the infection gets worse, hantavirus can also affect a person’s lungs and cause respiratory failure.

Hantavirus exposure often happens when someone is trying to clean up a rodent nest and mistakenly inhales dust that is contaminated with mouse poop. Humans can also contract hantavirus if they eat contaminated food.

Rat-Bite Fever

Despite the name, it is not just rats that carry this bacteria and rodents do not just spread this disease through bites. Mice can also transmit rat-bite fever through their feces. Humans can get the disease by drinking or eating something that rodents have contaminated with their feces.

Plague

Mice can also carry and transmit many different types of plague. This is the deadly disease that was responsible for wiping out millions of people in Europe. Plague infection is rare nowadays, but it is still a serious disease that can cause severe illness or death if left untreated.

Additionally, mice can cause considerable damage to your home. For example, they can chew through electrical wiring and spark fires. Mice can also damage insulation, as well as structural elements of your home.

Trying to deal with a rodent infestation on your own can put you and your family at serious risk. Mice carry a range of diseases that can easily spread if you try a DIY approach to control mice. That is why it is important to contact a rodent control professional.

ABC Can Control the Mice on Your Property

If you have been struggling with controlling the mice on your property, then ABC Home & Commercial Services can help. Our professionals are highly trained and will create a plan that works. That way,  you can feel comfortable at home again!

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