La Crosse County, WI (WXOW) -- Cold weather means pests and rodents scurrying to find a warmer place to stay. Unfortunately, those warm places are usually in your home.
DeBoer Pest Control in La Crosse has been getting lots of calls about mice nesting in and around homes with customers wanting to know what to do about it. James DeBoer, the chief operating officer of DeBoer Pest Control says, "We tell people to keep their bird feeder stations probably 20 to 30 yards from the house. Keeping the garbage cans away from the house is helpful as well because mice are going to want to make their nest very close to their food source. The further you keep those away from the house the better chance you have of the mice going somewhere else to make their nest.
Some tell tale signs you have a problem are ones you certainly won't miss. James adds, "The mice droppings is number one. You'll find that near your bread and cereals. Also, your clothes might have holes in them and so those are signs of mice." There some house keeping preventive tips to take note of before one mouse becomes several. DeBoer said, "Sealing up any foundations; cracks in the foundation. Steel wool and caulk is good to seal up the foundation with. Keeping your shrubs and grass down low."
If they are unsuccessful at finding warmth and food in your house, their perseverance may lead them to find safety in your car. We went down to Pischke Motors in La Crosse to see if there have been any mouse incidents. Rick Smith, the service and parts director says, "They're busy. They're busy, busy, busy this time of year. They're looking for warm shelter and they want a supply of food and a dark spot to live and that's usually inside your car. Might be inside an engine compartment, might be in the dash, you just never know. And we've seen them up on top of a gas tank before."
As always, if you have any concerns at all, leave it to the professionals like DeBoer Pest Control. DeBoer uses special bait to catch these mice in the act. DeBoer mentions, "You got to use the right kind of baits. Making sure that if a mouse eats the poison, and the dog eats the mouse, you don't want the dog to get sick. So we use poison that there's no double kill on it. We also put it in hard lockable bait stations so dogs and kids can't get at them.
An interesting note and something to keep an eye on are plumbing lines. The plumbing lines act as a mouse highway to get down to the unfinished parts of a basement to escape after thieving food from your pantry. Mice are nocturnal animals so catching them in the act may have to come at night.