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Mice FAQ
Q. Where do mice/rats come from?
A. Generally Rodents enter from an access point on the exterior of the home.  Mice in particular can fit through a 1/4 of an inch in diameter, most homes have such holes.  A trained/licensed exterminator should be able to locate possible points of entry.
Q. Should I seal up the holes?
A. Some holes on the exterior are meant to be there. For example a weeper between bricks. Although perfect size for a foraging rodent, if all sealed it could create drainage/moisture issues in you home. When hiring a professional, be sure they are qualified for both sealing the holes and knowing which holes should and shouldn't be sealed.
Q. What do the droppings look like?
A. Mice droppings are commonly compared to the size of a piece of rice black in colour. Conversely rats have much larger droppings about the size of an olive pit.
Q. Do mice carry diseases?
A. Yes, mice are known carriers of many diseases including Salmonellosis, Lymphocytic, Rickettsialpox, Leptospirosis, Chorimeningitis, Tularemia, Lyme disease, Dermatitis, Tapeworms, Hantavirus.
Q. We have scratching, 'digging' and general animal-like noises in the ceiling/wall above one of the bedrooms at corner top of our house. The animal seems busiest during the night, between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m....and it is the middle of the winter here. I thought most animals hibernated this time of year. What is the most likely animal we are dealing with? Is there a risk this animal will get into our house, and if so, what is the most likely entry point? Can you provide a source of reliable professional help in Markham to get this as yet unidentified pest out of our house?
A. Most likely....rats. Rats and mice often get into attics by following the plumbing vent stacks.  It's like an elevator shaft for rodents, passing through every level of the home and out through the roof.  If the temptation is strong enough (the smell of food) they could chew their way into your living space.  You will find some reliable professionals in our directory
Q. We have been catching mice in our home and letting the caught mice loose in a field about half a mile away, is it possible the mice can find their way back.?
A. Yes.  They will find their way back fairly rapidly overcoming many difficult obstacles.  Here is a quote from a field study published on PestControlCanada.ca:   One mouse returned after being released 500 m and 1,000 m, then 750 m, and 1,200 m from the house at consecutive daily trapping sessions of 3 days.
Q. Is Pellet bait effective?
A. Granular or pellet bait should not be used.  Mice will take it and  save it to eat later.  Bait should always be placed in lockable child and pet proof stations. Mice will die within a few days after eating one piece of the anti-coagulant bait. They need to eat very little.  Using too much bait may be attracting more mice inside the home. You should try to find the entry points or hire a professional to do an inspection and exclusion work
Q. I found some small grey mice eating at a bag of cashew nuts I had left for a week in my garage. Should I throw the nuts away or will I be able to eat them. They poked holes in the 5 lb bag and seemed to pull the nuts out through the holes.  Keri.  Edmonton.
A. If you could see the urine left by mice you would not even want to touch the bag of nuts.  Definitely throw them out.
Q. I am having a problem with rodents this summer. Already found mouse droppings, but recently have found something much larger. Looks like rat droppings (I had pet rats in high school), but my sitter said she saw a chipmunk running across our kitchen a couple of weeks ago. How do I know what I have besides the mice? And, as it seems that we have an underground metropolis in our yard, judging by the entrances and exits, what is the most effective way to get rid of mice, rats and/or chipmunks?  My house is clean, cluttered with mail and the like, typical of a house with multiple kids, but it certainly isn't dirty. I keep the foods put away, but they got into my cereal cabinet and chewed through the Rice Krispies box *GAG*. Is this all it would take to lure them into the house? The cereal cabinet? Must I keep my dry goods in the refrigerator or something so drastic to keep them from returning once I rid the house of them???? PLEASE HELP!

A. You must follow the three step process.

  • Eliminate or store in rodent proof containers any food that is attracting them.
  • Block off rodent entry points.
  • Then use appropriate means to eliminate the population.
Q. Recently moved into a house and I have boxes stored in the basement. I noticed that one of my cardboard boxes had almost the entire outside removed. (You could see the corrugated insides.) I just thought it was weird box so I tossed it. Now a second box has been torn apart in a similar manner. My question is, what kind of pest eats cardboard? Is it a mouse or is it a bug of some kind? Thanks!
A. It is likely mice tearing off the paper to use as nesting material. This is not uncommon.
Q. I am staying in xxxxxx Towers at  Toronto. On 13th Sept. 2001 the XXXXXXXX  Pest Control personal came in to the house and left a few yellow packets of poison for the mice inside my house, based on my request. On 15th evening the only mice which I am keeping a track ate the poison. It continued to eat every day. Today is 20th and the mice is still alive. It is active damaging the wall, paint, thermo cool, wood, etc. My question is whether the mice is immune to the poison applied ? Is there any strong doses available for application which is not harmful for the residents. Are there fictitious chemicals in circulation ?
A. Mice rarely live alone. The building you live in could have many mice that have discovered the food (poison) that has been placed for them.  The poison is likely killing all the mice that eat it. If poison has not been placed in other critical areas of the building, it may take some time before they stop coming to your apartment.

One of the major problems with mice in high rise buildings is travel between units. If you are on higher floors and are having problems, it likely means that the problems exist in a lot of locations. For your own unit, it is very useful to check all the possible points of travel for the mice such as where your rad pipes go into walls, plumbing pipe passages (especially under sink), and other potential hiding places. If you plug these with steel wool to reduce ability of mice to travel, it is a big help. You might put rodent bait in a more solid form into the openings before you plug them. Within your own unit the best device for mouse control is the snap trap. These are inexpensive and if you check out the best way to place them, you will destroy any mice in your own unit. The landlord also has an obligation to ensure that pests are being kept out and eliminated from the building.
Q. We live in a 25 year old 3 story apartment. Just this year we have been experiencing mouse problems. Many apartments have seen them. We have been putting down poison and glue traps and wrapping up food. Is there anything else that we should be doing? Are mice a cyclical problem?
A. Mice can be a cyclical (or seasonal) problem. When the weather cools rodents begin to seek a warm place to live out the winter. When treating the problem be sure to put out a sufficient amount of bait, so that the mice will not outbreak the baiting program (one breeding pair can produce up to 144 pups in a year and the young can reproduce within 2 months). In order to prevent the problem from one needs to find the potential entry points for the mice and sealing them. Additionally, you might benefit from an ongoing external baiting program in order to deal with the rodents before they make their way into the apartment complex.
Q. We have a mouse problem in our house. We have gone over every nook and cranny, crawled around to find holes and cannot locate or find how they are getting in. Is it possible that they could live in the house if they have enough food stored or is this impossible? thank you....we have been dealing with this for five years and are going crazy!!!
A. Mice can squeeze through a crack as small as it's skull size. Any openings around pipes, vents, wiring, fireplaces should be plugged with steel wool.  If you still have a problem, perhaps the experienced eyes of a professionals will see something you don't. 
Q. I have field mice in the house. Are they a risk for the family and what damage can they cause. Should I trap them or what?.
A. All mice in a residence can be a health hazard. Mice are suspected as the cause of 25% of electrical fires when insulation is chewed off wiring; so you should not ignore them.  Mice can also carry disease (see earlier questions). Use traps or solid block poison in the basement or crawlspace. Poison should always be placed in secure animal and child proof bait boxes. Call a professional if you are not successful eliminating them 

Advantage Pest Control is the leading carpenter ant, bedbugs, and mice specialist serving Toronto, Mississauga, Peel and Durham; including the surrounding areas of Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Markham, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Rexdale. We also offer a full range of pest control products including aerosols, baits, sprays and dusts for treatment of your pest problem. Additionally we carry non-insecticidal products such as bedbug proof mattress encasements and mechanical and pheromone traps.

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