If you have ever experienced a mouse in your house — particularly one that’s gotten into your walls — you know that the squeaky sounds they make in the middle of the night are enough to make you feel like you’re in the middle of a horror film.
Growing up in an old country house, I was all too familiar with those creepy sounds. They were enough to keep me hiding under the covers — too afraid to even run up the stairs to tell my mom. But then one night I heard the most terrifying scratch right next to my head and decided there was more risk in staying put, than making a run for it.
I made a beeline to my mom’s room, where she calmly explained that it was probably just a little mouse that had taken up residence in our walls. A MOUSE IN OUR WALLS! I couldn’t understand how she’d neglected to tell me about our uninvited guest and worse yet, that she expected me to sleep through the night, knowing this crazy clown was going to scrape his way through my wall at any minute and eat me alive!
I can look back and laugh now — especially since my own children often tell me tales of the scary shadows they see on their walls. But the reality is, if a mouse has made his home in the walls of your house — you want to move him out as quickly as possible. Not just because of the scary sounds, but because of the scary damage he can do.
How did he get in there?
Mice are tiny creatures and can manipulate their bones to become even smaller–allowing them to fit into a space the size of a dime. They are excellent climbers and can climb pretty much any surface, allowing them to enter your home from either the ground or the roof. Mice enjoy living in a wall because they don’t have to worry about any other predators getting to them. If you suspect that there is a mouse or mice in your walls, here’s how they may have gotten in:
Holes in the exterior of your house. The exterior of the house is the most important place to check for holes. This is where the mice will find their way in and once they’re in, they won’t want to leave the comfort of your warm home. Holes and openings to look for outside of the home are cracks in the foundation, doors, and windows. Look for gaps in siding, shingles and chimneys.
Openings in the interior of your house. Look for holes in floorboards and along the walls. Be sure to check for openings inside your pantries and cabinets.
Don’t try to wait out the problem. He’s not leaving without your help.
Once you have heard the distinctive sounds of a mouse scratching and gnawing inside your walls, you want to take action as quickly as possible. If the scary sounds aren’t reason enough, here are a few other facts that will convince you to get right on it:
- Mice attract mice. The smell of urine and feces will attract even more friends and before you know it, you will have an infestation.
- Reproduction Speed. A female mouse can have 5-10 litters of baby mice a year, producing 6-8 babies per litter.
- Odor. If a rodent dies in your wall, it’s a smell you’ll never forget and until you remove the body, it’s something you’ll have to live with. It’s THAT strong.
- Diseases. Mouse urine and feces not only have an unsightly appearance, but they can carry Hantavirus. Hantavirus can be transmitted to humans through contaminated breathing air.
- Fire Hazards. There are lots and lots of wires inside your walls. If these wires are chewed on — which they will be if there is a mouse roaming around — the chances of a fire starting are significantly high.
- Damage. Along with wires being chewed on, the wood walls themselves will be damaged with chew holes and dampened from urine.
How to help a mouse find his way out.
While no one wants a mouse anywhere in their house, you really don’t want them in your walls. Once they’re in there, they’ll be able to roam freely and chew their way through every room.
Stay Away® Mice should be your first line of defense. While the fresh scent of balsam fir smells great to us, mice and rats are repelled by the scent. Getting rid of mice can be as simple as placing a few pouches around any suspected openings in your home. One whiff and uninvited guests will find their way out as quickly as they made their way in.
Be sure to seal up any openings you found during your inspection, so sneaky squatters won’t try to find their way in again. It won’t be long before you’re on your way to a good night’s sleep.