For small animals, mice can cause some big damage. These little rodents will build chew up insulation, paper, clothes, and pretty much anything else that they can shred with their teeth to build a nest. Mice will also spray foul-smelling urine everywhere when they infest a home. Because mice can travel in walls and under floorboards and in other difficult to access places in your home, you may see a lot of mouse damage before you see a mouse.
There are a lot of mice in Houston. Here you'll find some information on identifying a mouse infestation, what kinds of mice live in Houston, and tips on how to get rid of them.
Baits and mousetraps will kill mice, but their chief drawback is that they will only kill one mouse at a time. Because a mouse infestation will usually mean the presence of multiple animals, getting rid of an infestation with mousetraps is an ongoing process that still leaves multiple live animals roaming the home with the opportunity to breed and further the infestation.
But the best reason to avoid using bait to kill mice is that the bait takes some time to work, and a distressed mouse will seek shelter, often in the walls or underneath floorboards. When the mouse finally dies, the body is often inaccessible and the stench of a dead mouse is very unpleasant, can be extremely powerful, and can last for weeks. A professional rodent exterminator will have ways to kill mice that avoids leaving their bodies in the home.
The deer mouse is a small mouse identifiable by its multicolored tail, while its coat can range from tawny-colored, very similar in color to the fur of a deer, to shades of grey, white, and black. These mice are native to North America and their range not only includes Texas but most of the continent as well. Deer mice will invade homes in search of food, particularly during colder weather. They live communally so spotting a single deer mouse in the home usually means that there are multiple individuals present. Deer mice are known vectors for Lyme disease, and they can also carry hantaviruses, which are a particular problem in Texas.
The house mouse is one of the most common species of mice worldwide. Originally from central Asia, these mice were introduced to America with European settlers and have become very well established across most of the North American continent. As their name suggests, house mice have become extremely well-adapted to sharing human habitations, and are usually found only in the vicinity of human homes or other buildings. The house mouse is small, an adult will reach about four inches from nose to tail, and their colors can range the full scale from white to pitch black. The house mouse is chiefly a threat to humans because of its droppings, which can pollute food when a home is infested and are also a known cause of asthma.
The meadow vole, also known as the field mouse or meadow mouse, is a larger species of mouse that can grow up to 8 inches from the nose to the tip of the tail and is covered with a rough fur that's grayish-brown in color. Meadow voles usually appear plump and have proportionally small eyes and ears. Meadow voles do not often enter homes, but they can be extremely damaging to lawns and gardens, and can be particularly damaging to fruit trees. Meadow voles can breed extremely quickly, and a single breeding pair can increase to a population of hundreds in a matter of weeks.
The white-footed mouse, also known as the woodmouse, is a very common species of mouse throughout much of North America. These small mice can be identified by their grey bodies and white underbellies. White-footed mice will most often come into homes in colder weather, seeking food and shelter. They prefer to build their nests near the food source and so are often found in or near kitchens. These mice will build nests, which they do by collecting soft material, meaning that they will often gnaw and pull apart upholstery, books, newspapers, or other lightweight materials which they can carry back to their nests, often causing significant damage. The white-footed mouse is a known carrier of the Lyme disease virus.