More mice in Ottawa homes this summer thanks to weather, food

Mice driven inside by the region’s cold winter are staying put over the summer, meaning record call volumes for exterminators.

'Pretty well the perfect storm,' says exterminator with calls up 30 per cent from 2013

Exterminators say many mice driven inside during the cold winter are staying put this summer. 2:09

Mice driven inside by the region's cold winter are staying put over the summer, keeping some exterminators busier than they've ever been.

Todd Babin said he's never seen mice numbers like this in his 15 years in the pest control business.

Deer mice such as this rely on seeds and berries to get through the winter, of which there was a recent bumper crop. (Courtesy CDC)

"We've been experiencing really high capture rates where we're dealing with 10, 20, 30 mice that are being captured in homeowner traps," he said.

Babin said he's getting up to eight calls a day for mice this summer, up 30 per cent from last year.

Carleton University naturalist Mike Runtz said a bumper crop of seeds and berries kept more mice alive over the winter.

"Small mammals, like the deer mice, depend upon these seeds for winter survival," he said. "With a lot of winter food, you get high survival rates and high reproduction rates.

"We call this pretty well the perfect storm due to the amount of food, water and shelter," Babin said.

Mice can get inside a hole the size of a human thumb, so it's recommended homeowners seal cracks and openings to keep them out. Keeping food sources such as bird feeders as far away from houses as possible is another way to keep mice away.

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