A few weeks earlier, I was struggling with mice infestation in my home. What came to mind first seeing them was a single question. How did they enter the house? And if you’re in the same situation, you too might have the same question. I am going to share some useful information based on my own experience. Hope it will help find the answer to this simple but one of the most challenging questions in the world.
What attracts them to Your House?
Many homes are repeat targets for mice infestation. Have you ever thought why? The following are main things that attract mice into your house:
- Nesting Spot – When you home provides the perfect nesting space to rodents in the form of isolated spots. Mice often look for a spot that is isolated but still close to a food source. Such spots are warm and cozy and they also get material to make their nest.
- Warmth & Safety – Rodents look for a warm and safe place to hide. They can easily find such a space inside our homes. They can hide inside walls, attics, basements, garage, under the floorboards, or neat a hot water tank.
- Food & Water – Mice and rats enjoy a lot of things such as cheese, chocolates, peanut butter or anything that they find. They are always on the lookout for food and our homes are full of such things. Especially when we have kids and pets, there is food around.
How Do Mice Get Inside the House?
As the days continue to get colder, rodents will start searching for an ideal place. The ideal place for them is where they get an easy access to food and water. A place where they feel safe from cold and predators. Our homes offer them a perfect place where they stay warm, have access to food, and get nesting materials. These creatures may be tiny but can cause a big damage to your property and health.
So, it’s important to learn how they get inside your home. If you will know the root cause, it will be easier for you to find the most effective solution. Well! There are many ways mice and rats can enter our homes. The most common ones are:
- Through tiny cracks in the walls
- Via gaps or holes in the basement
- Via air vents
- Through structural weaknesses
- Via drain pipes
- Through unplugged holes in the pipework
- Via walls and roofs
- Through corner posts and J-Channels
- Via attached garages
- Via downspouts and along gutters
- Through openings for utility lines
It simply means that rats and mice can enter your homes in many ways. They are good climbers and swimmers so walls and drains cannot stop them. Than what stops them? What’s the solution? Let’s discuss mouse-proofing your house…
How to Mouse Proof Your House?
Mice and rats find ways to enter homes through tiniest holes and cracks. Therefore, it is challenging to mouse-proof your entire house. It is not impossible though. The key to preventing mice from coming inside is to mouse proof your home. And, here’s how you can do this:
- Inspect Foundation – Check the foundation all the way around the home as it’s the easiest way for rodents to enter. They can enter from any crack or hole that is ½” or larger. You need to repair any such crack or hole using sheet metal or hardware cloth.
- Check Door & Window Frames – Carefully check all the door and window frames for any weather stripping. Make sure that all frames create a tight seal and if not, get them repaired. Rodents can easily enter from the gaps that do not create a tight seal.
- Inspect the Roof – Check everything starting from roof ventilators and shingles to vent screens. Make sure everything is secure and undamaged because roof rats often enter from such places. Also, make sure the chimney is properly capped.
- Check Trees and Hedges – Make sure that there is no space for rodents to enter via nearby trees or branches. Rats and mice are good climbers and can use the tress as their pathways to enter your house. Cut any branches that touch or hang over your house.
- Check Pipes – Make sure that pipes that run through your house are properly maintained and sealed. As rodents can climb through the pipes, it will be better to paint a band around the pipe using high gloss clear paint.
- Remove Easy Food Sources – Access to food is the main motive of rodents and they often infest houses with open food sources. So, remove food and water sources and keep everything in airtight containers. Use appropriate animal feeders to keep mice away.
- Clean Spills & Appliances – Make it a habit to regularly clean under stoves, storage boxes, and refrigerators. Also, clean the countertops and floors for any spills that may attract rodents.
- Seal Holes – Check for any exterior holes and seal them immediately. These holes are often found in outdoor walls basically made for cables and pipes. Seal any holes that are larger than 5mm as mice quickly gnaw such openings to enter a building.
- Use Natural Repellents – If you think your house is already infested by rats or mice use products that naturally repel rodents. You can use peppermint, clove oil, baking soda, onions oil, etc.
- Brick Weep Holes – These bricks are designed specifically for weep holes to keep mice away. They form a perfect fit and flexible enough that you can easily push them between the bricks.
- Use Traps – If you’re not satisfied by other methods or want to completely satisfy that there are no rats, use traps. You can easily get reusable traps from a reputed online store and try to get one that does not harm animals.
What are Weep Hole Covers?
We just mentioned brick weep holes, but what’s this? Weep holes are small gaps between the bricks especially in the lower part of the wall. The main purpose of these weep gaps is for drainage and ventilation. These holes prevent moisture damage and important for the structural integrity of any brick house. However, these holes can be used by rodents such as mice and rats to enter our homes.
So, if these holes are so important, then what’s the solution? You can use a plastic or metal mesh but neither works out well. The perfect solution is using weep hole covers as they are designed just for weep holes. You just have to pinch the sides together and push the piece in. It will automatically expand back to the proper size. Isn’t it an easy breeze?
Tips to Mouse-Proofing Your Pantry
The pantry is one such place that attracts the rodents the most. So, it is crucial to give this corner of your home the utmost importance. So, here are a few tips that you can follow to mouse-proof your panty:
- Take Everything Out – At least once in a month, take everything out of your pantry and clean thoroughly. It is an important step to make sure you don’t have a pest problem. Keep everything out for at least 5 to 10 minutes and let the fresh air do the wonder.
- Wipe Spilled Food – Wipe down the shelves for any spilled food because it can become a target for mice. Clean every single shelve carefully and pick up any visible debris. Throw the debris in the trash bin immediately.
- Check for Signs of Infestation – Inspect all food packaging carefully and look for any signs of rodents. Check if the packaging been chewed or if there are holes in the containers. Pay close attention to birdseed and pet food.
- Keep Food in Airtight Containers – If you have found any food that is not in an airtight container, it may attract the rodents. So, make sure you store everything in airtight containers or at least in containers with a tight-fitting lid.
- Avoid Over-Filling Shelves – Try to avoid filling the shelves completely as it makes it difficult to identify a problem at its initial stage. Also, try to keep things a bit away from the walls.
While concluding, I would like to say that prevention is better than cure. If you know how mice get inside your house, finding the best solution will be a lot easier for you. We all should keep in mind that getting rid of a mice infestation is not enough. We have to pay more attention to prevent any such thing. And trust me, mice infestations can be prevented by mouse proofing your home.
In a nutshell, your first step should be to know how rats are invading your house. The second step is a thorough inspection in which you should look for droppings, gnawing, or urine. The third step is to use natural repellents or traps to catch rodents. The fourth step should be identifying the real problems and last and of course not the lease mouse proofing your place.
Be safe from rodents and enjoy a healthy life!