Scientists believe that increased rainfall brought by El Nino has resulted in improved rodent habitat quality in our region. Therefore, rodents could find greater cover, more possibilities for shelter and a much greater food supply. Pine nuts and many other types of fruit, seeds, succulent vegetations and arthropods (insect populations also respond to increases in rainfall) are available in abundance.
The house mouse is the number one household rodent pest in all parts of the country, urban and rural areas as well. The meaning of the word "rodent" is "to gnaw" and rodents are well equipped to carry out this activity. Sharp, constantly-growing upper and lower pairs of chisel-like incisor teeth are their gnawing equipment. Mice are notorious nibblers, eating very little at one time, but they can chew what looks like a lot of materials when preparing a nest. The house mouse can produce 8-10 litters each year and each litter contains five to seven young mice. Within 21 days, the young are active outside the nest and within 42 days are sexually mature and ready to reproduce. This exceptionally short life cycle explains why seeing one mouse (or a sign of a mouse) suggests that several are hiding behind the scenes.
Mice aren't long-distance travelers. They stay very close to their nest if food and water are present and contrary to what you may have heard, they eat very little (only about 1/10 of an ounce) per day. Their preferred menu includes seeds, grains and generally any food materials they contact. When they do move about, it's usually under the cover of night.
You may notice signs of mice in your home during the fall when they naturally enter to escape cooler weather. You can take several precautions to prevent mice from entering your home.
In spite of your best efforts, you may find yourself faced with an infestation of unwanted rodents.