Many homeowners get pests in the fall because of the change in temperature. Like us, mice and other little critters would rather spend their winter indoors. They can tell that our homes are warm and full of food. Once inside, mice hide in the walls and can go undetected for weeks, giving them enough time to reproduce. As a result, mouse problems often extend into the spring or summer, costing hundreds of dollars in damages and pest control services.
If you want to keep mice out this winter, check out the following tips. All it takes to avoid an infestation is a little determination. If you’re currently facing a mouse problem, call a mouse exterminator in Toronto or near you.
- Block Entry Points
The most straightforward way that you can keep mice out the home is to block their points of entry. Mice are tiny animals that can fit through quarter inch gaps. Grab some caulking and a flashlight and seal every opening you find. Here are some common entrances to look out for:
- Windows and Doors. Mice can sometimes fit under doors and crawl through openings in the window frames. Install some weatherstripping to the bottoms of your doors to the outside, then seal any cracks you find in your frames. Fix broken screen with patches or replace them entirely.
- Weep vents and Wall Vents. Weep vents invite mice and wasps into the home. Stuff these with stainless steel weep vent covers to keep pests out. You should also cover your wall vents with a 16-gauge, galvanized steel mesh, which is strong enough to resist rodent chewing. Screw the material right into the wall.
- Utility Cables and Other Openings. Utility cables and the cables that connect to the air conditioning are often surrounded by gaps that could fit a mouse. Stuff these with steel wool, expanding foam, or caulking. You can also cover them with mesh.
- Cracks in the Foundation. Bugs and mice can squeeze their way into the basement by using cracks in the foundation. Use an epoxy sealer to seal these shut. Don’t forget to check under your deck, too. If you have large, horizontal, or lengthening cracks, call a specialist for help.
Soffits. It’s unusual, but mice have been known to climb up walls and sneak into the attic via the gaps between the soffits and the brick wall. Check this area for gaps and close them shut by stuffing them with mesh, then sealing them off with caulking. You’ll be keeping squirrels and bats out, too.
2.Deep Clean the House
Mice are drawn to homes that smell like food. If you want to keep them out, perform a deep clean and tidy up on a regular basis. Clean out the pantry and clean up underneath your major appliances. Then, store your food in airtight containers. This will reduce the smell of food while keeping your food pest-proof. Vacuum regularly, do the dishes every day, and declutter the home.
3. Reduce Moisture
Mice need water just as much as they need food. They love to move into humid homes with leaking faucets and standing water. Check the humidity of your home and reduce it if it is above 60%. Homes should be between 30 and 40% in the winter, and somewhere between 50 and 60% in the summer. If you don’t have a hygrometer, fill a glass with ice water and wait 10 minutes. If there is lots of condensation on the sides of the glass, your home is too humid.
Consider getting a dehumidifier or installing ceiling fans to help circulate the air. Fix leaky faucets and always run your bathroom fans when you take a shower or a bath. Don’t let wet, dirty dishes sit in the sink for long.
4. Get Rid of Hiding Spots
Mice and other pests like yards and homes where there is plenty of shelter. Move things away from the walls of the home, like firewood and leaf piles, so that mice have fewer places to hide. Mow the lawn every week, pull weeds, and trim shrubs. The neater your garden, the better. The same logic applies to the interior of the home when getting rid of mice. Declutter the basement and clear the edges of your floors so there is more open space.