Thorn is a local Utah pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded to less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.
There are few things more alarming then lying in bed at night and hearing unknown creatures scratching around inside the walls of your house.
If mice are present inside your walls, treatment will likely involve a combination of control methods, such as finding where they’re getting in, adequately sealing entry points, placing the proper traps in the right spots, addressing conducive conditions and monitoring the surrounding mouse population.
The problem? Finding where mice are getting into your home can be tricky.
What to do if You Hear Mice in the Walls?
If you hear scratching in your walls, try not to panic! There’s no need to start drilling holes or buying poison just yet.
If you’re someone who wants to try some DIY solutions before calling a professional, there are steps you can take to remediate the issue. Even if you decide to call a pest control company down the road, you can get the process started yourself and provide valuable info when the pros arrive.
Inspect for Mice in the Walls and Identify Them
A pest company’s first goal in this situation should be assessment and identification. This process involves looking at the problem objectively, determining where the mice are getting in. An experienced technician will look for what could be making the issue worse, including:
- Groundcover up against the foundation of the house
- Damaged siding
- Cracked foundation
- Bird feeders close to the house
- Garbage nearby
During this step, it is also important to figure out what animal is hanging out in your walls. It might not be mice.
In our previous article, Get Rid of Mice and Rats in Your Home, we talked about the biological and behavioral similarities and differences between rats and mice.
Before carrying on with control efforts, it’s important to know without a doubt what pest you’re dealing with, as implementing the wrong control measures could create bigger problems for you in the future.
If you’re determined to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible, play pest investigator and start the assessment and identification process yourself! Even if you hire a professional pest control company later, any information you can give them is valuable, and could make their job much easier.
Answer the following questions:
- Are you hearing noises at nighttime or during the daytime?
- Where could the animals be gaining access to the inside of your home?
- Have you noticed anything suspicious or out of place around your home or yard recently, like bits of insulation along the foundation?
- Is there anything that could be attracting animals to your yard such as food or water sources?
SOME QUICK ADVICE FROM THORN: Since mice are nocturnal, you will most likely hear them in the evening around dusk. If you’re hearing noises during the day, it’s important to include other pests on your list of possible suspects. Pests making daytime noise in your walls could be wildlife such as squirrels or birds, bats, or even a yellowjacket nest.
If mice are present and you’re serious about keeping them at bay, or if you’ve had ongoing mouse issues in the past, try not to give a small issue time to become a larger problem. You may want to consider signing up for an ongoing pest program, such as our HomeGuard residential pest service. Many recurring pest services cover a variety of pests, and it’s always a good idea to have someone to call in a pest emergency.
Signs of Mice in Your Walls – What do Mice in the Walls Sound Like?
Nighttime noises from inside the walls, ceiling or floors are the most noticeable sign that mice (or something else) have entered your home. You aren’t likely to see or hear mice during the day, and if you are, the issue could be worse than you think.
Mice make small scurrying, gnawing and squeaking sounds inside the walls of homes and are most likely to be heard around dusk. Does the animal you’re hearing sound larger than a small mouse? Trust your gut. It might be.
If you do have mice in the walls, they may be using your walls (and pipes) as a highway to get from A to B, or they may be nesting inside the wall void itself.
In the event they’re traveling to and from, they might make their way into your living space. You might notice evidence in your home, such as:
- Droppings, especially in areas where pipes enter the home under sinks, in the laundry room, in the garage or behind the toilet
- Evidence in the crawlspace or attic
- Chewed food items and packages
Mice living in the wall void itself create a special set of circumstances, because traps can’t be put in the wall void, and it can be difficult to locate mouse entry points. Start by inspecting the roofline and siding for damaged spots that could provide access for mice. Remember, they can fit through holes the size of a nickel, so keep an eye open for even the smallest of gaps.
What Causes Mice in Walls?
There are several details and causes, or conducive conditions, to consider when it comes to mice inside the walls of your home. Ask these questions:
- Are they mice or something else?
- Where are they getting in?
- Why are they there? (Food, shelter, water)
- What could be making the issue worse?
Understand that mice typically nest in homes for harborage (shelter). The idea that they’re eagerly trying to make their way into the kitchen to feed is incorrect. Mice have other needs besides their next meal, and maybe in this situation, they’re just looking to get out of the weather.
Mice have become masters of living alongside humans while going relatively undetected. They benefit very much from the homes we build, the garbage we leave behind and the food waste we generate, but there are changes we can make that discourage mice from moving into our spaces.
Due to their small size, mice don’t need very much space to squeeze inside gaps in your home. They can fit through a hole the size of a nickel! Once inside, they are likely to end up in the crawlspace where they’ll live their best life while getting comfy in your insulation and staying hidden.
SOME QUICK ADVICE FROM THORN: Moisture damaged or rotten siding can provide perfect access for mice. They can also enter along the roofline, in gaps or holes in the eaves. Mice are very sensitive to airflow. The air coming from inside your home is warm and will grab the attention of mice and rats passing by. Given that rodents are very opportunistic, they will happily chew out gaps to make for easier access. Try and seal these holes up before they become a problem. Try to avoid spray foam. Rodent teeth are sharp and will make easy work of munching through foam excluder. When the wood cannot be replaced, opt instead for covering holes with wire mesh, or even packing holes with steel wool.
How to Prevent Mice in Your Walls
To effectively prevent mice in your walls, try to perform the following tasks on a recurring basis:
- Perform regular, thorough inspections of your home and property
- Seal up any gaps or entry points to keep mice and other animals out
- Reduce vegetation around the home, especially ground cover that grows close to the foundation
- Prevent trees and large shrubs from growing up onto the roofline
- Keep an eye on your siding and eaves for damage
If you are signed up for a recurring pest control service, your pest company should be helping with the inspection part of things. They should also be sending you reports on how service is going along with recommendations for what you can do to help keep mice away, such as reducing vegetation against the home. For the best pest control results, be sure to follow this advice, and if you’re looking to build a relationship with a pest control company in Utah, don’t hesitate to reach out to Thorn!
Mice in Walls – Frequently Asked Questions
Are Mice in Walls Dangerous?
While mice can carry disease, the chances of a human catching something from mice inside their walls is minimal. What mice can do is heavily soil the areas inside your walls, attic and crawlspace with their waste (especially insulation) and cause damage with their chewing and nesting behaviors. In severe situations, they might even end up in the living space.
How Long Does It Take a Mouse to Chew Through a Wall?
Mice don’t exactly chew through walls. They find weaknesses and gaps in the wall and will chew those out for access to shelter. They will also chew through spray foam, so stay away from foams when sealing up entry points.
How do Exterminators Get Rid of Mice?
Qualified professional exterminators will follow a number of steps to address a mouse issue:
- Inspect, assess and identify
- Formulate a plan specific to the property
- Seal up entry points
- Implement trapping and monitoring
What is the Fastest Way to get rid of a Mouse in the Wall?
If you want to get rid of mice in your walls quickly, seal up any exterior entry points with wire mesh or steel wool and put out traps in the areas where you’ve noticed evidence. Avoid placing traps out in the open where kids, pets or neighborhood cats might encounter them.
How Long Can a Mouse Live in a Wall?
Mice may not live long (12-18 months), but they live in groups and reproduce quickly. Where there’s one mouse in a wall, there’s most likely more, and they’re happy to keep having babies if they’ve found a safe, warm, and well-hidden spot inside your walls.
Will Mice in the Walls go Away on Their Own?
Mice are a pest that are not likely to go away on their own, especially if they have found warmth and shelter in the walls of your house. They will be inclined to stay if your wall space is still accessible and comfortable for them.
If you live in Utah and you’re realizing mice have been getting cozy in your walls, please reach out to Thorn. The neighborhood mice don’t pay enough rent to be stealing your heat and causing damage inside your walls! Thorn will work hard to make sure those pesky mice hit the road and have no interest in coming back.