How to Mouse Proof Your Home in a Few Simple Steps
Mice are notorious infiltrators who will try to gain access to your home, especially during the colder months.
Not only that, but these pesky creatures can cause quite a bit of damage, and they also bring diseases with them. That’s why mouse-proofing your property is essential to ensure its protection and the safety of your health. Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you won’t have to deal with these unwelcome guests.
Lookout for signs of a mouse infestation
There are plenty of signs behind a mouse infestation, and some can send shivers down your spine.
It can be anything from hearing scratching in the walls or hearing squeaking noises at night. You will also likely notice droppings near food packages, cupboards, or under the sink.
There may be visible teeth marks on food packaging or house furniture. Sometimes, you may even notice holes chewed through walls or floors from where the mice got in the first place.
When you notice any of these signs, it is crucial to act quickly, for rodents do not only carry various pathogens with them and breed quickly.
Inspect for any entry points and block them
The first thing you must do is inspect your house for possible entry points and block every single one.
The most common places rodents gain access to your home are the following:
- Foundations and walls;
- Holes and cracks around pipes or cables;
- Windows and doors;
- The roof and the attic;
- Plumbing and sewers;
- Vents and air conditioners.
You want to use materials that mice can’t chew through. For small holes, it’s best to use steel wool and either caulk or spray foam to keep it in place. Larger ones can be sealed with a lath screen or metal, cement, and hardware cloth.
Remember, even if you manage to get rid of all the mice if you don’t seal the entryways, it’s inevitable that they’ll re-appear, and you’ll have to deal with them again and again. That’s why mouse-proofing your home is one of the best lines of defence against them.
Keep any food sources sealed away
Mice have a very keen sense of smell, so they will immediately sense if there’s something to eat around.
That’s why keeping a clean house and dry foods safely sealed away in plastic or metal containers or mason jars is essential.
It’s strongly recommended that you avoid any cardboard boxes and paper and plastic bags, which offer mice easy access to food and possibly even shelter.
You should also only eat at the table to make it harder for rodents to find any crumbs on the floor they can eat.
Trim any bushes around the house
Trimming any bushes around your home can deter mice from making nests there.
You must also keep the lawn short of eliminating any hiding spots.
If you have a wood pile, store it at least 20 feet away from the house, as they provide ideal shelter for rodents and other kinds of animals.
Clean any yard waste and piles to reduce hiding spots and shelter options further. If you’re into composting, choose a heavy-duty compost tumbler over open compost heap too, to eliminate rodent and wildlife attraction to that area of your garden.
Use natural mouse repellents
You can use the keen sense of smell of mice against them.
Natural repellents like apple cider vinegar can be quite effective at deterring these pesky creatures. Mix equal parts water and ACV, and add the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray anywhere you have noticed a mouse activity, particularly any access points, and re-apply weekly for maximum effect.
Another effective spray is to use hot pepper. Mix chilli flakes and sliced habanero peppers, and add a few dish soap spoons and water. This spray will irritate the eyes and nasal tracts of mice, effectively deterring them from entering your home.
Remember, any of these methods require regular re-application. However, if there’s an ongoing infestation, it’s best to hire a professional mice control company to eliminate the problem before it becomes a hazard.
Get a cat
Of course, the most obvious solution is to rely on the help of our feline friends. They can do a pretty good job towards protecting the main areas of your home.
Even if your cat doesn’t like to chase mice around, the smell of urine from its litter is enough to scare a mouse away. That’s because rodents will immediately sense there’s a predator around and that it isn’t safe for them to enter the premises.
Use essential oils
This is another useful tactic that can be used to deter mice, as they’re known to rely heavily on their sense of smell.
The most potent substances you can use are:
- Peppermint oil
- Lemon oil
- Citronella oil
- Eucalyptus oil
As mice tend to follow a pheromone trail left by their brethren, using any of these substances will confuse their senses and deter them from entering your home. Essential oils are also an environmentally friendly option, which means they’re much safer than using toxic chemicals.
The drawbacks are the following:
- Essential oils aren’t long-lasting products and need to be replaced every 2-3 days;
- They have to be used in high doses;
- They have to be placed in strategic locations for them to work effectively.
That’s why it’s best to use essential oils in combination with other deterrents to ensure maximum protection.
Consider different traps
There are various options to choose from depending on whether you want to trap the animal and then release it or kill it.
You can set live traps if you want to catch the mouse and then set it free, or traditional spring traps, which kill the creature fast without causing needless suffering. If you’re going to release a mouse, do it at least a mile away from your house. Otherwise, you risk it coming back.
Whichever option you choose, set the traps where you’ve noticed mice activity and ensure there’s bait like cheese or peanut butter to maximise the success rate.
Try scaring them with high-frequency sounds
Another way to deter them from entering your home is to use devices that emit high-frequency sound waves.
According to the experts, mice hate those sounds and will generally flee when they hear them. However, that can have a temporary effect as some rodents will get used to the sounds after a while and will try to infiltrate your home again. That’s why it’s essential not to use these devices as the sole means of defence.
Nobody wants mice running around their home. That’s why mouse-proofing your home is your best course of action in the first place. And, if you’ve followed these few simple steps to the letter, you’ve hopefully reduced the likelihood of them re-appearing in your property to a minimum.
Remember, the most important thing when you notice a mouse is to act fast so the problem doesn’t worsen.