How Mice Get In The House
Mice are one of the most common winter pests you’re likely to encounter. They’re notorious for breeding quickly and in very large numbers. An infestation can grow to hundreds of mice in a matter of months. Mice get into your home through cracks and holes in your walls, roof, or foundation. You may not recognize how bad an infestation is at first, but these tips will help you get mice out of your house.
Mice are smaller than you might think. They can squeeze into holes the size of a dime! Since they’re nocturnal, you’re more likely to see mice at night. Seeing a mouse during the day could mean that your infestation is worse than you thought. In that case, it’s best to call an exterminator right away.
How To Find Evidence of Mice
As mentioned, mice are most active at night, making it very unlikely that you would see them during the day. However, there are other ways to spot signs of mice in your home.
- Feces. Mouse droppings look like small pellets, only about a quarter-inch long. You may see feces in cabinets or cupboards. If the droppings are new and fresh, they will appear shiny. This is normally the first indicator of a mouse infestation.
- Chew marks. Mice need materials to make their nests. They’ll raid closets and cupboards for clothing, fabric, and food to bring to the nest.
- Unusual sounds. Mice are busybodies and creatures of habit. Your mice likely have the same routes throughout the walls and under the floorboards in your home. You may hear scratching, gnawing, or tapping throughout your home. If you’re lucky, you may even see mice running away into an escape route.
- Nest entryways. If you’re brave enough, you could try to look for nests or nest entryways. Looks for holes in your walls, foundation, and floor. If you have a rarely-used basement, attic, or crawlspace, you may find a nest there.
Mice enter your home through the smallest gaps. You’d be surprised by what they can fit into. However, mice can also enter homes through drain pipes or gaps in your gas line! Repair any holes or gaps you see right away if you find an entry point.
Common Entry Points For Mice
Mice are incredible track stars, they can run, jump, and climb on almost anything. They can get to almost anywhere in your home without any issues. That’s why you need to try and find as many entry points as possible if you think you have a mouse infestation.
To differentiate between a main entryway and just a normal crack in your home, look for:
- Grease marks.
- Mouse droppings.
- Chew marks.
- Pieces of food or dirt.
- Small pieces of fur.
|Evidence of mice||Check for entryway in|
|Sounds in the walls||Walls, vents, and baseboards|
|Chewed clothing or fabric||In closets|
|Damp attic||On the roof or in vents|
|Damp basement||In foundation|
|Pieces of cardboard||Crawlspaces and storage rooms|
|Pieces of food||Pantries and cupboards|
|Near doors and windows||Cracks and seams|
The entryways don’t need to be that big. In fact, they’re normally quite small so that predators can’t reach the mouse’s nest. Even if the hole you found isn’t from mice, you should still try to repair it and patch it up.
Mice In The Walls, But Not In The Home?
There are lots of times when homeowners can hear mice in the walls, but they never seem to come into your home. This can not only be really irritating to listen to, but mice can create awful odors inside your home, either because of rotten food, feces, or dead mice. Eventually, mice do have to leave your walls in order to get food, whether that’s outside or inside your home.
If you have mice in your walls, but not in your home, the mice likely have an entryway from outside.
To get mice out of your walls, you’ll have to lure them out with bait. You don’t want to invite mice into your home, but you do need to see what kind of infestation you’re dealing with. To create a bait, use the following steps:
- Drill a six-inch hole in your wall a few inches above the floor.
- Put a cardboard box on the other side of the hole.
- Use food such as peanut butter, raisins, or cheese to lure out the mice.
- Put plastic wrap around the cardboard box so that mice cannot enter your home, but you can see into your trap.
It’s vital that you don’t leave any gaps around your trap. Check the trap twice a day to see if the mice took any of the food and have not damaged the trap. You may need to switch out the food if the mice seem uninterested. If the mice do take a liking to your bait, try using a snap trap to get rid of them.
Make sure all your food is inside in tightly sealed containers. Next, make sure your garbage can have animal-proof locks. If you’re uncomfortable with doing this bait method inside your home, you can also try to place bait traps outside your home in spots where you think there are entryways.
How To Prevent Mice In Your Home
Mice, like any other common pests, are looking for food, water, and shelter. If you cut off these things, mice won’t find your home very hospitable. There are lots of ways you can prevent mice from coming into your home.
If you do trap a mouse, be sure to use gloves when you’re disposing of it. Thoroughly disinfect your hands after handling.
After finding evidence of mice in your home, it’s best to call a professional right away. Pest Brigade can connect you to local exterminators from top-rated pest control companies like Orkin, Terminix, and Elrich. If you have a mouse problem and need help, call Pest Brigade right away to connect to the first available exterminator.