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Do I Have Mice Or Squirrels?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

Are you hearing animals scratching during the day or at night? Unfortunately, you are most likely experiencing mouse or squirrel activity within your home. It’s not very hard for them to take advantage of cracks, crevices, and openings within your foundation and on your roof to wreak havoc to your valuables. Not only is their presence a nuisance, but it can be a health risk because of their excessive urine and droppings that easily spread. Differentiating squirrel and mouse activity is often hard to do, but is necessary for taking your first step towards elimination.

Where do squirrels live?

In the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area, the most common species of squirrel is the Eastern Gray Squirrel.

Do Squirrels Live In Attics

Eastern Gray Squirrels entering an attic                          Photo Credit: Omega Animal Removal

They can find their way into your attic by entering through fascia boards, shingles, and eaves on your home. They take shelter and create their nests, typically housing 2-7 squirrels at a time.

Squirrel Attic Damage

Photo Credit:

Where do mice live?

In the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area, you are most likely to find the House Mouse, Mus musculus, or the White Footed Mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, living in your home. The House Mouse and the White Footed Mouse are similar in appearance but can be easily distinguished by the color of the hair on the body.

House Mouse

Mus musculus                                                                                                                                                                     Photo Credit:

The House Mouse is light brown to light gray and uniform in color.

White Footed Mouse

 Peromyscus leucopus                                                                                                                                                            Photo Credit:

The White Footed Mouse is light brown and is white on the underside of the tail, belly, and feet.

Mice live in hidden areas such as garages, attics, lofts, and wall interiors, making them nearly impossible to remove on your own.

How can I tell if I have mice?

Do you think that you have mice? Read below to help identify your infestation.

  • Droppings – Mice constantly eat throughout the day, which is a lot for their little bodies. Droppings are left behind and will appear to be black or brown in color and the shape of a grain of rice.
  • Scratching – They are nocturnal creatures. If you hear light scratching in your home at night, it could be mice.
  • Tampered food – While in search of shelter, mice are also in search of a food source. It’s much easier to eat food from your pantry than search for food outside in the elements. Signs of tampered food are cereal boxes or other pantry items that look like they were chewed through along the edges.
  • Mice – You may actually see mice. They crawl along edges of walls so you probably won’t see them running through the middle of a room. Due to their nocturnal nature, they will be most active at night.

How can I tell if I have squirrels?

Similar to mice, squirrels can make their way into your attic and create their nest. The main difference between squirrel and mouse infestations is the time of day that they are active. Mice are nocturnal, whereas squirrels are diurnal.

  • You hear strange scratching, jumping or scampering noises in your home
  • You find squirrel droppings throughout your attic
  • Damaged entry points including around the fascia boards, shingles, eaves troughs and outer panels with all kinds of damage along the roof line.
  • Strange odors and “water damage” marks on your walls and ceilings from the squirrel urine and feces

How can I keep mice and squirrels out of my home?


If you see signs of squirrel activity, it is imperative that you call a pest control or wild life professional. Squirrels can damage wires, insulation, any valuables in your attic, and cause uncleanly conditions by the urine and feces they leave behind.


Perform a visual inspection of your home to find cracks and crevices where mice may be entering. Typical entry points are around the foundation of your home and garages. Place pantry items in Tupperware containers instead of the boxes that they are sold in. Remove dog or cat food that is left in open bowls overnight or when you leave the house and be sure to sweep your kitchen floors on a regular basis to remove small crumbs. They key to mouse prevention is to eliminate potential food sources.

Mice only need a ¼ inch gap to enter your home so homeowners need to seal up any obvious gaps around entry doors, garage doors, and utility penetration points that are a ¼ of an inch or larger.

What can Cooper do?


Cooper’s Squirrel Control Program (for Mercer County NJ residents only) aims to reduce the squirrel population in your home as quickly and humanely as possible. If you think you are experiencing squirrel activity, please take the following steps.


Step 1 – Call our customer service department at 1-800-949-2667.

Step 2 – One of our representatives will visit your home to perform an inspection and create the plan of action that is the best fit for you and your need.

Step 3 – A scheduled technician will assess the entry points and place traps to humanely capture the squirrels.

Step 4- We will return on a daily basis to check the traps. Trapping will continue on a daily basis until no more squirrels are trapped, and the monitor over the entry remains intact for 2 days.  You will only be charged for return visits if animals have been trapped and removed from the property.

Step 5 – Removed squirrels will be euthanized using guidelines approved by the US Fish Game and Wildlife and the Humane Society.

Step 6 - Upon removal of all of the squirrels, a temporary covering will be installed over the squirrel entry point to discourage other squirrels from seeking shelter in the now vacant nest.


Please note:

Traps will only be set Monday-Friday and will be unset over the weekend.

Our Squirrel Control Program is currently only available to clients in Mercer County.



Depending on your needs, there are two service options that Cooper Pest Solutions provides for mouse control.


One-Time Service

A one-time service with a 90 coverage plan that deals exclusively with controlling an existing mouse problem.


Home Traditional Service

This plan includes quarterly maintenance that offers coverage should you experience a mouse problem and will help to prevent the establishment of mouse populations in your home.


Home Intensive Service

In addition to the providing quarterly maintenance and coverage should you experience a mouse problem, this plan also offers prevention through exclusion. One of our highly trained technicians will seal the cracks and crevices in your home to help prevent mice from entering your home in the future.          


If you are concerned about squirrels or mice, please give us a call at 1-800-949-2667 or fill out this form for a free no-obligation evaluation.

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