Why Do I Still Have Mice In The House?
April 27, 2015
"Okay. Winter is over. It is warming up outside. Why do I still have mice in my house?" You're not going to like the answer. But, understanding why those mice are still thumping around in your walls can help you see your home in a new light.
Some consider mice to be commensal creatures. Commensalism is an association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither benefit nor harm. This is not entirely true for mice. Mice prefer to live off the leftovers of humans, but their presence is not harmless. They can often spread harmful bacteria, diseases, and parasites throughout the home they are infesting. Their propensity to gnaw wiring makes them a fire hazard. And, they damage and consume food products. Hardly a harmless creature to have around. But this nature of theirs does cause them to want to stick around. That is why they are still in your house.
What are mice looking for?
The benefit mice get from you is a full belly. If you make it easy for them to get a full belly, they will stay. Here are some of the ways you might be feeding mice.
Open trash: mice aren't as picky as we are. They have no problem climbing around in your trash can looking for scraps to eat. If your cans are open or unsealed, they will find a meal in there.
Pantry items: If you have any spilt food on your pantry shelves, grains on your pantry floor or vulnerable food packaging, mice will love you for it. Paper and cardboard packages are easy access for rodents. Consider putting those foods in hard plastic containers.
Cabinet foods: If you have cardboard or paper packaged foods in your cabinets, you will feed the mice. Put those foods in hard plastic, sealable containers as well.
Stacked dishes: You would be amazed how much food a mouse can get off your dirty dishes. Make sure no dirty dishes are left overnight.
Fruit: If you leave fruit out on the counter, mice will be happy to take a nibble on them. Consider putting your fruit in the fridge.
Pet food: If you have cats or dogs, you may be feeding the mice along with your pets. Trying setting meal times and putting the dish away between meals. Never leave it sitting out overnight.
Mice aren't the only creatures you're attracting.
If you have mice living in your home, you probably have the conditions for any pest to live in your home. All pests are looking for a food source. Many of them eat what you eat. Keep those food sources sealed, hidden, and cleaned up--and you'll have a lot fewer pests in general.