The winter months can be a tricky time to prevent mice and other rodents from entering your home or business. What is even harder is when you are not there to keep the little critters away. Since mice are small agile creatures, they have the ability to find their way into homes and businesses through tiny holes in places where it is sometimes hard for us to see. So how do you prevent mice from sneaking in where they don’t belong? Universal Pest Control has 10 tried and true ways to help you out.
6 Ways to Keep Mice at Bay During the Winter Months
- Find All Possible Entry Points
- Screens and Caulk
- Steel Wook and Foam
- Doors and Windows
- Chimney Flues
- Put Everything Away
- Use Repellents
- Prevention During Summer Months
- Get a Pet
- Hire a Professional
1) Finding All Possible Entry Points
Finding all possible entry points in and around your home or business is key to prevention and eliminating the problem of any pest. Mice are quick on their feet and thrive in warm dry places where food is in abundance so be sure to walk the perimeter of your home or business, climb up into the attic if you have one, and search for any tiny holes along the floorboards, ceiling, or windows where mice can enter. Once you’ve found these various entry points, what do you do next? Prevention.
Screens and Caulk
Screens on windows and caulk around sills and door frames are a good place to start. For large gaps like dryer vents and soffits, galvanized mesh wire can be used to block these harder-to-fix holes. By using caulk as a sealant on the edges, it helps to ensure that the screen stays in place and the mice can’t get through.
Steel Wool and Foam
Steel wool and the use of foam caulk is a great way to seal up places mice and other rodents love to enter through. Make a hard tight ball with the steel wool and press it into the hole you want to seal and use the foam along the edges to close any holes around it.
Doors and Windows
By installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors, especially in older homes or cabins, seals the gap created through wear and tear and warping in older homes. Also, check the weather seals along with garage doors as well as windows. Use an exterior grade caulking seal in any tiny holes or crevices you can find.
It might sound silly, but when you are battening down the hatches it can be easy to forget the obvious. Many homes have chimneys, and many homes use these chimneys during the winter months. So, it sounds logical that once you are done enjoying your nice warm fire, mice will find their way down the chimney just like Santa clause. Once your fire is out, simply close your flue sealing off any chance of mice entering. The easy way to know if your flue is closed is to look up through your chimney to see if you see any light coming through. Even if it is night, you’ll know if the flue is closed by the lack of moonlight shining down inside. Always check for a draft. Even if you don’t feel a draft, the flue might not be sealed. Roll up a section of newspaper and light it. Put it inside the top of the fireplace. If there is a crack in the flue seal, the smoke, and flames will reach upwards.
2) Put Everything Away
A simple rule of thumb, which sometimes is harder to do than we realize is to just seal up any dry goods in cabinets and storage bins. Give a mouse a cookie and a mouse will bring his friends. Mice and other rodents love burrowing into dry goods so take those cardboard containers most dry goods are stored in when we buy them off the store shelves and put them in sealed plastic containers. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save with that one preventative step alone. Another easy deterrent is to clean up any spills and make sure your floors and surfaces are mopped and cleaned up right away. Your tiny mouse friend won’t want to stay if the mouse is unable to burrow his or her way through your dry goods or find reminisce of food and drink on countertops and floors if everything is cleaned and put away.
Another way to make sure your home or business isn’t pest friendly is to make sure clothes and any other objects which might look inviting are put away. Mice love warm places to live, so those dirty clothes sitting on the floor, especially socks and stuffed animals are prime targets for mice to either take off with to their nest or chew their way through bringing the stuffing from a stuffed animal with them to their home within your home. Make sure clothes are put away and seal any crevices which might be inviting for mice to get inside.
3) Use Repellents
Repellents are an easy practical way to help keep mice away during the winter months. Put mothballs under your porch, under your bed, and in your attic. They can be used anywhere you believe mice might be able to gain entry. They can be hung in mesh bags with hangers or stockings for easy assembly.
Peppermint is also a great way to keep mice away. A non-toxic alternative, peppermint oil irritates the mouse’s nasal passages making sure mice stay clear of the area. Make sure to spray a good amount of the peppermint oil mixed with water on all possible entryway surfaces. Clove oil is another excellent repellent and can be used in substitution for peppermint oil.
4) Prevention During Summer Months
A mouse problem is not just a winter problem. It usually starts in the summer. These 3 steps will help with the prevention of mice infestation during the winter months.
- During the summer months make sure to regularly clean all surfaces
- Keep pet food in an airtight container
- Set traps
5) Consider getting a pet.
Cats are a great natural deterrent to keeping mice away from your home or business. Cats are keen predatory animals and have a sixth sense for rodents of any kind. Plus, cats are naturally great companion animals for adults and children alike.
6) Call a professional
When all else fails, a professional is a way to go. Here is Universal Pest Control we have experienced every kind of pest there is in the Ontario area. We pride ourselves on putting our clients first. The health and safety of our clients and our technicians are first and foremost in our desire to keep your home and business pest-free. With over 30 years in the pest control industry, you can trust Environmental Pest Control to get the job done safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Contact Universal Pest Control today for a quote.