How did this mouse get into my home?
You've been around the block a few times when it comes to mice. You've heard the scritching and scratching noises while you were trying to sleep. You've vacuumed out the brown, rice-shaped droppings in the backs of your drawers. You've even put out traps and caught a few mice. But though it has stayed quiet for a while, and you stopped worrying, they're back. The scritching, scratching, the droppings, and the worries. So you wonder, how are these mice getting into my house? Well, you've come to the right place.
How can you identify mouse entry points?
To find how mice are getting into your home first, do a detailed inspection of the outside of your home. Look closely at your foundation for gaps or cracks where a mouse could squeeze through. If possible, climb underneath porches and look behind stairs and bushes as well. There could be holes that have been made larger over the years without anyone noticing. Carefully look at all areas where pipes, wires, or other objects enter your exterior walls to make sure there are no gaps there. A mouse can squeeze through a hole the width of a dime. Also inspect all screens on windows and doors, looking for any tears or holes. Inspect all of your door sweeps and make sure they have a good seal all the way across.
How can you fix those entry points?
For a quick fix of any gaps, cracks or holes you find, use a caulking gun and fill in those areas. Make sure the caulking gets as deep into the hole as possible. For screens, make sure you replace any that are missing and replace or repair any that have been damaged in any way. Hardware stores typically carry materials for screen repair, and if you do a search online, there are tutorials that will walk you through how to do your own screen repair. Similarly, make sure all of your doors, if there is a gap of any size, are equipped with door sweeps that make a good connection all the way across. This will not only keep the mice from squeezing under but a host of other household pests as well.
What else can you do to prevent your house from being a target for mice?
There are a number of things you can do to make your yard and house less appealing to any rodents or wildlife that happen by. The first thing you can do is make sure your grass is well trimmed and free of weeds or other overgrown areas. Mice use tall grass and other vegetation to hide in while they are sneaking closer to that warmly lit building you call your home. Mice also like to hide in or under other things, like any kind of yard clutter, toys, leaf piles, yard waste or any other item that provides cover. Two places mice are famous for hiding inside are wood piles and construction materials. If you have either of these things, make sure you stack it as far from your home as possible and up off the ground.
Another way to make your home less appealing to mice is to remove any sources of outside water or food sources. Dry up any areas of standing water you may have in your yard, and make sure there are no items that hold water near your home. Not only will mice appreciate the drink, but a multitude of other animals and insects as well. Food sources for mice can be many different things. Make sure you never leave pet food outside. Clean up after parties or barbecues. Keep bird feeders well away from your home. Clean up areas under fruit trees or in and around vegetable gardens. And make sure all of your garbage is inaccessible to pests. If you can not store garbage inside a garage or other secure place, make sure your cans have tight fitting lids or that the lids are firmly attached by bungee cords.
A few other things you can do to discourage mice is trimming back any vegetation that touches the outside of your home, putting wire mesh inside downspouts, giving the inside of your home a good cleaning (focusing on areas where there are food or water sources for mice) and making sure all food is stored either in a fridge or freezer, or secured inside sealable containers that cannot be chewed through.
If you need help with any of the above suggestions in keeping mice away from and out of your home, give the professionals here at American Pest Solutions a call.