Now it really feels like winter, not just for us, but for pests. Mice that previously might have been able to survive outside now must find shelter, and depending on how well you have secured your home, the shelter they find may be with you!
Tips for Keeping Mice Out this Winter
So how do you stop mice from coming into your home? You must remove all possible entry points. Since a mouse can climb through a hole that is as small as a quarter of an inch or the size of a dime, this can be a very daunting task! The three most common entry points for mice to enter a home is:
- Cracks and crevices
- Vents and drains
- Doors and windows
Cracks and crevices. You may find cracks and crevices throughout your house but the place where they are most common, and most concerning, are in your foundation. Checking your foundation carefully is key. Walk around the perimeter of your home, if you find cracks that are a quarter of an inch or larger, make sure to fill them with a silicone based caulk.
Vents and drain pipes. Mice are capable of vertical climbs through pipes and may use these openings as their own personal highways into your home. Check the pipe itself for gnaw marks and debris used for nesting like scraps of material or leaves. Remove debris to ensure air can flow through and then install the appropriate size vent cover or wire mesh to ensure that rodents cannot enter.
Windows and doors. Aging windows can begin to see gaps around the trim and allow easy entry for mice. Basement windows are a big culprit and often ignored entryway for mice and other rodents. Leaving air conditioning units in your windows over the winter is not only inefficient for your energy bill but a common way for rodents to enter. As for doorways, the small area between the door and the threshold is a possible entry point for mice. One way to stop mice (and for that matter drafts) from entering through the door is to ensure that good working door sweeps are installed on all of your exterior doors. Also, be sure to close your garage doors immediately after entering the home. Double check the sides of your garage doors, that is another popular entry point for mice to get inside.
Keeping mice out of your home is far better and healthier for your family than eradicating them after they enter. It is not just unnerving to see mice in your home, it is unhealthy. Mice spread a number of potentially harmful diseases. If you do not feel that you can find all the “hidden entrances” that mice might find or create, there is an alternative. Trius this season for rodent exclusion services. Having a professional, who understands the habits and biology of mice can help to give you an advantage over them.