Wrong. Mouse infestation is a VERY big deal

As a home inspector in the Stillwater area, I look for evidence of mouse infestation. According to the Standards of Procedure as set by the Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI), I’m not required to report on the presence or absence of rodents. (Why? Well, they hide. And the seller certainly knows I’m coming, so could clean up droppings.)

Nonetheless, when I see evidence of mice presence. I let the buyer know.

Sometimes I see mouse tunnels in the insulation in the attic. Those tunnels can let a whole lot of heat through, causing higher heating bills.

With an Infrared camera, I can see where heat is coming through the insulation via mouse tunnels

Want to learn some disturbing facts about mice? (Sure. Why not.)

A female mouse starts to produce offspring at about 30 days. She can have 6 to 10 litters a year. I can’t do the math. I think it comes to a lot of mice.

2 mice can eat 8 pounds of food and leave 36,000 droppings in a year. And they contaminate 10 times the food they eat.

Ready for a list of diseases?

Babesiosis 

Colorado Tick Fever

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis

La Crosse Encephalitis

Lyme Disease 

Murine Typhus 

Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever

Powassan Virus

Scrub Typhus 

Rickettsialpox

Relapsing Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Sylvatic Typhus 

West Nile Virus

Okay. Some of those diseases aren’t in this area. But still.

Some problems start when urine dries and becomes airborne, or when you vacuum or sweep the droppings, so don’t sweep or vacuum the droppings. Instead, disinfect first. Pin Sol works great. Mist the area with a Pine Sol/water mix, and then wipe up with paper towels. Wear gloves and a respirator. And wash your clothes with hot water and 1/2 a cup of Pine Sol as soon as you’re done.

Other problems have to do with how much damage a mouse can do by chewing insulation, furniture, clothes, building materials and wiring. Yup. mice have started fires by chewing on wires and causing short circuits.

So what to do? 

Seal gaps and cracks in the foundation like crazy. The most effective and humane method of pest control is to restrict entry in the first place. If you can stick your pinky finger in a hole or crack, an adult mouse can get in. I know. I saw a video. Want to see it (really? It’s kind of disturbing.) Click Tiny mouse holes

Get an exterminator. Honestly, it’s money well spent. Find a small, local company and check out prices and guarantees. A good exterminator seals first, then traps before using poison. That method reduces the number of little dead bodies all over the house.

To recap; mice cause problems in homes. As Jack Reacher says, retaliate first.

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About the author

Joe has many years of experience as a Home Inspector. Joe is a proud member of ASHI, MAHI, WAHI & SAAR. He follows the Best Practices as described by the American Association of Home Inspectors and the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors. He is licensed in Wisconsin and is Radon Certified. Joe also complies with ASHI's Code of Ethics.

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