How & Why Mice Invade Bay Area Homes

house mouse infesting a house

We don't imagine you would be surprised if we told you that mice are motivated by food and that they often get into Bay Area homes in search of food. But food isn't the only, or primary, reason mice get into homes. Let's take a moment to look into the mind of a mouse and to discuss some important characteristics about mice (and also about your home) that can make you susceptible to a mouse infestation. Here are five reasons why mice invade and how they do it.

1. Yours Isn't The First House

The most common mouse species that gets into Bay Area homes is called the house mouse. No big surprise there. They earned this name because they love living in houses. They love doing this so much that there are no known populations of wild house mice anywhere in the world. This mouse species always lives near or inside man-made structures. If a group of house mice are living outside of your home, they may start getting inside because they have already experienced what it is like to be in a home. They may have been born in your neighbor's home and already know that your home will offer the amenities they found there. As mice grow their populations, they spread from one structure to another—sometimes living outside in the spaces between.

2. They're Drawn By Food

house mouse on the floor

When mice come into your yard and they find food, they will want to return to feed on the food source again, or they will want to establish a nest on your property to be near the food source. One example of this is seeds that drop from bird feeders. Seeds are one of the most sought after food sources for mice. If you have feeders near your home, mice may try to get into your home and see if it is filled with delicious seeds.

Mice aren't picky eaters. They'll feed on many food sources, some of which you would turn your nose up at. Leftover food in your bagged trash is one of them. The scent of trash and access to trash are both going to increase your chances of a mouse infestation.

If you don't want mice in your home, one of the most important things you can do is reduce potential food sources around your home.

3. They're Looking For A Drink Of Water

While a mouse needs very little water and is able to get the water it needs from many of the foods it consumes, a puddle in your yard will be attractive to a mouse. You can resist mouse activity by reducing moisture issues that lead to ground saturation. You can accomplish this in part by cleaning your gutters and trimming your landscaping.

4. They Go From Hiding Place To Hiding Place  

There are a lot of animals that want to eat little mice, and those mice probably know it. If your yard has few places for mice to hide, it will be resistant to mouse activity. If you have lots of yard clutter, you're going to invite mice to explore your property. This can lead them to get into your home. Remove clutter and keep your yard free of organic debris to reduce mouse activity.

5. Mice Like Tight Spaces

A mouse doesn't look at a hole or a tight space the way we would look at it. Most humans have some level of claustrophobia. But mice have the opposite. They're drawn to tight spaces and they like to be squeezed into a space where they are being touched on all sides. This has been shown in open field tests (OFT). So, a mouse that sees a little hole in your exterior is likely to explore it. Keep in mind that a mouse only needs a hole the size of a dime in order to gain entry.

How Mice Get In

If a mouse can't find a hole in your exterior, it has the tools to make a hole. Mice are rodents, and rodents have strong incisors that are able to chew through wood and other materials. 

  • When a mouse explores your exterior and finds rotting wood, it can easily tunnel into your home.
  • When a mouse sees a gap in your weatherstripping, it can chew a hole that is large enough to allow the little mouse access.
  • When a mouse notices a gap in the door sweep under an exterior door, it can chew a dime-sized hole in the course of one night, and gain entry.
  • When a mouse sees a downspout, it can become curious and work its way all the way up to your roof. Up there, a mouse can find many possible entry points such as the seals around roof penetrations.

Do You Have Mice?

If mice have gotten into your Bay Area home, let the team here at Bay Pest help you get control of those pests. We provide rodent control and monitoring for Bay Area properties. There are many ways mice can get in but only one sure-fire way to get them out. Connect with us today and tell us about your rodent issues. We can help.

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