How To Keep Mice Out + How To Tell If You Have Them
September 15, 2014
Figuring out if you have mice is harder than you might think. You see, mice are all trained in the art of stealth by a mighty ninja master who lives in a trendy bamboo hut on a remote desert island. Then, each mouse is delicately shipped to America by cargo ship. Okay. I can see that you're not buying the whole "ninja training" theory. Here is the less interesting "scientific" explanation for the stealthiness of mice. If you're into that sort of thing.
Mice are timid. They don't want to be seen. And since they're light and fluffy, with soft little feet, you won't hear them scurrying across your kitchen counter, or on the rug behind the couch. You generally wouldn't be listening for them anyway. When mice are active, you're probably snuggled in bed--unless you're prone to wandering the house at all hours of the night.
If mice have nested in your attic, you may not even know your home is infested. The first signs of mouse invasion are the droppings they leave in the back of your kitchen drawers, or the holes they make in your Fruity Pebbles. Very few people actually see a mouse running around. If you do, there is a good chance you have a bunch of mice. You'll want to get a professional to deal with that.
Now, if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll hear the mice in your wall voids. Why do I say you're one of the lucky ones? Because mice can carry disease on their fur and in their excrement. Hearing mice knocking and scratching in your wall, even at three in the morning, is better than not knowing you have mice at all, and eating off the butter knife they slide across in your silverware drawer.
These are not domesticated rodents. They are wild animals. And, wild animals get into some pretty nasty stuff, including: sewers, trash bins, and rotting carcasses.
So how do you keep them out?
Some mice can slip through a hole the size of a dime. Usually these holes are found where wood has rotted, and bugs have chewed into it. Find these holes, and seal them. Look under your deck, patio, or porch, in hard to reach areas, where moisture might have gotten in.
A common way mice enter the home is through entry points near the roof line. The best way to keep them from getting to those, is by cutting tree branches that give access to the roof, and by filling in the bottom of your downspouts with wire mesh.
If you feel as though your roof line is secure, and you like having trees near your home, consider covering your chimney hole with window gauge screening, to prevent mice from climb down.
Don't invite curious mice to come into your yard. Keep trash in sealed containers, and don't leave clutter in your yard. Mice love to climb through moist shaded places. If those are near your home, mice will begin to explore your house.
As always, it is important to get a professional involved. Pest control technicians have a considerable knowledge base of common-sense techniques to prevent pest intrusion, and the gear and training to eliminate mice, with no danger or inconvenience to you or your family.