Pocket mice, while less commonly spoken about than their house mouse or field mouse cousins, can be just as much of a nuisance if they find their way into your home. These small rodents get their name from the fur-lined pockets on the outside of their mouths, which they use to carry seeds, their primary food source. While pocket mice primarily live in desert environments, it’s not uncommon for them to wander into nearby homes in search of food or shelter. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to explore who these little critters are and how you can keep them out of your home.
What is a Pocket Mouse?
Pocket mice are small, typically nocturnal rodents. They have fine, soft fur ranging from gray to reddish-brown, and their notable cheek pouches are used for storing and transporting food. These mice are primarily seed eaters and are known for their ability to survive in dry environments, often going without water for extended periods.
What is the Problem with Pocket Mice in the Home?
While pocket mice generally prefer outdoor habitats, they can enter homes, especially during extreme weather conditions or when their outdoor food sources become more scarce. Once inside, they can:
• Gnaw on furniture, wiring, and structural elements.
• Contaminate food and surfaces with their droppings.
• Potentially carry diseases or parasites.
What Makes Pocket Mice Stay Away?
• Seal Entry Points: Conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior. Look for small gaps or holes where mice can enter, keep in mind they can squeeze through surprisingly tiny spaces. Use steel wool, caulk, or metal sheeting to seal any cracks and crevices.
• Eliminate Food Sources: Keep your kitchen and dining areas clean. Store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving pet food out overnight. Regularly dispose of garbage in a tightly sealed trash can.
• Reduce Outdoor Attractions: Keep your yard clean and free of debris where pocket mice might nest. If you have a garden, consider using a fence to deter them, and be cautious about leaving seeds or nuts on the ground.
• Maintain Your Property: Regular home maintenance can help prevent pocket mice infestations. This includes repairing damaged screens, maintaining proper sealing around windows and doors, and managing vegetation near your home.
• Professional Pest Control: If you have a persistent problem with pocket mice, it might be time to call in the professionals. Pest control experts can provide targeted strategies to rid your home of these rodents and prevent future infestations.
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Pocket mice, though not typically the most troublesome of rodents, can become an issue if they invade your home. By taking proactive measures to seal up your home, eliminate food sources, and maintain a clean outdoor environment, you can keep these small desert dwellers where they belong – outside. If you find you are dealing with a persistent or large-scale infestation, it is best to consult with professional pest control services. For help controlling rodents and other pests around your home or business, contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control today.