Perhaps Clement Moore, who wrote the iconic, well-loved poem, The Night Before Christmas, was selecting only a word that rhymed with ‘house’, but regardless, the unmistakable implication that mice live among us is and always has been quite clear.
Mice can be field and forest critters, but they are just as much at home around humans who supply them with food and nourishment, albeit not willingly.
This holiday season, the words, ‘not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’ may have romantic and nostalgic connotations, but truth be told, it is in colder weather when infestations become more prevalent, and there is nothing romantic or nostalgic about mice scampering around a house, let alone a restaurant or any other commercial space during the holidays, or anytime throughout the year for that matter.
If you own or operate a restaurant, business or commercial establishment anywhere throughout Greater Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio or the Western Virginia panhandle, call our team today for any mice-related emergencies (412) 252-5200, or read on to learn about these furry little creatures and how our preventative pest control and pest exclusion strategies can help protect your good name, online reputation and bottom line.
Types of Mice Found In Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
There are two species of mice that commonly invade Pittsburgh residences and commercial spaces: the Common House Mouse and the Deer Mouse.
They can be difficult to tell apart, as they share some body features such as: tiny ears, pointed noses, black beady eyes, and thin tails that are about the same length as their body. They do not, however, present the same problems to homeowners and managers of commercial spaces.
The Common House Mouse prefers the inside of homes and once they enter a space, they reproduce quickly and invade every nook and wall void within a residence or commercial space.
One female mouse can give birth to a litter of 3-14 young (average number is six to eight) and can have 5 to ten litters per year. This means that the professionals at Pestco must be called in quickly to manage the infestation.
The Deer Mouse prefers an outdoor life in openings formed naturally in trees, hollowed-out logs and under stones and yard clutter. They do represent a health hazard when they infest cellars, attics and crawl spaces.
Medical Conditions Caused By Rodents
Collectively, rats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These maladies can be transmitted directly to humans in diverse ways; namely, through the handling of live or dead rodents; contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, and via bites.
These conditions can also be spread indirectly via fleas, ticks or mites that feed on infected rodents. Since mice are capable of dropping up to 25,000 pellets annually, which breaks down to 70 times per day, the prevention and prompt elimination of these mice is of the utmost importance to human health, and is best left to the professionals at Pestco and their highly knowledgeable technicians.
According to the Center For Disease Control, the feces of deer mice are directly related to Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which is contracted through the inhalation of fecal particles.
For this reason, even highly experienced inspectors wear masks when entering spaces infested by deer mice. This disease was first identified in 1993 in the southwestern United States, but today is found mostly in the western part of the country.
Salmonella poisoning is a condition caused by food or water that rodent droppings have contaminated. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Mouse droppings can trigger allergies and asthma attacks resulting from a protein present in their urine as well as murine typhus and infectious jaundice. Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis or LCM, is a viral infection that is also transmitted via the droppings of the common house mouse. Outbreaks are more common in the winter months when mice seek the warmth of indoor havens.
Mice Infestations in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
More and more often, mice are turning up in restaurants and stores throughout the Pittsburgh area.
In 2018 alone, there have been 13 consumer alerts posted by the Allegheny County Health Department and two closures. This compares with eight alerts for all of 2017.
A fast food outlet in Oakland was forced to close after mouse droppings were discovered in the customer seating area and on foldable take-our boxes. A customer complaint about a popular Thai restaurant on Pittsburgh’s north side prompted an inspection that revealed droppings on plates, dishware and shelving.
According to Donna Scharding, food safety program manager for the health department, which inspects 8,400 food facilities throughout Allegheny County: “We definitely have been identifying more rodent activity lately. I’m not sure why problems with mice seem to be picking up, but some of the inspections in recent months had been triggered by customers complaining about seeing a mouse.”
Preventing Rodent Infestations
Donna Scharding went on to say: “The best strategy for restaurants and other places that sell food is to focus on prevention. This means keeping the facility secure: sealing holes and cracks, keeping doors closed. Watch for tiny holes around the back door.
The back door is often quiet and a good place for them to enter… Leaving doors open is an issue. That is a good access point for vermin. One good preventive measure is to set a few traps and check them regularly.”
A Few Interesting Facts About Mice
Did you know the following facts about mice?
- Mice Tails Can Grow As Long As Their Bodies
This applies, not matter how large or small they are.
- Mice Are Organized And Very Clever Critters
Mice build very complicated burrows that have long entrances and many escape routes. They are very clean and their living quarters might even glean a good housekeeping seal of approval with their separate sections for storing food, sleeping and going to the toilet.
- Mice Only Need A Tiny Opening
By flattening out their bodies, mice can squeeze through gaps as small as 6mm. That translates into roughly the size of a dime.
- These Rodents Have Poor Vision
Mice see best in dim light. Due to their poor vision, mice rely on their hearing and smell in order to navigate their surroundings.
- Mice Have Supersonic Hearing
Mice can hear ultrasound up to 90 kHz and they produce ultrasound to communicate with others of their ilk and also to serenade each other during mating season.
- Mice Are Explorers
Mice are always on the move in search of additional food sources because they eat as much as 20 times per day.
- Mice Are Territorial Critters
According to the RSPCA, mice like to have a large area that they can claim as their own.
- Mice Have Unusual Names
Female mice are known as does, males are bucks and babies are pups or pinkies because of their bright pink color.
- The Bodies And Minds Of Mice Work Like Those Of Humans
This is the primary reason why nearly all modern medicine is tested on mice before human medical trials are introduced.
- All Hail Mickey Mouse
Walt Disney introduced Mickey Mouse, the first mouse character to be used in children cartoons and animation, back in 1928. Since that time, mouse characters such as such as Speedy Gonzales, Jerry from Tom and Jerry and Topo Grigio (gray mouse) are popular icons to this day.
Relevant Facts and Studies On Mice Infestations
A survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) indicated that nearly one-third of American homes and businesses (29%) have suffered from a rodent infestation during the fall and winter months of the year primarily in restaurant and home kitchens.
According to the United States pest control industry, an average of 7 billion dollars is spent annually on rodent infestations in homes and commercial spaces.
Offices of all types are prime targets for mice because they provide an endless supply of that which they need to survive. The human eco-system of the working business office is a source for crumbs left behind in a break room or even uneaten lunches, like open salads, left on desks for extended periods of time.
No office, not even those at the White House, is immune to a pest infestation. President Johnson used to feed mice at his desk and Barbara Bush once swam in the White House pool accompanied by an unwelcome and enormous rat.
Once, Jimmy Carter became furious when the General Services Administration and the Interior Department argued over which agency was to blame for the dead mouse he smelled that was later discovered within the walls of the Oval Office.
Pestco History And Mice Control Solutions
Since its formation in 1948, Pestco Professional Services has been a consistent industrial leader in pest control and pest management solutions throughout Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania.
We have the distinction of being the only commercial pest control and pest management company within the United States that manufactures the products it uses.
Our growth over the last seven decades is largely due to the fact that they offer superior services, products and pest control strategies to commercial enterprises that are afflicted with pest infestations of all types.
Our technicians are highly knowledgeable and trained extensively to address the uniqueness and challenges of each infestation. Our team attends company workshops to ensure they are always on top of and a few steps ahead of the pests they encounter.
Our integrated pest control and pest management services (IPM) have a practical, hands-on approach that entails an extensive and thorough examination of the affected facility and the sealing up of any cracks and crevices that might permit rodent ingress.
We offer the best pest control and pest management solutions for all industries including: food and restaurants; gyms; salons and fitness centers; schools and universities; hospitals and nursing homes; showrooms of all types; and retail stores and boutiques just to mention a few.
Companies are attracted to our services both because of the assurance of quality and satisfaction, but also because of our latest cost-effective business offering known as the Complete Facility Care Program.
Pittsburgh’s Most Complete Facility Hygiene Program
Pittsburgh company owners and managers should learn more about and take advantage of this special offering of professional services.
This three-pronged hygiene initiative offers the ultimate in pest control and pest management, washroom hygiene services provided by the specialists at Enviro-Master and environmental odor and air freshening solutions supplied by the ambient air-care masters at Air-Scent.
Reasonably priced, fully integrated and totally straightforward, these professional services are all performed by highly skilled and qualified technicians.
This one-stop-shop blanket of diversified facility maintenance options is provided by a most distinguished and reliable company that is committed to 100% customer satisfaction and stands behind the quality of all of its products and services.
Commercial enterprises are always looking for ways to improve traffic and that all-important bottom line, no matter what service or product they sell. No business environment can afford to do without an integrated maintenance agenda such as our complete Facility Care Program because proper pest management, odor control and washroom hygiene maintenance are crucial to the operational success of any business that interfaces with the public.
Last but certainly not least, is the fact that our Pestco technicians use only sustainable alternatives to address pest infestations.
Business managers and owners often call on us for all their pest control and pest management needs because of the extra level of sustainable care that their Green Shield Certified X-Termi Green Program offers. Our priority is the deployment of eco-sensitive solutions for all pest-related issues, which do not involve the unnecessary use of pesticides.
Our concern for the environment and our carbon footprint has always been a priority, even long before such advocacy became a fashionable and politically correct stance.
Being a family-owned business, the awareness of our future planet and the kind of world our grand children will inherit is always at the forefront of our chosen operations.
So call our team today and let us help you with any pest control or pest management issues you may have experienced. Even if there have been no problems as of yet, there is no guarantee that there won’t be in the near future.
To ensure peace of mind and concentrate instead on daily business operations, call our team today (412) 252-5200 and let us transform your business into a pest-free, sweet-smelling and hygienic place to both work and visit.
Final thought about mice: T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. ~ Clement Clarke Moore