How Mice get Into Houses
Preventing mice from entering your home is a critical step in solving any mouse problem. Due to their size and physical makeup, mice are capable of squeezing themselves into the tiniest of holes. Mice are able to enter through holes the size of a dime. These troublesome rodents are found as often in cities and suburbs as they are in the country.
While mice easily take advantage of building material deterioration on older homes, their small size also allows them to find their way into houses that are newly constructed. Regardless of age and construction, nearly every home is a candidate for mouse intrusions. Mice can take advantage of existing holes and gaps but will also use their powerful teeth to create holes of their own.
Mice also have an amazing ability to climb, meaning they can enter your home through openings well above ground level. They easily ascend vertical brick walls to access roof areas and will also climb vines and vegetation that extend to the roofline.
Mice will spend spring and summer gathering food to store through winter inside walls and attics. Activity peaks during the fall when mice return to their indoor nests as temperatures decline.
While every home is different, there are some common points of entry:
Weep vents are located between bricks on the exterior of a home. The openings are designed to allow any water that finds its way in behind the brick to escape and to air into the wall to help dry the structure. These vents play an important role in extending the life of brick and should never be sealed entirely. Unfortunately, these openings are often large enough to allow mice between the walls. Plastic weep vent covers are easily chewed and offer little protection.
Gaps between Building Materials
Wherever different building materials meet on a home there is an opportunity for mice to find a gap. A common point of entry for mice is the gap that often exists between bricks and soffit. It is very common, even on new home, for soffits to be installed with a small gap for mice to slip through. As homes expand and contract through the seasons these gaps have the opportunity to become even more pronounced. This gap is especially worrisome as it usually extends around the full perimeter of the home.
Other gaps include:
- Siding-Foundation Gap
- Roof-Soffit Gap
- Roof-Fascia Gap
Utility and HVAC Lines
Utility and HVAC lines that exhaust to the outside of a home are quite often run through the exterior walls. The holes cut for running air conditioning, heating, electrical and water lines are often too large, allowing mice the opportunity to enter the walls through a gap. Once inside, mice able to travel through the house using the holes cut for pipes, ducts and wiring.
Door and Window Frames
Poorly sealed window and door frames provide easy access for mice to enter homes. Doors that hang unevenly or too high off the ground allow mice to slip in. Loose rubber weather stripping on the underside of garage doors is also easily chewed.
Mice that climb to roof will find many potential access points. The plastic and aluminum vents on your roof generally sit high enough for mice to slip inside the attic. In many cases all that stands between mice and the attic is a very thin bug screen.
When it comes to mice, there are countless potential areas for entry. Identifying all the dangers should be left to an experienced professional who knows exactly what to look for. Skedaddle specializes in excluding and preventing mice from getting into homes. To get rid of the mice in your home call us today at 1-888-592-0387.
Things you can do protect Your Home
Solving a mouse infestation is seldom easy. Mice are incredibly adaptive and persistent pests that create all kinds of headaches for homeowners. Despite this, there are a number of steps you can take to relieve the rodent pressure on your home.
It is important to remember that mice require ready access to food and water sources for survival. Removing food sources will help to significantly reduce the amount of mice that your home can support.
- Store food in metal and glass containers that exclude mice
- Regularly clean spilled food and cooking grease in the kitchen including in hard to reach areas below and behind appliances
- Do not leave pet food out overnight
- Quickly fix and repair any water leaks inside the home
- Be sure to store pet food and seed in the garage inside metal containers
Around your property there are a number of things you can do to keep mice from moving in on you.
- Removing bird feeders is one of the most important things you can do reduce the mouse population in and around your property. While many homeowners welcome the sight of birds visiting their yard, the seed that falls to ground is a buffet for hungry mice. When inspecting a home for mice it is very common to find piles of bird seed behind walls and inside the attic. That seed acts a food source for mice to help them survive inside your home through harsh winters. Removing that source of food will force mice to find their meals away from your home and reduce your chances for infestation.
- Vegetation, wood piles, storage areas and clutter around your home’s foundation act as harbourage areas for mice. Be sure to trim back vines and shrubs close to your home that can damage building materials and create entry points. To help keep them safe from predators, mice prefer to travel next to walls as opposed to wide open spaces. The more open your foundation is the less inviting it will be for curious mice.
- Regularly inspecting and maintaining your home’s exterior is critical to keeping wildlife out. Mice are opportunists that will take advantage of any openings created by age or weather. Be sure to repair any damage quickly to prevent mice from gaining a foothold.
By understanding the conditions that mice thrive in we can modify our behaviour and environment to reduce their presence. Call Skedaddle today to find out how Skedaddle’s proven method of removing and excluding mice can work for you. 1-888-592-0387.
Why Traps and Poisons Don’t Work
When most homeowners discover that they have a mouse problem their first instinct is to begin trapping and poisoning them. They usually call an exterminator or rush out to their local hardware in search of a quick fix. While traps and poison may succeed in knocking down the mouse population initially, the problem will reoccur if no other action is taken. Trapping and poisoning can also have unexpected and harmful consequences.
Here are a few things you should consider before using traps and poison to kill mice:
Traps and Poisons Ignore the Root of the Problem
Attempting to kill the mice that have taken up residence in your home is a reactionary approach to pest management. The mice inside your home are there for food and shelter. No amount of traps and poisons is going to solve a mouse problem long-term so long as they are able to continue entering the home and finding food on your property. Mice who already have food stored inside the walls and attic of your home are not likely to go after baits and poisons, allowing the problem to persist.
Traps and Poisons Cannot Keep Up with Mouse Reproduction
Mice are able to reproduce every 21 days and female mouse will give birth to up to 10 litters in a single year. At that rate, it is nearly impossible to trap and kill every mouse living inside your home faster than they can reproduce themselves.
Poisons can be Harmful to you and your Family
It can be very dangerous to deploy toxic rodenticides around your home, especially within the living space. If children or pets get hold of the poison it could have fatal consequences. It is not uncommon for pets to find and eat poisoned mice.
It is also important to remember that when mice eat poison they do not die immediately. Depending on the product it can take several days and in the meantime, they will have the opportunity to move and spread poison to unintended places in your home. They will track traces of poison in their feces, paws and fur across everything they touch including, food sources and cooking surfaces. Poisoned mice often die in hard to reach areas, producing foul odours and unsanitary conditions.
Snap Traps and Glue Boards are Inhumane
Traditional snap traps and glue boards can be extremely inhumane with unintended consequences. In the case of snap traps, they often miss their target, scaring their target in the process. A clever mouse who has had a run-in with a snap trap and survived will become trap-shy and learn avoid traps altogether.
Mice caught in snap traps and on glue boards will seldom die quick and painless deaths. In most cases they struggle for hours before they finally succumb to their wounds. In some cases they manage to escape only to die and rot in potentially inaccessible areas.
Getting rid of mice safely, effectively and permanently requires the use of multiple strategies. Traps and poisons may serve as a quick fix, but seldom achieve actual results. Contact Skedaddle today to learn how approach can rid you of the mice in your home. 1-888-592-0387.