Unless your kids have a pet rat or mouse in a cage, a wild rodent in your house is a sure cause of concern. In addition to shocking you with their unexpected appearance, rodents like rats and mice can damage electrical wiring, contaminate food, chew up important papers, and spread serious diseases.
It can be challenging to completely eradicate rodent infestations once the pests have established hidden nesting areas in your home, so it is best to prevent infestations before they happen. In this article, we are going to go over some poison-free tips on how to keep mice out of your house.
2-Step Approach to Keeping Mice Out of Your House
A simple approach to preventing a mouse infestation involves two basic steps: blocking all entry points and restricting access to food.
Intuitively, if rodents can’t enter your house, no pest-control issues are going to arise. But, if mice or rats do manage to get inside, they will be unlikely to stay long-term if they can’t find any treats to keep them full.
Step 1: Block All Entry Points
The most important preventative measure to keep mice out of your house is to make sure they have no way to enter.
Inspect Your Home for Cracks and Openings
Thoroughly inspect the walls and the foundation of your house to ensure that there are no open entry points.
Believe it or not, mice can squeeze through openings as small as ¼ inch in diameter. As such, make an effort to detect and block even the smallest cracks and openings:
- Make sure to inspect all the joints around doorsills or windows for small cracks that might let the rodents enter.
- If you find cracks in the foundation, block them with a masonry repair material to keep mice out of your house.
- Make sure that weather seals at the bottom of garage doors are in good shape.
- Don’t forget to check your attic, since mice and rats love the warmth of insulation.
Keep Outside Doors Closed
Garage or backyard doors left wide open can be an invitation for rodents, especially in the fall, when they are in search of a warm place for the winter months.
Make sure you close your garage door immediately after your get in or out with your car. Rodents are especially active at night, so get into the habit of closing basement windows or sliding patio doors in the evening as well.
Step 2: Restrict Access to Food
If rodents can’t discover any source of food, they won’t have an incentive to visit your house. As such, it is crucial to avoid leaving out open food in or near your home.
Seal Garbage Bins
Garbage bins and cans kept near the garage or house can easily attract mice, rats, and even larger pests like raccoons. If possible, keep these containers as far away from your house as possible and tightly seal them with airproof lids. As an additional precaution, you can secure the lids with heavy rocks or bungee cords.
Move Bird Feeders Away from the House
The ground grains and seeds that constitute most bird-food mixtures are also a delicious treat for rodents. You have probably noticed squirrels roaming around any bird feeder, and you shouldn’t be surprised if an occasional mice or rat pays a visit as well.
If bird feeding isn’t a hobby you are ready to give up, make sure to keep your feeders as far away from the house as possible.
Seal Pet Food
As soon as you purchase a bag of cat or dog food, transfer it to an airtight storage container to keep mice out of your house.
Dry pet foods are like mana from heaven for mice, and you don’t want to discover a squeaking surprise while pouring a bowl of dog food. Keep all the dry foods in tightly sealed containers high above the floor.
Seal Dry Foods
Sugar, flour, and other food kept in paper cartons and bags can be easily breached by bugs or rodents. Instead, transfer these foods to tightly sealed metal or plastic containers and store them in the refrigerator or on high shelves.
When It’s Time for Mouse Pest Control
Of course, following all the tips on how to keep mice out of your house is important, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will never encounter a rodent infestation problem. Sometimes, you may miss a crack or two, leave the garbage can open, or forget to wipe your kitchen countertop from bread crumbs right away.
If you notice a trail of rodent droppings, hear scurrying noises at night, or see damaged food packages, it might be time to take more serious measures.
Of course, you can buy some mousetraps that always fail to work or adopt a predator cat. However, if you aren’t ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a new furry family member, it might be a better idea to simply hire a professional pest control company to help you solve your mice problem once and for all.