Mice 'overwhelming' some Island homes, say pest control companies

Island pest control companies say they’re having an exceptionally busy fall dealing with mouse infestations across P.E.I.

Island pest control companies say calls are way up

Rodents like mice often head indoors when the weather becomes cooler and sometimes that means settling into people's homes. (CBC)

Island pest control companies say they're having an exceptionally busy fall dealing with mouse infestations across P.E.I.

Louis O'Brien, with Sharpline Pest Control in York, P.E.I., said his calls have almost doubled compared to last year.

"I'm getting some calls where people are frantic with it, just overwhelmed with the number of mice," said O'Brien.

More mice, more rats

O'Brien said he's heard the same from pest control professionals in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia: more infestations than usual, and more mice per home.

Robert Gallant with Atlantic Graduate Pest Management in Charlottetown said his calls are up as well. He said it's not just regular customers complaining about mice, a lot of new ones, too.

"There's a lot more newer customers who are calling and saying they've never had rodents before and now all of a sudden are infested with mice," he said.

According to Gallant, rat populations are on the rise as well, especially in rural areas, or in places where people compost in their yards.

Home owners can keep leaf litter, branches and shrubbery at a minimum to discourage mice. (Monique Smith)

Both O'Brien and Gallant speculate that last year's milder winter is to blame for the increase in mouse infestations.

Mild winter good for mice

A biologist with the province's Fish and Wildlife Division, Garry Gregory, said it's impossible to know for sure what's causing the rise in rodent numbers, but confirms mild weather conditions can contribute to elevated mouse populations. 

"If we have a mild winter, over wintering survival can be higher," said Gregory. "Mild conditions in the spring and the fall can extend the breeding season a little bit and potentially contribute a few more litters."

Have a mouse in your house? You're not alone, say Island pest control companies. (Team Flyers/Wildlife In Ontario)

Gregory cautions that with the temperatures dropping, more and more mice will be showing up in Island homes and buildings.

"Anything home owners can do to seal off entry points, this is a really good time to do that," advised Gregory. "Before they get into your house, because once they get into your house they can be an awful problem to get rid of."