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Identify Pests: Mice and Dealing with a Mouse Problem

Kncokout Pest Exterminator Holding Mouse by Tail | Rodent Control NYCIf you have a mouse problem, there’s a good chance you won’t know it. The signs of a mouse in the house can be subtle, but their impact is not. And getting rid of a mouse usually involves more than a mouse trap. And watch out—if you have one, you have many. A female mouse can produce a litter of eight every four weeks.

A Mouse Problem Is a Big Problem

Getting rid of mice is important. The harm caused by house mice can be considerable. Mice cause damage. They can eat your food, leave food storage caches that rot and smell, chew through clothing and possessions, and leave urine trails and droppings that cause stains or permanently mar wood. But the harm doesn’t stop there. Mice attract other pests like fleas, tick and mites—and the diseases and discomfort those pests bring. Mice are themselves notorious vectors for diseases and parasites. They helped spread the bubonic plague through Europe in the Middle Ages, and, though extremely rare (the Center for Disease Control reports only three cases of the disease in New York since 1993), mice carrying the Hantavirus have been making headlines. And mice produce an allergen to which children are especially susceptible.

How to Tell if You Have Mice in Your House

Woman Holding Mouse by Tail | Mouse Exterminator Long Island | BrooklynThe chances of you seeing a mouse are low—unless you are a night owl. Mice are most active at night and they move fast. You are much more likely to see signs of a mouse in the house than you are to see the mouse itself. Here’s what to look for:

Droppings. Mice excrement is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is dark brown to black in color. Look for excrement in cabinets and cupboards, drawers, behind trash receptacles and along baseboards.

Urine Pools and Trails. Mice use urine to mark territory. You can sometimes see drops in a line pattern leading to a hiding place and also something call a “urinating pillar”—a mound of debris including grease and dirt that is mixed with urine.

Nibble and Gnaw Marks. You might see evidence of chewing on boxes, bags and other food containers as mice try to get access to food. Pet food is a favorite, as is, believe it or not, soap. You might also see teeth marks on wood and sawdust nearby. A mouse may be trying to keep his teeth sharp.

Mouse Nests. Look for soft, fuzzy piles of material, paper or grass gathered into a pile. Mice will build cozy nests any place they can find a quiet places to hide such as behind appliances, in walls and in drawers and cabinets that are rarely used. Mice nests can also be found in upholstered furniture and even inside toasters and in blender housings. Since a mouse can fit through an opening as big around as a pencil, you might be surprised where they end up.

Squeaks, Rustles, Smells and Tracks. You might here a mouse stirring when your house is quiet at night. You might hear them scratching inside a wall. You might see dirt marks and smudges in areas where mice frequently scurry. Some people also report smelling an unusual musky odor.

Freaking Out Pets. Is your dog tracking something behind the trash can? Is your cat agitated and staring at something you can’t see? They might be on to something: a mouse in your house

How to Get Rid of Mice

Before you try to get mice out of your house, you need to figure out how they are getting in. They can wiggle in through narrow spaces around pipes and wires—a hole a quarter inch in diameter is big enough. It may take an expert inspection to determine how mice are entering and how to stop them.

The next step is taking action to get rid of them. Knowing the size of your problem is essential before you start. How many mice do you have? How long have you had them? Where are their nesting sites? It may be worth having an expert come in and do an assessment, even if you plan to deal with the problem on your own.

We suggest a multi-prong approach. No single method is appropriate for every situation. The presence of children and pets make some baits and traps unsuitable. The degree of infestation makes some poisons more effective than others.

Some so-called humane methods turn out to be not so humane or effective. Trapping and releasing a mouse may put that animal in the territory of another mouse that will kill and eat the intruder. Releasing a house mouse into a field also makes him an easy mark for a predator. And researchers have tracked mice swimming fast streams and crossing busy highways, traveling over four miles to return to their home—your home.
Mice are covered in our effective and affordable Integrated Pest Management Annual Package KO-12 Program that provides you with pest protection throughout the year.

Knockout Pest Control Can Knock Out Mice

Knockout Pest Control is your local mouse exterminator. We knock out mice–and we keep them down for the count. Every member of our team receives over 100 hours of classroom instruction and in-the-field training so you are guaranteed a knockout punch to your pest problem every time. We serve all of Long Island, New York City, and Westchester and Rockland Counties. Call 1-800-244-PEST or 1-800-244-7378 We respond like every pest problem is an emergency with fast, 24 hour service seven days a week. We don’t have the big red boxing glove in our logo for nothing!

Knockout is a proud member of the following trade organizations


Founded in 1980, IFMA is the world's largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting 24,000 members in 10​4 countries.

This diverse membership participates in focused component groups equipped to address their unique situations by region (133 chapters), industry (15 councils) and areas of interest (six communities). Together they manage more than 78 billion square feet of property and annually purchase more than US$526 billion in products and services.


The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 91 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including nearly 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP.


The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members from around the world, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. This commitment is reflected both in the continuing education of pest management professionals and the dissemination of timely information to homeowners and businesses.


The NYPMA is The Voice for pest management companies all throughout New York State. Becoming a member could be one of the best possible investments you’ll ever make for your business. Not only will you have the backing of the New York Pest Management Association behind your company, but you’ll also get listed locally within our directory. This is a big plus for consumers or businesses looking for a legitimate pest management provider they can trust.


CAI provides information, education and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI members include association board members and other homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to associations.


GreenPro, the world’s largest and most credible green certification program for pest management professionals, recognizes companies within our industry that are committed to providing commercial and residential customers with reduced risk, comprehensive, and effective pest control services.

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