Here’s Why, in Alaska, a “Mouse” Isn’t Always a Mouse!

November 15, 2021 8:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Even if you keep your home in pristine condition, you may see a mouse scurrying around your house at some point. But one thing many Alaskans don’t know is that this “mouse” likely isn’t a regular house mouse like you’d find in the lower 48.

House mice aren’t native to Alaska, so those critters you see probably aren’t mice at all. This post from your rodent control team will cover what those “mice” actually are:

  • Voles: That “mouse” is likely a vole, which is distinguished from a mouse by its short tail. There are five vole species found in Alaska. The one most commonly found inside is the red-backed vole, which has a reddish-brown color. Other types include tundra, singing, meadow and yellow-cheeked voles.
  • Shrews: If it’s not a vole in your home, you may have a shrew or two running around. These critters look like voles and mice, but they’re much smaller. There are six shrew species here in Alaska, including the tiny shrew, which weighs less than a dime! Shrews can shrink the size of their skull by 15 percent in the winter to more easily slip inside your home.
  • Lemmings: You might also need to call a rodent control expert to deal with a lemming infestation. Three lemming species are native to Alaska, and they all thrive in our frigid temperatures. Even though they’re fine with living outdoors, they won’t pass up the opportunity to come inside for a free meal.

Signs you may have an infestation

Whether it’s a vole, shrew, lemming, rat or even an actual mouse, all rodents present similar signs that they’ve made their way inside your home. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Smells and sounds: We often smell or hear rodents before we actually see them. It’s not uncommon to hear scurrying or rustling noises on the floor or in the walls. Rodents also have a pungent ammonia-like smell, which is particularly noticeable in drawers, cabinets or closets.
  • Droppings: Be on the lookout for rodent droppings if you suspect an infestation. Their droppings are small, dark and pellet shaped. They’re often found in kitchen pantries or cabinets, where the rodents are feasting on your food.
  • Bite marks and damage: As your infestation gets worse, you’ll see tiny bite marks in cardboard boxes or wooden furniture. They’re also known to chew through electrical wires.

What can be done about them?

Your best bet is to call a pest control professional. An expert can identify where rodents are living, remove them and perform preventative measures to ensure they don’t come back. You can also try setting your own traps or using all-natural preventative measures, like peppermint oil or crushed red pepper, to keep them at bay. However, these DIY methods aren’t as effective as hiring an exterminator.

Hire Pied Piper Pest Control

Stop living with those pests and call our pros for rat control. We offer free estimates for all of our services, and we provide a 90-day guarantee for all of our work—there’s no reason not to call today!

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This post was written by Ken Perry

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