Essentially, mice have the same needs as you or I: shelter, food, and comfort. And if these things are made readily available to them, mice will take every opportunity to make themselves comfortable in your home or business.
And while they tend to keep out of sight and require very little food to sustain themselves, they are far from the low-maintenance guests they appear to be, creating serious damage to building interiors, chewing through electrical wires, contaminating food, and spreading disease.
Mice seek warmth, especially in the late fall when temperatures start dropping. They can actually detect the warmth of a building through wall openings, and use that as an invitation to let themselves in.
Hot water heaters are an especially popular nesting spot, as they provide a steady source of heat and are usually hidden from sight, which is preferable for burrowing.
Mice can’t resist the lure of food, whether that’s a fresh cooked meal, leftover scraps, or food debris, which is especially problematic in the restaurant industry.
Although they’re technically omnivores, mice prefer a diet of grains, seeds, and fruits, essentially, anything high in carbohydrates. However, they aren’t picky eaters and can live on a minimum of an ounce of food & water a day.
But kitchen treats aren’t the only things that constitute as food for mice. Electrical wiring, paper, and cardboard can also make for equally appealing snacks.
Because mice love to nest and burrow, they will often seek out cluttered areas to make themselves at home, and any place that provides warmth and a sufficient hiding place will fit the bill. And as clutter builds upon itself, it becomes more difficult to clean, which then further encourages rodents to burrow.
In homes, cluttered areas tend to be garages, attics, and small storage spaces. Since firewood can also attract rodents, avoid storing it directly on the floor or up against the walls where it can provide easy access for a rodent.
High-rises and commercial spaces often attract mice in their cluttered compactor and trash rooms. Not only do these offer warmth and shelter, but some tasty treats as well. Storage areas are also problematic, as boxes can create abundant nesting opportunities.
In addition, offices can also be a breeding ground for mice; boxes, stacks of paper, and desk drawers filled with snacks are all popular nesting sites.
Cracks & Openings
Remember that screen door you never got around to fixing or that office window that was never properly patched up? These are likely creating an open invitation for mice. Be sure to seal up any wall cracks, patch up foundations, and fill any holes or vents where mice can gain entry.
The important thing to remember is that although there’s a number of things that can attract mice, there are just as many things you can do to prevent them. The first thing to do is look for signs of an infestation, because knowing if you have rodents in your home or business is half the battle.