Do I Have a Potential Mouse Problem?


Hi there! I need some advice on what to do.

So my family and I moved into a new house about 2ish years ago. It's a massive but old house, about 50 years old, with a ton of cracks, not properly insulated or sealed areas, and problems in general. About six months after we moved in I started to hear scratching in the roof above my room, which is a pretty big unused attic/open space. It's most active in winter (for obvious reasons) and then in summer it can die down so much I completely forget about it, until it picks up again once the temperature drops.

Winter has just ended here in Australia and it's moving in to spring. The scratching has been pretty persistent this winter. I'm not really bothered by it, just quite aware. I don't really hear much scuttling or any squeaking, and I'm assuming they've mostly been hanging out just above my room—none of my family has heard anything the entire time we've lived here, their rooms are right next to mine, as they tell me any time I have brought it up. The first time I saw an actual mouse was outside on our driveway was this winter, about three months ago I'd say. It was late at night and I was bringing out the bins. It freaked me out a little seeing it but then after looking up how it looked like (I was trying to figure out if it was a rat or mouse) it seems like it was just a common garden mouse. Makes sense. We have a big garden area and backyard, plus we live next to an empty plot and nearby two parks. From that point on I just assumed the mice in the attic were garden mice hanging out up there.

The reason I'm writing tonight is because for the first time ever, we saw a mouse inside our house. My mom went to our upstairs bathroom in the dark and she said she saw something scurry off the bathroom counter, down the cord we have reaching to the floor, and disappear behind something by the floor. She freaked out and told me about it, and now I'm getting paranoid if we have a rodent problem. I know usually seeing a mouse inside is a sign of potential if not already an infestation, but now that I think about it, it could just be an unlucky coincidence.

Like I mentioned above, this house is OLD and has a ton of cracks or areas that need to be sealed. Various bugs have been a problem since day one (ants, bees, moths). We once had a bunch of bees try to build a hive by our staircase INSIDE just because there was plenty of gaps to let them in through the window and out to the garden. Plus, throughout the time we've lived here, I've heard the mice scuffle in and out from the roof and climb down the pipes to our gardens and the empty plot next door plenty of time—hence why I believe it's just garden mice doing their thing. To me it's not too far fetched it just decided to climb through a hole by the bathroom window on its way to the roof and it came in. And a reason for it to come in to the bathroom? Well, the bathroom is the ensuite to my mom's room, and she has a really bad habit of leaving her dishes and leftover bits of food from her room on the bathroom counter. It seems completely plausible to me that it was just a garden mouse that could smell the old food she'd left behind and decided to come down to have a nibble, then ran back up to the roof when mom came in. The icing on the cake on why I think it was an unlucky coincidence is that, aside from this one sighting and the scratching, we've had NO other signs of a mice infestation. I've never seen any droppings, or shredded pieces from their nesting, or stains or smells from their urine. No other signs any pest control websites said to look for seemed applicable here.

So, is this cause for concern that I have a potential mouse problem and we should call a professional to look at our roof? Or do you think we'll be fine if we seal off the entrance it came from and we remove any tempting old food from the bathroom?

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