How to Keep Mice Out of the House
Tags: mice, pest control
Tips to Prevent Rodents from Entering Your Home
Homeowners here in Wichita, Kansas, know that in the fall and winter, mice and rats search for warm, sheltered areas to survive the cold. The last thing you want is for your home to be chosen for a winter rodent hideaway. To prevent a mouse infestation, you’ve got to block their access to both food and shelter. Keep reading to discover more tips on how to keep mice out of the house and get rid of rodents if they do enter your home.
Prevent Mice from Getting into the House
Look for Mouse-Sized Entry Points
Ideally, you’ll want to take steps toward preventing mice in your house before cold temperatures send them scurrying for shelter. Take a walk around the outside of your home to check for gaps and cracks that may provide mice and other rodents an entry into your home. Even tiny openings can be a problem because mice can fit through holes as small as a quarter of an inch!
Channel your inner mouse and inspect your home’s exterior carefully, especially down around the foundation. Pay close attention to door frames, around windows, and any areas in the walls or roof with holes for utility lines and vents. Even missing or damaged weatherstripping and door sweeps can leave gaps big enough for a mouse to wiggle through.
Don’t forget to check the garage, especially if it’s connected to your house. An easy way to check for mouse-sized openings in a garage is to stand inside it on a sunny day with the doors closed, windows covered, and lights off. Mark everywhere you can see sunlight leaking through so you can seal it off.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Once you’ve found the spots where mice can enter your home, prevent rodent intrusion by sealing up those openings. While you may be tempted to just grab a can of spray foam or caulk to fill in cracks and gaps, mice can easily chew through these materials. Steel wool or aluminum tape are better alternatives.
As a bonus, finding and filling gaps in your home’s exterior will also stop chilly drafts and reduce your energy bills over time!
Make Your Home Less Appealing to Rodents
Seal Up Food
As the popular children’s book says, “if you give a mouse a cookie, it will want a glass of milk”. Chances are, if a mouse finds a cookie in your home they won’t ask for milk, but they may invite their friends or decide your house is a great place to start a family!
One of the best ways to deter mice is to block their access to water and food sources in your home. Use airtight containers to store pet food and dry pantry goods like grains, and don’t leave trash or dirty dishes around the house. Making this a common practice all year long will help prevent other types of pests, such as ants and flies.
Store Soft Materials
Mice will be less tempted to make themselves at home in your home if they don’t have access to nesting materials. Soft materials like blankets, rugs and fabric should be stored in thick plastic boxes. Paper and cardboard are easy for mice to chew up, so keep them put away, too.
Use Smells to Repel Mice
If you’re looking for natural mouse repellents, scents like peppermint oil, cloves, mint and cayenne pepper are said to keep mice away. You can place scented cotton balls around areas of your home where you suspect rodent activity to act as a deterrent.
Get Rid of Mice that Have Entered Your Home
In spite of your best efforts at rodent control, it’s possible that you may still find mice in your home. Depending on where you find them and your comfort level, you may be able to set some mouse traps and take care of the issue. If you’re concerned about killing mice or don’t want to handle traps, contact a pest control professional. They’re experts at removing mice and preventing rodent infestations.