Do you have mice crawling around in your wall voids? Are they scrambling too and fro in your attic? Have you found holes in your Frosted Flakes, sugar bag, and sheet rock? Are there unsavory brown pellets in the back of the silverware drawer? Mice! They just make you want to scream, don't they? Well, here are six ways to stop those mice from entering your home.
1. Check your screens
Mice love to squeeze in through tears in your window and door screens. It only takes a sliver for them to gnaw and chew an appropriate sized hole. And mice are mostly fur. They can squeeze through cracks and holes much smaller than their body. Go around your home and make sure your screen are in 100% working order, even if you've checked them recently.
2. Check your foundation
Some mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. Examine your foundation for small chips and gaps. If they can get through to your cellar, they'll have access to the rest of the house.
3. Check for rotted boards
Explore the exposed wood on your house, especially in hard to see areas, like: under the porch, under the deck, under the stairs, and under your roofline. Mice usually find entrance through rotted wood that has been gnawed on by insects. With their nails and teeth they are all too happy to make those holes larger. Many of these rotted pockets are noticeable, but look closely, some are not so obvious.
4. Keep your doors closed
This may seem obvious, but often mice get in through open doors, while you're bringing the groceries in, or carrying something heavy. Some slip in through the garage door. Be vigilant, and keep those doors closed, and screened.
5. Block routes to the roof
Some of the largest entry points can be found on the edges of your roof. This is particularly common with old houses. Cut back branches, so mice cannot access your roof, and put wire mesh in the bottom of your downspouts, to keep them from climbing up. If you feel as if you can't cut those trees back, carefully check your roof edges with a mirror, and cover your chimney hole with screen.
6. Get rid of things that attract mice
This is one most people neglect to consider. Mice are attracted to food sources, like open trash cans, and water sources, like rain water near the foundation. Keep your trash in sealed cans, and fill those puddles with gravel. Mice are also attracted to clutter. Keep wood piles away from the house. Don't leave contruction materials in the yard. And, this is the hardest one of all, pick up those toys your kids are leaving around.
These six steps will go a long way to keeping the mice out, but there are many conditions that drive mice to explore your house: recent construction nearby pushing them out of the fields, fall weather forcing them to overwinter, and large piles of trash in your neighbors yard. Seek the help of a professional to assess your situation. They have the knowledge, and the tools, to make sure your home is 100% mice-proof.