If you’re wondering how to keep mice out of your home, follow the guide below to learn why, where, and how they might be getting inside.
What Are Mice Looking For?
The first and most important step for keeping invaders out is to figure out where and why they are getting in. Cracks, creases, and holes allow mice or insects to get into your home. The fall and winter months tend to be the time of year when many infestations occur.
Mice generally begin moving inside as soon as the weather starts to cool down. However, like many pests, they aren’t usually noticed until they have a major presence in your home. Rodents come looking for a warm place to nest and to hoard their food for the winter.
Infestations can spread quickly due to the rapid rate of reproduction in rodents. One female mouse has the ability to give birth to up to 12 babies every 3 weeks. A female mouse can be ready to reproduce as early as 4 weeks of age. Their gestation cycle is between 19-21 days. That means there is potential for a large population of mice to appear in a short period of time.
Be careful not to provide a food source for rodents. Where and how you store food and seed is important in reducing the risk of a rodent infestation. If you store things such as pet food, grass seed and bird seed outside of the house (in a shed or garage for example), it is best to have them stored in a sealed, air tight container. Rodents are attracted by the smell so it is best to be proactive and keep these items sealed. Once a rodent identifies a food source it will likely stick around.
So, mice are looking for a warm, dry place with food and water to nest. You know why, but how are mice getting into your home? Use the list below to inspect your own home. See if you have any openings or weaknesses in the following areas:
Inspect the Foundation
Weaknesses in the foundation of your home make it easy for mice to get inside. Rodents get into your home by squeezing through small cracks and gaps. Rats can get through a crack that is no bigger than a quarter and mice can scurry through a dime sized gap. Your basement foundation needs to be checked regularly for loose, crumbling mortar. Any damage needs to be mended and sealed as soon as possible. Basement windows should be checked as well because they can also offer openings for mice to get in. If you have a crawlspace instead of a basement, look at the vents around your home to make sure they are sealed properly as well.
Sealing All Openings
Any gap, the size of a dime or larger, is a potential doorway for a rodent to enter.
*Tip – Steel wool and copper mesh are good filler materials because rodents can’t chew through them. Combine this with caulking or spray foam to provide extra protection.
Replace weather stripping on doors and windows regularly. Do not forget to check the weather stripping on your garage door as well. This is a common pest entrance that people tend to forget.
Examine Where Wires, Cables, and Plumbing Connect
Make sure to check for gaps around any areas where you have wires, cables or pipes entering the home from the outside. Seal these openings with steel wool or copper mesh, as stated above, because rodents will not chew through these materials. If you have areas with leaking pipes and drains, make sure to repair or replace them. You don’t want to provide an easy water source for rodents.
The above steps can be important for preventing a rodent infestation. However, the best way to prevent any sort of infestation is to have your home regularly serviced by an exterminator. We can get to know the pest pressures on your home and tailor our services to fit your needs. Every home is different and may need a slightly different approach to pest protection. Give our office a call for a free quote on pest control services.