Mice live everywhere outside and could enter at any time, but fortunately, this does not occur often. Typically, most home invasions occur in the fall because the seeds and plants on which mice feed outside are gone. Mice must then seek new food sources. Unfortunately, one of these sources may be in your home. Mice are excellent climbers and are capable of gaining entry through holes around soffit vents, around cables entering the building, through holes in gable vent screens and through turbine and box vents on roofs.
Mice are found in almost every part of the country, and are especially prevalent in urban and suburban areas. Mice are found in buildings more often than rats because they are smaller and are able to find more available entryways into a building. Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger - or about the width of a pencil. Mice will make their nests in many areas in and around the home, especially in stacked firewood, stones and bricks, and piles of leaves or other debris.
The best way to avoid invasions of mice is to provide as little harborage as possible that might attract rodents, and seal as many holes and cracks in the outside of the home through which mice might enter. Follow these recommendations to help prevent rodents from seeking the shelter provided by your home:
- Install sturdy, thick weather stripping on the bottom of all doors to prevent rodents from entering. The garage door may prove difficult to seal completely, so the door from the garage to the house must be tightly sealed.
- Seal any hole or crack larger than one-fourth of an inch. A good rule of thumb is that if a pencil can fit into it, a mouse could too. Large holes or cracks should be stuffed with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk or foam, otherwise rodents could chew through and enter.
- Keep firewood stored as far from the home as possible and store it off the ground. During the winter, store only enough wood next to the house to burn every couple of days.
- Remove any piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc. If these are near the foundation of the home, they serve as harborages to attract rodents. Once there, it is an easy step for rodents to enter the building.
- Do not allow piles of leaves to accumulate next to the home's foundation. This also serves as attractive harborage for rodents - mice in particular.
If you see a mouse at home, don't assume it's a one-off. You could have a mice problem on your hands. Call the pros at ExterminatorToday to rid your home or business of this scurrying pest!