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Do Mice Carry Rabies?

a mouse

When you have a mouse infestation, it needs to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. Mice are incredibly fast breeders, so an infestation that’s not eliminated quickly is likely to grow out of control. These rodents can cause property damage and they contaminate anything they touch. This is partly because they carry bacteria and diseases that can make people sick. But, do mice carry rabies?

Mice are rarely infected with rabies, and they have not been known to transmit rabies to humans. Still, they pose a danger to people’s health in several ways. While they don’t carry rabies, they carry other harmful bacteria and diseases. These include salmonella, hantavirus, leptospirosis, typhus and plague.

When rodents crawl on your kitchen counters or chew through cereal boxes in your pantry, they are contaminating your food along with the surfaces in your home. Additionally, the pathogens in mouse urine and droppings have the potential to make you sick.

If you find mouse droppings in your home or garage, disturbing them may not be a good idea. It’s safer to contact a specialist who handles this type of clean-up service. You’ll also need to contact a pest control specialist. A pest control specialist will have the right tools and protective gear to control the population of mice on your property.

Here are some signs that mice are infesting your home or property:

  1. You find their droppings. Mouse droppings are about the size and shape of rice grains and are dark brown or black in color. These are often in out-of-the-way places like under the stove or refrigerator, on the tops of cabinets or in the corners of the garage.
  2. You spot gnaw marks on cabinets, baseboards or in other areas. Mice are rodents with constantly growing front teeth. They keep these teeth filed down by gnawing daily. Their gnawing habits can cause lots of damage to people’s homes and property. These pests often chew on wooden items, but they also chew through PVC pipes and electrical wiring. These can be expensive to repair, and chewed-through wiring poses a fire risk.
  3. You notice scattered food and damaged packaging in your pantry. When mice get into your kitchen cabinets or pantry, they can easily get into cardboard or plastic food packaging to eat the food inside. Food not kept in the fridge or in sturdy, airtight containers is fair game for mice and other pests.
  4. You notice scratching or squeaking sounds coming from interior spaces. Mice seek warm, hidden, protected spaces to build their nests and breed. This means homeowners often find mice in walls, but they might also nest behind appliances or in the backs of unused cabinetry. Sometimes people can hear mice as they move around inside these spaces. Dogs and cats that live in the home might also notice and fixate on these sounds.
  5. You can smell a musty scent or a strong odor of something decomposing. Mice give off a musty, unpleasant smell when they are alive. When they die, their decomposing bodies give off an even worse scent that can make the whole house stink for weeks. Unfortunately, these pests often purposely seek a hard-to-reach spot to die in.
  6. You see a mouse, whether alive or dead. Mice are timid rodents that are naturally wary of humans as well as dogs, cats and other potential predators. Because of this, they are most active at night, under the cover of darkness. Still, people sometimes do see a mouse come out during the day. You might also find a mouse that has died. Worse, you might smell the terrible scent of one decomposing within a wall or other hard-to-reach space. The presence of a mouse, whether alive or dead, points to the strong possibility of a nest somewhere nearby.

If you think you may have mice somewhere in your home or around your property, it’s time to contact a pest control specialist. Because of how quickly they reproduce and the dangers they pose to people, property and pets, mice need to be controlled as efficiently as possible. Rather than prolonging the issue by trying to tackle it on your own, it’s far faster and more efficient to call in professional help. A pest control professional will be able to inspect your property thoroughly, find the nest and any entry points and develop a plan to resolve the issue.

a bedroom in a house

Why Would Mice Be in the Bedroom?

While it’s not pleasant finding mice in the garage or the kitchen, having a rodent problem in these spaces makes sense. Mice seek out protected spaces where they can find the food, water and shelter they need to survive. They can find all of these in the kitchen, the garage and other areas of the property. But why would mice be in the bedroom? Did they just wander in by accident, or are they drawn to something they’re seeking in there? The answer is probably a bit of both.

Like any wild animal, mice need shelter, food and water to thrive. If you find mice in your bedroom, it’s possible that they accidentally entered that room on their way to a different area of the house.

Once there, however, they will stay if they can find a good spot to build a nest. Dark, hidden interior spaces, as well as cluttered spaces, attract rodents. If a bedroom has lots of clutter, such as cardboard boxes, magazines and piles of clothes, mice can easily use these items for gnawing purposes, nesting materials and hiding places.

If there is food in the bedroom, that’s another big draw for pests, including mice. This includes both pet food and food that people are consuming. If you eat in the bedroom, it’s a good idea to clean up food trash promptly, along with any spills, smears or crumbs. Otherwise, the trash and spills could draw pests of various kinds.

Once mice build a nest in the bedroom, they will breed quickly. If the room is full of clutter, it can make it very hard to find the nest, much less get rid of it. It’s a good idea to call in professional help in this situation. Mice create unsanitary conditions due to their urine and droppings. They can also create a lot of destruction by gnawing on things and shredding items for their nests. The sooner their destructive activity stops, the better.

A pest control professional can help rid the entire home of mice. They can inspect the whole house, identify problem areas and offer advice about making the home less of a draw for rodents and other pests.

a living room in a house

Will Keeping Lights on Keep Mice Away?

Many people who know that mice are nocturnal animals wonder, “Will keeping lights on keep mice away?” Unfortunately, the simple answer is no—keeping the lights on in or around the home will not keep mice away.

Mice are nocturnal largely because they are wary of potential predators. Darkness helps them feel more secure as they nest, breed and find food and water. But even if the lights are on twenty-four hours a day, mice will still do their business.

Rather than nesting out in the open, they will likely find dark, hidden spaces where they can build their nests. They might move inside the walls or ceilings or go behind the stove or refrigerator. They will also find times to venture out for food and water when the humans and pets in the house are less active, such as at night, when everyone is sleeping.

Keeping the lights on is not a good deterrent to keep mice away. It is also very costly since it leads to high electricity bills. Rather than trying methods like this that aren’t effective, it’s a good idea to enlist professional help to remove mice from the home. Once they eliminate the infestation, you can focus on ways to keep pests away in the future.

Once a professional has treated your home for mice, they should find all potential access points that mice might use to enter the home. Close these off with steel wool, caulk or wire mesh. Inside the home, keep all food in the refrigerator or in airtight, sturdy containers that rodents can’t get into. Empty all pet food and water bowls at night. Fix any water sources, such as leaking pipes or faucets.

Hiring professional pest control to help rid your home and property of mice and then taking these steps to prevent them from returning will go a long way toward resolving your mouse problems.

ABC Can Control Your Mouse Infestation

Dealing with a mouse infestation can be stressful and downright gross. Contact our pest professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services. We can identify what type of mouse you’re dealing with and then implement an effective rodent control plan.

Holt Myers

Holt joined ABC in 2021 as the Electrical & Appliance Operations Manager before transitioning to Division Manager for Pest Control. Before ABC, Holt worked as a Project Manager and Superintendent in Construction. Holt also served in the US Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007. Holt is a member of NPMA’s PestVets, Stewards of the Wild and Texas Wildlife Association. Holt is an avid outdoorsman, who loves to travel and spend time with his wife and daughter.

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