Fall and winter are prime time for rodents trying to make their way into warm, cozy homes. Luckily, it’s never too late to start mouse-proofing, according to Cindy Mannes, a spokesperson for the National Pest Management Association. Here’s what you need to know about those pesky little critters — and how you can get rid of ’em when you do spot one.

There’s never just one mouse in the house.

Sorry to break the news: If you see one mouse, you almost definitely have more than one. “They’re looking for the same things that humans are looking for in the winter — food, water and shelter,” says Mannes. “They’ve gotten so good at living with humans. When you get one, others will find their way in. Plus, they multiply very quickly.”

Droppings aren’t the only telltale signs.

Trails of little poop pellets (which look like this) are certainly a major sign that you have mice, but the best evidence might not always be scattered along your countertops. Another tipoff could be boxes in your pantry have been chewed through. “You may see debris on your shelf or gnaw marks on boxes or bags of food,” says Mannes.

Or, they might cause even more dangerous damage.

Not only can they chew through walls and boxes in your pantry, but mice can cause other extensive damage. Particularly, they can chew on wires, which can lead to house fires. “And they carry a slew of illnesses and bacteria,” Mannes warns. “A build up of their droppings can worsen allergy and asthma situations, too.”

Skip the home remedies.

We’ve seen all sorts of DIY repellent ideas (including peppermint sprays, dryer sheet stuffings and cotton balls soaked in oil and cayenne pepper), but you may want to skip them: “There’s no science or evidence behind any of these methods,” says Mannes. “And again, mice are so used to living with humans, that smells associated with us are not usually repellent to mice.”

But store-bought traps are worth a shot.

“The tried-and-true mousetrap is still very effective,” says Mannes, who adds that a little dab of peanut butter on each spring-loaded trap is all you need. Want something a little, um, less out in the open? Try the d-Con Discreet No View, No Touch mousetrap, which conceals the little guy so you can just toss the whole thing.

Read more: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/a35872/how-to-get-rid-of-mice/