How do Mice Survive the Colder Months?

How do Mice Survive the Colder Months

Cold weather during winter brings about behavioural changes in a number of species. Many birds migrate south, while mammals and reptiles tend to hibernate. Human beings put on warm protective clothing when venturing outside and spend as much time possible indoors where it is warm. Mice do not hibernate or migrate, but they do seek shelter where there are heat and an abundant supply of food. Human habitations fit the bill beautifully, so you may find yourself in need of mice pest control during the fall and winter months, especially.

Why Do Mice Move Indoors During the Winter?

The cold of winter, especially the extremes of cold that can occur in northern regions, are dangerous to animals such as mice. As long as the weather is warm, most prefer to spend the majority of their time outside where food is plentiful. However, as winter sets in, even confirmed “country mice” may seek shelter indoors. Not only do human habitations provide shelter from the cold, but they also offer sources of food when it becomes scarce outside as the plants die off or go dormant. For these reasons, mice start moving indoors during fall and into winter, and homeowners may see an increase in the rodents’ activity.

How Do Mice Get Inside a Home?

You may think that there is no way for mice to get into your home, but winter affords them greater opportunities, and nature has equipped them to take advantage. Building materials used in home construction can contract due to exposure to low temperatures. This can result in new holes, cracks, and crevices.

Mice do not need a very large opening to get in. As long as they can fit their heads inside, they can squeeze through smaller holes than you might imagine with their narrow bodies and collapsible skeletons. Their fur is often greasy, which can provide extra lubrication. Even if the hole is not big enough, mice have very sharp teeth and an instinctive need to gnaw on hard surfaces. They can work on a small hole until it is big enough to allow entry.

You may see these holes around your home and suspect that you have a mouse problem. Mice are active at night even though they have poor eyesight, they have a keen sense of smell, so you may also hear them scrabbling around in the walls and ceiling. Even if you don’t see or hear them, you may find other evidence that they are around. Food containers may have holes chewed in them, or you may find feces that resemble small black pellets.

Why Is Having Mice in the House a Big Problem?

The mouse mating season reaches its peak in the fall, which is also about the time that mice are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. A female mouse may give birth to up to six to eight babies per litter, and have five to 10 litters per year. Not only that, but any female mice in the litter are ready to reproduce once they are about a month old. You can see how a small mouse problem can turn into a large one within the span of a few months.

Mice are relentless in their search for food and will run around on counters, get into cabinets, and chew through boxes and bags, all the while leaving urine and feces everywhere. Not only is this unsanitary, but it can expose you and your family to dangerous diseases such as hantavirus. Mice also chew on items such as fibreglass insulation and electrical wiring, which can cause hundreds of dollars of property damage and pose a fire danger.

Why Should You Choose Truly Nolen for Pest Control Mice?

At Truly Nolen in Niagara, we recognize that animals behave differently at various times of the year. Our approach takes this into account, and we tailor our procedures accordingly with a “Four Seasons” methodology. Learn more about our rodent control services.