Confirm that you have a mouse problem

Mice are like tiny, four-legged ninjas who make themselves scarce, but when you have a potential rodent problem, you might spot one scampering away out of the corner of your eye. Once you see one inside your house, you should immediately suspect you have a nest somewhere—in your walls, in the attic, in the garage, wherever.

Most people don’t even realize they have mice until things get really bad. The most obvious signs of a mouse problem are droppings, which look like this. (I’ll never look at chocolate sprinkles or caraway seeds the same way again.) Though it’s tempting to just wipe them up, make sure you take extra safety precautions when doing so, such as wearing gloves and a mask. Disinfect the area afterward, and throw away food that might’ve been contaminated. The last thing you want is to get sick at the same time you discover an infestation.

You may also find chewed up food packages or pieces of your wall at floor level from the mice having drilled through them. You may hear scratching in your walls or attic or the pitter-patter of tiny little feet at night. And if all that isn’t gross enough, you may also find pillars comprised of body grease, dirt and urine, which build up into small mounds up to two inches high and half an inch wide. And yes, they smell bad.


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