No one likes an uninvited guest, but some are worse than others. Most pests that can infest a home are capable of carrying disease, but few are as insidious as mice.
The common house mouse forages outdoors but tends to find its way into human occupied spaces when the weather cools down. This is a problem for several reasons. Mice are a nuisance that can damage food supplies, spread diseases, and even bring other pests like lice or fleas into your home. Mice can also damage electrical wires and furniture with incessant gnawing.
Different types of rodents carry different diseases. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the house mouse carries only a select few diseases, most of which will not cause permanent health issues. Still, one should take care when disposing of a deceased mouse or cleaning up droppings. Wear gloves and try not to breathe in any dust kicked up while cleaning.
Another tip from the CDC is to make your house a less attractive home, for a mouse. Store food in glass or ceramic jars that can’t be gnawed through. Sweep often and don’t leave food out.
Mice can reproduce rapidly. A female house mouse can have up to 80 young per year, and sometimes more. Once you see a mouse, or evidence in the form of nesting materials or droppings, buy some traps right away and seal off exits and entrances a rodent might use. If you have doubts about how to best handle a mouse infestation, contact a local pest control agency for assistance.
While most house mice spend their lives around humans, it is important to remember they remain wild animals. If handled or harassed they may scratch or bite, increasing the possibility of spreading disease. Don’t try and turn a wild mouse into a pet and when in doubt, call the experts for help.