People have enough reasons to be scared of going to the dentist.
Some hate the sound of a dentist’s drill. Others can’t stand having their teeth and gums poked and prodded by a dentist’s tools. And there are even people who get sickened by the so-called “dental office smell.”
With these things in mind, it’s important for you to eliminate any other factors that could potentially cause dental phobia to flare up in your patients. That means doing everything from cleaning your office regularly to checking for signs of mice.
Pest control might not seem like a problem dentists have to worry about. But believe it or not, there have been terrifying instances in the past in which mice have worked their way into dental offices and caused complete havoc.
Here are the 5 most common signs of mice in your dental office and what you should do about them.
1. Obvious Activity
Most mice are nocturnal creatures. As a result, you’re probably not going to see them running around inside of your dental office at all during the day.
But one thing you need to know about mice is that they can reproduce very quickly. Theoretically speaking, if you were to have just two mice in your dental practice at the beginning of a year, you could end up with more than 100,000 mice before the year is over.
When an infestation gets to be that bad, there will inevitably be a few mice that will run around during the day. You might hear them scurrying around in your walls and ceilings, and you might even see a few of them appear in your dental office where they’ll scare the life out of your patients.
2. Fresh Droppings
You don’t necessarily need to see or hear mice to know that they’re around. One of the other common signs of mice in your dental practice will be fresh droppings scattered throughout your office.
Fresh mouse droppings are usually dark and still moist, while older ones will typically be all dried out and gray. More often than not, you’ll find mouse droppings in places like:
- Inside of drawers
- Underneath sinks
- On the outside of food packaging
- Around the perimeter of rooms
- In corners
If you spot something that looks even a little bit like rodent droppings, you should investigate them further. As we mentioned earlier, mice can reproduce at a rapid rate, so you don’t ever want to ignore the signs of them.
3. Gnawed Wood, Electrical Wires, and More
In order to get around inside of your dental office, mice will need to create runways for themselves. These runways will often extend from a centralized nest (more on that later!) to places where you keep food.
To make these runways, mice will gnaw their way through just about everything. That includes your walls, your trim, your insulation, your electrical wires, and so much more.
If you spot what appears to be gnaw marks inside of your dental office, take a look at what color they are. Fresh gnaw marks in wood tend to be on the lighter side and get darker over time. By determining the approximate age of the marks, you can figure out how long you’ve had a pest problem in your practice.
4. Strong Odor
It can be hard to detect foul odors inside of a dental office because of all the odors that are created by the different products used by a dentist. Those odors will likely mask the odors left behind by mice.
But when an infestation begins to spiral out of control, mice will start to emit a stale smell as they move throughout your office. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to catch a whiff of it, you’ll know it.
5. Hidden Nests
When mice set up shop in a dental office, they’ll really make themselves right at home. They’ll build nests behind walls and in other places that they don’t think you’ll look for them.
These nests are pretty simple to identify if you ever come across one. They’re usually made up of things like shredded up paper, cardboard, fabric, and whatever else the mice could find to make themselves comfortable.
Getting rid of a nest that mice have built is one of the keys to getting rid of the mice themselves. It’ll show the mice that they’re no longer welcome in your dental office.
What Should You Do If You See Any of These Signs of Mice?
If you notice any of these signs of mice in your dental office, your only response should be to spring into action right away and do what you can to get rid of them.
Initially, you might want to try putting out a few mouse traps to see if you can catch them yourself. But if your infestation is bad enough, that’s not going to do the trick.
Instead of trying to deal with your mice infestation on your own, reach out to pest control professionals and ask them to lend a hand.
They can help you learn more about the best ways to get rid of mice once and for all. They can also put a plan into place that will help clear all the mice in your dental office out.
Make Sure Your Dental Office Is Clean at All Times
As a dentist, it’s important for you to keep your dental office clean for the sake of your patients’ health. If your office and all of the tools you use aren’t clean, it could lead to your patients dealing with infections and other health problems.
A messy or cluttered office could also serve as an invitation for all the mice that live in your area. If you have food and dental products thrown all over the place, mice will move right in, and you’ll start seeing signs of mice in no time.
Are the floors in your dental office as clean as they can be right now? If not, read our blog to get some tips on cleaning vinyl floors so that you can keep the mice and other rodents away.