As the New England weather turns colder, mice look for new homes that will provide them with the warmth, shelter, and food they need to get through the winter months. Unfortunately, this can drive mice into our homes.
While one mouse in the house may not seem like a big deal when you consider that one female mouse can give birth to 5 to 10 litters – with five or six babies each – over the course of a year, that one mouse has the potential to grow into an infestation. What’s worse is that mice carry at least 25 different types of diseases that can put your family at risk, from the deadly Hantavirus to the bacteria that causes salmonella.
It’s important to recognize the signs and take action if there’s a mouse infestation in your home, but the best way to stop an infestation is to prevent mice from entering your property in the first place. Here are seven ways to mouse proof your house:
7 Ways to Mouse Proof Your House
#1: Seal Gaps and Holes
Prevent mice, which can fit through a hole the size of a nickel, from entering through gaps, cracks, and holes in your walls, floors, and foundation by filling them in. Make sure window and ceiling gaps are properly sealed, and that vents and chimneys are covered with screens.
#2: Clean the House
Keeping a clean and uncluttered house is a great way to deter numerous pests, including mice. Wash floors and vacuum carpets to get rid of crumbs, spills, and everyday debris that attract mice. Don’t forget to sweep and vacuum the corners where dust and hair collect; mice use these materials to make nests.
The clutter in your basement, closets, or attic can make an inviting home for mice. Unused furniture, clothes stored in bags, and even old cookware can make cozy homes for mice. Old magazines and newspapers provide materials for mice to make nests. Throw away, recycle, give away, or sell anything you don’t need to decrease the clutter in your home and remove these cozy spots where mice like to nest.
#3: Make Food Off-Limits
Don’t provide mice with an all-you-can-eat buffet; take steps to keep them out of the food in your kitchen and pantry, and they are less likely to remain in your home.
- Store dry goods in glass or plastic containers with tight lids, not in their original cardboard box or bag packaging.
- Keep boxes of food on shelves or in cabinets; do not store them on the floor.
- Use a trashcan with a lid and take out the trash frequently; the smell of trash attracts mice.
- Put pet food away in glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids; don’t keep pet food out all day where mice can get to it.
#4: Get a Cat (or Dog)
Cats, dogs, and even snakes can be used for rodent control. While domesticated animals can keep rodents away, they are unlikely to be hungry enough to hunt down an infestation. However, the presence of a pet on the property is a good way to deter mice from invading your home in the first place.
#5: Use Repellents
From natural to high-tech, there are a number of repellents that keep mice away. Keep in mind that repellents are not always effective.
- Mint planted around windows and doors repels mice from entering the home. If you can’t plant mint, sprinkle peppermint or spearmint essential oil around the house.
- Bay leaves tucked into corners of the pantry and cabinets or crushed and sprinkled on windowsills also deter mice, who don’t like the scent.
- Mothballs can be used to keep mice away, however, they are poisonous to humans and pets, so they should not be placed anywhere children or pets can get to them.
- Odorous repellents smell like the predators of mice.
- Ultrasonic repellents emit sounds in a range that can drive rodents away, above human range of hearing.
#6: Set Traps Outside
If you think mice are coming into your home, set live traps near potential entryways. Bait them with peanut butter or cheese and, when a mouse is caught, release it away from your home. You can also use spring or glue traps, but these may catch other wild animals if placed outside.
#7: Hire a Pest Control Professional
If you’ve had mouse infestations in the past, or if you fear you have one now, call a pest control professional to inspect and treat your home. Not only can these experts exterminate mice if they’ve come into the house; they can check for and treat potential entryways to mouse proof your house so that the mice don’t try to come into your home again.
Do you have a mouse problem or just want to keep them away? Request a Free Quote or call us at (800) 235-3093 to mouse proof your house now!