Will Mice Return to a Disturbed Nest?

Mice can be a real nuisance and are probably harder to get rid of than you would initially think. If you have seen one mouse, there is a significant chance there may be more, or even possibly a nest. Is moving a discovered nest the answer, and will mice return to a disturbed nest? Today, we will look at this question in detail and provide you with all the answers. 

Mouse Nesting Behavior 

Before continuing, it is worth taking a look at the behavior of mice in general. When we talk about a mouse nest, this can, in fact, mean two different things. 

First, for those who have ever kept mice, you’ll already be familiar with the term nest. Mice will create a depression of burrow (whether wild or captive) in which they sleep.  

In this case, removing the nest may cause the mice to seek shelter elsewhere. But this depends on where the nest is located. If it is in your house, you might simply push the problem to another area in your home. 

The second type of ‘nest’ is meant in the true sense of the word. Mouse nests are also used to house their young. 

Mice give birth to young called ‘pups’, or ‘pinkies’. These tiny mice are around the size of your knuckle, completely bald and sightless. The average litter is between 6 to 8 pups but can occasionally go as high as 13.  

Mice become sexually active at just five weeks old. When you consider that a 5-week old female mouse can then go on to give birth to up to 10 litters per year, it is easy to see how even a small mouse nest can grow into an exponential problem. 

Mice can live for around 3 years in an indoor setting, so it looks like a mouse problem might be something long-term unless you fix it.  

What Does a Mouse Nest Look Like? 

A mouse nest is actually easy to spot. Mice tend to make a pile of matter, normally organic, around 1 – 2 inches high in which they create a depression in the center. However, in your home, they don’t use naturally found materials. They will think nothing of chewing and pulling the stuffing out of furnishings, ripping up food cartons, and pulling fibers from clothes.  

You’ll normally find mouse nests in a few key locations, such as behind heaters, in kitchen cabinets, and in dark and quiet locations in your home (such as in the attic or the basement). 

Generally, mice look for a few key things when they are building a nest: – 

  • Warmth 
  • A dry environment 
  • A nearby supply of food and water 
  • Secluded and out of sight 

Can I Move a Mouse Nest? 

Mouse nests can be moved and destroyed. This isn’t an easy task, especially if there are young in the nest. It is one thing to trap or poison mice, quite another to resign the ‘pups’ to certain death.  

If you are going to move a mouse nest, there are a few things it is wise to do: – 

  1. Wear gloves and a mask. Mouse feces are full of bacteria and, if dry, can actually be breathed in, causing severe respiratory issues. The gloves will prevent you from dirtying your hands and will also help protect against bites, which mice will do if threatened. 
  2. Bring a bucket. Mice can escape easily and are surprisingly quick. Scoop the nest up quickly and drop it in the bucket. 
  3. You may elect to kill the mouse (or mice). However, if this isn’t for you, transport the nest to a remote area far away from your home before depositing the contents of your bucket. 
  4. Thoroughly clear and clean the area where you located the mouse nest with disinfectant and hot soapy water. 

Will Mice Return to a Disturbed Nest? 

The true answer to this question is that it all depends on various factors. With an isolated mouse, you’ll tend to find that they will just cut their losses and run. It is a myth that a mouse will avoid returning if they smell like humans.  

They might be more wary, but if they have found some prime real estate within your property that is warm, dry, and close to a source of food, there is a good possibility they will return. 

If there are young in the nest and you haven’t removed the nest completely, then there is a very high probability that the mouse will return. The instinct to feed and protect their young far outweighs any long-term thoughts of self-preservation.  

The only caveat to the above is that if you can prevent a mouse from re-entering your property, they may have no choice but to find refuge elsewhere. If you can, try to see if there are areas where mice could access your property and seal it up. 

If you have an endemic mouse problem, you will need to look for alternative solutions. 

How to Effectively Get Rid of Mice in a Nest 

The quickest and easiest way to rid yourself of mice, nest and all, is to utilize the services of a professional pest control company. They will dispose of the nest (and potentially its contents) and also be able to make sure that the mice can’t return (or face very severe consequences if they do). 

Pest control companies may use poison, traps, or other methods. Some of which not only kill the adult mice but also prevent the pups from reaching maturity. 

Facility Pest control, based in California, are experts in rodent control. We can provide a consultation and inspection of your property and accurately assess how severe your mouse problem is. We can also offer quick and reliable solutions to ensure that mice don’t come back. 

Facility Pest control is a family-run service with over 10 years of experience. Why not contact us today to discuss a solution to your problem.