Understanding mice in your Gatineau or Ottawa home: Biology and behavior

Mice are unwelcome guests in any home, and understanding their biology and behavior is crucial for effective removal. Here’s a closer look at mice commonly found in Gatineau and Ottawa:

House mouse (Mus musculus):

This small brown mice, measuring 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) in length, is the most common type of mice in North America.  They’re nocturnal creatures, meaning they’re most active at night, and can squeeze through openings as small as a dime.  House mice are excellent climbers and burrowers, making them adept at navigating homes and finding nesting sites.

Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus):

Slightly larger than the house mouse, with a body length of 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) and a white underbelly, the deer mouse is another common species in the Gatineau-Ottawa area.  Unlike house mice, deer mice are more active during dusk and dawn and prefer natural habitats, although they may enter homes in search of food or shelter during harsh winters.

Diet and habits:

Mice are omnivores, feeding on a variety of things including seeds, grains, insects, and fruits.  They’re attracted to crumbs, pet food, and garbage, making them a nuisance in homes where these food sources are readily available.  Mice constantly gnaw to wear down their ever-growing incisors, which can cause damage to furniture, wires, and insulation in your home.

Signs of a mice infestation:

  • Droppings: Small, dark droppings, about the size of a grain of rice, found in cupboards, drawers, or along baseboards.
  • Gnaw marks: Evidence of chewing on food packaging, furniture legs, wires, or even insulation.
  • Nests: Shredded paper, fabric, or other nesting materials tucked away in your attic, basement, or behind appliances.
  • Sightings: Seeing a mouse scurrying across the floor is a clear sign of an infestation.
  • Sounds: Unusual scratching or squeaking noises coming from inside your walls or ceilings, indicating mice activity.

Why mice pose a health risk:

Mice can carry diseases like hantavirus and salmonellosis, which can be transmitted to humans through contact with their droppings or urine.  They can also trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children.

If you suspect a mice infestation:

If you suspect a mouse infestation in your Gatineau or Ottawa home, don’t wait!  Contact Aspen Wildlife Control today.  Our experienced technicians will develop a customized plan to eliminate your mouse problem effectively and in accordance with provincial regulations, giving you back a safe and healthy home.