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If You See One Mouse, How Many Do You Have?

mouse up close

Seeing a mouse in the house can be a terrifying experience for many homeowners and apartment dwellers. If you see one mouse, is it likely that there are more? How many mice could be living in your home? Unfortunately, that’s a difficult question to answer, but keep reading as we look at all the facts to see if we can help you make an educated guess as to how big the mice problem in your home is.

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How Many Mice Are in My House?

Mouse eating a grape
Image By: Jarle Eknes, Pixabay

First Time Seeing It

The longer that you allow mice to live in your home, the more mice you will have. So, if it’s your first time seeing a mouse and you don’t see any other evidence, like mouse droppings or gnawed items, there’s a good chance that you’ve caught the problem in time. Mice often like to strike out on their own, looking for food and shelter. Since they are exploring, they don’t have preferred routes, which is likely why you saw it. If it’s a single male mouse, you may not be in immediate danger. However, if it’s a male-female pair or a single pregnant female, the danger can be extreme, as they can multiply quickly.

I Didn’t Notice the Signs at First

If you recently saw a mouse and then discovered that you have been missing signs of its presence, there is a good chance that you have more than one mouse. A pregnant female in your home will give birth within 21 days to six to eight mice. After 6 weeks, the males and females can begin to mate, and the population will explode 21 days later. It won’t be easy to know exactly how many mice you have, but it will quickly get out of hand.

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divider 1 Besides Seeing a Mouse, What Are Signs That I Have Mice?

mouse inside the cupboard
Image By: Landshark1, Shutterstock

Mouse Droppings

If you think that you have more than one mouse in your house, it’s best to look around the property for signs of them. Since mice are looking for food, you will often find mouse droppings and urine on the counter, in the cupboards, and other food areas, especially food with easy-to-break-into packages, like crackers or cereal.

Mouse Urine

One of the easiest ways to detect the presence of mice is to use a small blacklight flashlight to detect their urine. Since the light illuminates the urine, you can use it to follow the mice around your home, and it works well to find nests, common routes, and even entry points, since mice aren’t careful about where they relieve themselves.

Nesting Sites

If you find a nesting spot in your home, there is a good chance that you have more than one mouse living there. Insulation is a popular nesting site for mice, as are cardboard boxes, old pillows, furniture, and other soft and warm materials. Nesting sites are not usually difficult to find because mice are messy and leave droppings and food lying around.

divider 1 Where Do Mice Like to Live in My Home?

Mouse eating walnuts
Image By: level17-design, Pixabay

One of the most popular places to find a mouse nest, at least at first, is in the basement because that’s how mice tend to get into the house. Once they learn the layout and develop pathways, you will find them in the attic, cupboards, furniture, and even behind radiators. Mice also like to make nests inside nearby vehicles, especially if you don’t use them frequently.

How Do Mice Get Into My Home?

Mice will enter your home through any small hole, usually in the foundation, but they can make their way in through gaps in window framing or around pipes and other areas that are hard to detect. We recommend inspecting your house closely at least once a year to check for any holes that a mouse might be able to enter through.

How Can I Prevent Mice From Living in My Home?

Besides sealing the entry points, you can help make it uncomfortable for mice by having a predator like a cat around. Even a dog will make it more difficult to explore your home to find food, which may cause it to look elsewhere, especially if it hasn’t yet found a home.

How Can I Get Rid of the Mice in My Home?

Unfortunately, the best way to get rid of mice in your home is likely to use an old-fashioned mousetrap. These traps are effective and more humane than glue traps or poison. They are inexpensive and will help you get rid of a sizable population. If you are sure you only have one or two mice, you can choose the more humane catch-and-release traps, but you will need to be careful about where you release them. If the population is too large, you will need to call an exterminator.

Can I Remove a Nest?

Yes. We recommend wearing gloves and a face mask while collecting and throwing the nest in the trash. You will also need to clean and sanitize the surrounding area to remove droppings and urine.

divider 1 Summary

Having a mouse in your home is not uncommon. You can even look at it as a small helper pointing out that you need to make repairs to your home. Still, you will need to move quickly to remove it, or you may find yourself with a population of more than 100 mice in less than 6 months, which will likely require the help of an expensive exterminator to rectify. Inspect your property regularly, and fix any holes that you find to prevent mice from getting in. Keep a constant watch for signs like mouse droppings or areas that look like nesting sites. A cat is a great way to keep mice out of your home, even without killing them, as they might sense the danger and move on to a safer place.

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Featured Image Credit: MainelyPhotos, Shutterstock


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