Sure, you can use good humane mouse traps to capture mice and remove them from your home. But as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So, it’s best if you can keep the mice away from your home in the first place.
Here are some steps that you should take to accomplish that mission:
Sealing Your Home
If you find a hole that’s even as small as a dime, fill the hole with steel wool. Keep the steel wool in place by putting some caulk around it.
For larger holes, you may have to go to the hardware store. You will need metal sheeting, hardware cloth, or lath metal (lath screen). You can also go with cement, if you know how to apply it.
For this to work, you have to comprehensively look for the entryways that the mice are using. That means looking for gaps and holes both inside and outside the house.
On the Inside
You should check for holes and gaps inside the house around these particular spots:
- Kitchen areas, especially around stoves, refrigerators, and kitchen cabinets. You should check under these areas, behind these spots, and also inside them.
- Closets near the floor corners are also favorite hangouts of mice. Check the closets for holes.
- Around the fireplace.
- Near the doors to various rooms in the house.
- Around the pipes that lead to furnaces and hot water heaters.
- Around dryer vents and floor vents.
- Inside your attic. This is another classic hangout of mice, and you’ll probably find quite a few holes there where the mice can get through.
- In the crawl space and basement. Like the attic, it’s another common place for mice.
- The drains in the basement and the laundry room floor. These drains are often easy to overlook, but lots of mice like to go through these drains.
- The juncture between the floor and the wall. The juncture may just have enough space for the mice to travel through.
On the Outside
Now it’s time to check the places where the mice can enter your home. Go outside the home and look for entryways in the following spots:
- Around the foundation of the house.
- Under the doors. Mice, like people, can use the door to get in the house. But check for holes where the mice can get through even when the door is closed.
- Around the windows. Mice can crawl along pipes or shrubs to get through the windows. Again, check for holes that mice can get through even if the windows are closed.
- Around the vents for the attic and the crawl space.
- In the roof, along the eaves, gables, and rafters.
Just don’t forget to check out the garage and other structures outside the house. That means checking both inside and outside these buildings.
Cleaning the House
While you seal up the house, you should also try to clean up possible food sources that may lure the mice into the home in the first place. Getting rid of nesting sites is also part of the job.
Securing the Food
Here are some tips that can help get rid of potential food sources for rodents:
- Whenever you spill food, clean up the mess right away. Mice can detect these tiny food bits.
- You should pick up or get rid of clutter regularly as well.
- When you use cooking utensils and dishes, wash them right after. Don’t just leave them in the sink for later, as the mice might just enjoy nibbling on the bits of food sticking to these things.
- The same goes for pet food. Put the pet food away after use. Don’t leave any pet food or even water bowls out overnight.
- Do you have food stored outside the fridge? In that case, put the food inside containers made from metal or tough, thick plastic. Make sure the lids are tight on these containers.
- Use rodent-proof containers if you’re storing food waste and trash inside the house. Clean these containers frequently, using soap and water.
- Dispose of your garbage and trash on a regular basis. Do this frequently too.
- Use a garbage can made from metal or tough plastic. Again, it ought to have a very tight lid.
- Do you have bird feeders? Keep them away from your home, as the feed can lure in rodents. Also use squirrel guards to prevent access by squirrels, along with mice and rats.
- If you have compost bins, try to set them as far away from your home as you can. At the very least, the compost bins should be 100 feet away, but even farther is better.
Dealing With Nesting Sites
And while you’re at it, you may as well clean out the potential nesting sites outside the home too.
- Set your garbage cans at least 12 inches from the ground. The same goes for woodpiles and hay. These places make for great nesting sites.
- The woodpiles should also be set at least 100 feet away from the house.
- Dispose of old tires, cars, and trucks. The mice can also set these places as their home.
- Trim the shrubbery to keep the mice away, and keep the grass short. Longer grass offers cover for mice, but the mice might hesitate going through grass without adequate cover.
Do all these steps, and you just might reduce the chances of mice getting inside your home!