In addition to invading homes in search of food and heat, the small rodents also seek indoor shelter to escape becoming preyed upon by cats, owls or skunks. They have an innate ability to enter a structure through holes measuring no more than four millimetres in diameter, which is about the width of a common pencil. Once inside, one female and male pair may produce up to 200 offspring in a matter of months. While in the process of gaining access to food sources and building nests, mice chew through and destroy anything in their path while leaving a trail of droppings and urine. Nests are usually found within 1.5 metres of feeding grounds. Meningitis, tularemia and typhus are some of the many diseases that the rodents carry. They may also infect homes with fleas, lice or ticks. Elimination means ridding a property of the nests and multitudes of mice. However, preventing re-infestation also requires sealing any possible exterior entryways.