Cooler fall and winter temperatures are prime time for mice to get into homes. Left unchecked, a rodent problem can quickly grow out of control. A single mouse can begin having babies at three weeks of age and can then produce up to 10 liters of 12 mice per year. With math like that, it’s easy to see how a couple mice can quickly become an infestation. The best way to protect your Alexandria home from mice problems is through deterrence.
1. Seal Gaps and Cracks
The best way to keep mice out of your home is by making sure they do not have access. You won’t have mice inside your home if they can’t get in. While that may sound obvious, many homeowners are shocked to learn how easy it is for mice to get inside. Mice can squeeze through gaps as small as a dime and rats can get through quarter-sized holes. Openings around utility lines, garage doors, and under the siding. Mice and rats are excellent climbers, so don’t forget to look up to find possible gaps.
Gaps and cracks in a foundation or other parts of a home can allow mice and rats access points.
2. Eliminate food sources
Another obvious-sounding tip is to stop feeding them. You would not believe the number of homes we see with bird feeders too close to homes. Many homeowners also leave food dishes outside for cats, dogs, and even raccoons and squirrels. Mice will love these all-you-can-eat buffets! The seeds and nuts that will attract birds will also attract mice. If you must have a bird feeder, place it at least 20 feet away from the home. Don’t leave pet food outside. And don’t forget about that grass seed in the shed or garage. Mice will love seed and pet food and can chew through the beads. Store seed and pet food in sealed containers.
3. Clean up your yard
Mice generally do not like to be seen. They look for tall grasses and weeds to shelter them from predators. Piles of grass, wood piles, and leaves are great for protection. Clean these up, store firewood away from the home and off the ground (this is also a great way to protect against termites), and remove items and other containers that are lying around the yard. Your messy yard is the perfect place for mice to hide!
4. Seal trash containers
Along with cleaning up your yard, don’t leave out open trash cans or recycling bins. Your trash is a great food source for mice. Spilled food or drinks will also be tempting to them and other animals.
5. Seal your composter
Composting has taken off in popularity in recent years. Many homeowners want to reduce their carbon footprint and trash going to landfills. Composting and gardening also increased as people were around home more during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is also much for mice to like - and eat - from nuts to seeds and food scraps in your compost. Make sure it is well sealed like your trash containers.
6. Trim trees and bushes
Mice and rats are excellent climbers. They can even climb up brick walls and wiring. But don’t make it easy for them. Trees and bushes touching the home or hanging over your roof are like a ladder. Once on the roof or gutters, mice can get through difficult to find small gaps to get inside your attic.
7. Paint, seal, caulk
Good home maintenance is great for pest-proofing. Not only will it help to keep mice out, but it can help deter insects and other pests by sealing up entryways. Homes are in constant need of maintenance. Inspect and repair dried or peeling caulk especially around doors and windows.
8. Hire a pest control professional
No matter how hard you work, no home is perfectly sealed. Mice are small, smart, and have a great sense of smell. They will find the smallest of imperfections and take advantage of them. A professional pest control program from companies such as My Pest Pros can help identify and protect against pests including mice. Our technicians are trained to see the small details homeowners often overlook to protect your Alexandria home from mice problems. We use pet-friendly products to protect and eliminate mice and other pests.