Mice are pesky little critters. They eat through the walls, burrow through ceilings, and leave droppings everywhere they go. Mice multiply rapidly, and seeing one mouse scurrying around likely means that there are more in the cracks waiting to sneak out for a bite to eat.
As a prospective homebuyer, this can be alarming. If you see signs that mice are present in the home, you may be inclined to turn and run. This post will break down everything to know about mice in a home, including whether or not you should still consider buying it or you should look elsewhere.
Signs that a House Has a Mouse Problem
Mice do not like to be seen. They tend to hide throughout the day and do most of their scavenging at night. Because of this, you probably won’t actually see a mouse while you tour a house that you are considering buying!
The Presence of Mouse Droppings
While the mice will hide, there are two main signs that might alert you that there are little critters living in the home. The first of these is the presence of mouse droppings, which look like little brown grains of rice.
Mouse droppings can be anywhere, but they tend to be the most visible against light backgrounds. Often, the best places to see mouse droppings are bed sheets, trash cans, countertops, and dressers.
Seeing mouse droppings doesn’t guarantee that the house currently has a mouse problem. Mouse dropping sometimes don’t decompose and can stay in place for years. However, seeing these little droppings is a sure sign that there have been mice in the house at some point.
The Sound of Scurrying
The other telltale sign of mice is the sound of scurrying, either in the walls or in the ceiling. Mice burrow frequently, and they tend to run around their nests throughout the day. While they may not show their faces during the daytime, they know that they’re generally safe inside the walls!
When mice scurry in the walls, the sound is pretty unmistakable. This is because there are very few other sounds that can come from inside the walls or ceiling! If you hear this sound, you know that there are currently mice living in the home.
Do Mice Destroy a Home?
Mice burrow through walls, siding, ceilings, and more. Naturally, this burrowing leaves a bit of damage. While holes in the wall are annoying, they are usually out of sight and hidden in dark, obscure corners.
The greater threat that mice pose is that they might bite through wires. If mice burrow near any wires and accidentally bite through one, they can cause much deeper problems.
An electrician would need to figure out exactly which wires were ruined, then locate where the damage is. This can be very difficult to do, as wires are usually tucked behind walls. As a result, you can expect to pay a pretty penny if a mouse chews through your wires.
Other than these two issues, mice don’t cause much damage to a home. They are pesky, and damage is damage, but they aren’t going to cause your house to crumble over or your foundation to split in two.
Are Mice Dangerous?
Mice are very timid creatures, and they aren’t likely to ever be aggressive toward humans. However, their meek nature doesn’t mean that they are completely harmless. Mice are known for carrying an array of diseases, many of which are dangerous for adults and extremely dangerous for children.
These diseases are spread in many different ways, but there are two ways that pose the most risk: urine and feces. When mice urinate, they tend to spray in a few different directions. When they leave droppings, they leave a lot of them.
All of this excrement may carry diseases make humans very sick. For this reason, cleaning frequently while dealing with a mouse problem is essential.
How to Get Rid of Mice
There are several proven ways to get rid of mice, but the best approach is normally to work with a professional. This is because you might be able to get rid of existing mice on your own, but you likely can’t prevent future mice from coming without the help of a professional.
Mice are able to fit through cracks that are only a quarter-inch wide. This is essentially the width of a pencil. A professional exterminator can find and plug all of these gaps, sealing the entire house off from future mice problems.
Once a professional seals the exterior of the house, there are several kinds of traps you can lay indoors to end your mouse problem once and for all.
Catch and Release Traps
These traps are the most humane option, and are very commonly used. Essentially, these traps function like cages that trap the mice and enable you to release them alive somewhere in the distance. They are just as effective as other kinds of traps, pose no threat to humans, and save the lives of the mice. If you opt to use these traps, be sure to release the mice into a field that is miles away from the nearest house, otherwise you will just be spreading your mouse problem to someone else’s property.
Of the traps that kill, many experts claim that snap traps are the most humane. These are the old-school mouse traps that can be seen in Tom and Jerry and other popular cartoons. They function by luring a mouse onto the platform and then snapping rapidly on top of the mouse, which usually kills it almost instantly.
The fact that the mouse tends to die pretty immediately is what makes them the most humane type of lethal trap. Other traps either make the mouse starve or make it very sick. The drawback to these traps is that they pose a threat to humans, as the trap can easily break a toe or finger if accidentally triggered. This is especially dangerous for small children.
Sticky traps, or glue traps, are the least humane type of mouse trap on the market. While that is true, they do tend to be the most effective. Glue traps are extremely sticky, and they grab a mouse’s feet and lever let go. This keeps the mouse locked in place unable to get back to its nest. Typically, the mouse will be stuck on this trap until it dies, unless a homeowner finds it and gives it a more humane death.
These are extremely inhumane, and they are also dangerous for humans. If they are strong enough to keep a mouse in place, they are strong enough to seriously stick to your hands and feet, too.
One of the most effective ways to take care of mice is by using poison traps. These traps welcome mice in and feed them poisoned food that eventually kills them minutes or hours later. These traps are effective because they can handle multiple mice, while most other traps can only trap or kill one. While poison isn’t very humane, it is definitely better than the glue traps! The biggest downside to this kind of trap is that is causes the mice to die minutes later, wherever they are. This can lead to dead mice within your walls, or worse, dead mice scattered randomly on your floor.
Should I Buy a House if it Has Mice?
Mice are one of the most common pests in a home. In fact, the majority of homes will have mice by some point after enough time goes by! Mice are experts at burrowing, and they tend to find a way inside after enough years go by.
If the house you are looking at buying has mice, you shouldn’t immediately walk away. There is a good chance that many of the other homes you are considering either have mice or have had them in the past, too. If anything, knowing about the mouse problem is just important to help you make an action plan and negotiate accordingly.
Thanks for reading our post on whether or not you should buy a house with a mouse problem. Despite what you may have believed, mice really don’t need to be a dealbreaker in the homebuying process. As long as you are willing to take a few steps to irradicate them from the home, they shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Dealing with mice can sometimes require some lifestyle changes, but ultimately mice should not be the one thing standing between you and your dream house.
If you visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, we’re here to help. We at The Boyd Team are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at email@example.com or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.
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