Why are the mice out of control this year?
I hear this question more and more the past couple of seasons. From long time customers to new customers and even random people I meet through my day I continually hear stories of mice situations that are out of control.
I hear comments like these, just to name a few;
The short answer is there is no short answer.
It’s noteworthy to mention that mice control is not a one time effort. It is an ongoing battle. Mice are indigenous to Muskoka. They are always here and they are always looking to find places to hide and nest, looking for food and water. You can do rodent control in and around your home or cottage, but the natural population will always be there, sometimes more, sometimes less. Data suggests that mice are actually more active in the winter months, meaning you are likely to see increased activity versus the summer/warmer months.
Sometimes we think we have the mice under control only to see another wave of activity. As we see the temperatures fluctuate as we have this past couple of fall/winters, the mice will often enter structures each time as cold spells come in.
Easier said than done!
The most common mouse here in Muskoka is the Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). When conditions are favourable, the population increases and conditions are favourable right now. We’re dealing with an increased population. Mice are prolific breeders and they can have a litter of pups every 27 days. We have had mild fall and winter seasons the past couple of years. Milder temperatures mean their mortality rate is low.
There is an abundance of food for a longer period of time, allowing them to feed, breed, and travel much more favourably than when there is a colder fall/early winter.
There is one positive. Mice are food themselves for many other predators and animals in Muskoka. More mice mean the Birds, Foxes and other animals who eat mice have a more abundant food supply as well.
Preventing Mice from Getting in
There are a number of challenges with exclusion as mice need a very small opening to access a structure. 6mm or less. Not a very big opening is it? Can you prevent mice from getting in altogether? Sometimes! Every structure is different so you may find access openings, but depending on the design, there may be areas that cannot be inspected, found or sealed. Some areas to look at can be openings where wires enter buildings, vents, cracks in foundations, under siding and door seals. Don’t be afraid to look up, mice can climb quite easily.
The battle rages on…The goal is to keep them out of your home/cottage/business. There are a number of factors for the increased mice activity.