A mouse infestation is devastating to both agricultural areas and homes. Mice can overrun places quickly and they are able to reproduce rapidly, so what seems to be a small population of mice at first can grow almost exponentially.
In granaries or farms, mice infestations can ruin crops and cost farmers their harvests. Mice infestations can last up to two years, with a population of just 100 mice being a major problem. Since mice can reproduce at such amazing rates, the numbers can soar. New farming techniques also contribute to increasing mouse infestations. Higher harvest rates and incomplete harvest cycles are taking a toll on methods traditionally used to control mice.
Mice will damage much more than they will eat. Their droppings, urine and saliva are all contaminates and build up in harvest and grain areas where they have infested. This waste can spread disease to animals and humans alike.
Home infestations usually occur on a smaller scale. Mice leave chew marks on plastic, wood and other materials that they gnaw. They also leave droppings and tracks throughout the house and emit a musky odor. Mice will nest in walls and places where they will remain out of sight. They make their nests from shredded paper or cardboard, which is another clue to look for.
With a mouse infestation in your house, as with one at a farm, addressing the problem quickly is critical. Mice will produce 10 litters in a year, with the young mice being capable of reproducing within two months of birth. These litters can yield up to 9 young, so infestation is not out of the question, even with a small starting population.
Any mice problem can be addressed first with cleanliness and mouse proofing, but if you begin to see evidence of a large number of mice, consult a pest control expert.