Cold weather affects various pest behavior and can determine the best course for treating pest…
Keeping rodents out of your home this winter can be challenging. Today, in Upstate New York, we are in the center of a nor’easter pounding with snow and wind. Mice and rodents are looking for shelter. The few weeks of intermittent warm weather brought them out, and now they are looking for a warm place inside your home, garage, or shed.
How to rodent-proof your home
Mice prevention in homes begins with the homeowner collaborating with a professional pest control service inside and outside of the home.
Inside Rodent Control:
Rodents and mice only need a little space to slide inside and gain access to your home. According to the CDC, mice can fit through a hole the width of a pencil (1/4 inch or 6 millimeters in diameter). Look at these common areas where mice and rodents enter:
- Inside, under, and behind kitchen cabinets
- Floor areas in closets, especially corners
- Around the fireplace, windows, and doors
- Behind appliances
- Around the pipes under sinks, washing machines, water heaters, and furnaces
- Around floor air and dryer vents
- All around electrical, water, gas, and sewer lines
- Inside the attic, basement, or crawl space
- Around floor drains, such as in your basement or laundry room
Outside Rodent Control:
Inspect your home from the outside and look for broken window seals, doorways, attic windows, or soffit damage. As we mentioned, mice and rodents are looking to come inside. How to mouse-proof your home just takes time to look:
- In the roof among the rafters, gables, eaves, and soffits
- Around windows and doors (especially those without weather stripping)
- Check your foundation for cracks and remove shrubs that touch the home. These are great hiding places for mice and other damaging pests.
- Between the foundation of the home and ground
- Around attic and crawl space vents
- Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines
Mouse-proof the house’s foundation by looking for cracks, gaps, or wet areas that can weaken walls, especially wooden areas, and windows inside finished basements.
How to keep rodents out of the garage? One simple and easy way is to shut the garage doors, especially in winter.
How do I keep rodents away?
Here are a few of the most asked questions we get about keeping rodents away:
- Do peppermint packets for mice work as a repellent? Yes, peppermint oil is an effective repellant for keeping mice away, but not to eliminate them. Instead, rodents will find another entry point into your home.
- Does bleach repel mice? Funny, but yes, bleach can repel mice. This is because the mice are offended by the smell of bleach, affecting their feeding and breeding behaviors.
- Can mice get into plastic totes? Of course, given enough time and solitude, they will chew through a tote. They will, however, look for a loose lid first, so keep the covers tight and an eye on totes stored in sheds, basements, and garages.
- How do I use steel wool to keep rodents out? Steel wool is effective in blocking small holes, gaps, and cracks. Rodents cannot chew the wire, and it actually hurts their teeth!
- Will rodents and mice eat my dog’s food? YES! they certainly will. Keeping large bags of dog food in the garage is a welcome sight for mice. Remember, mice can even get into a plastic tote or container, so inspect the container regularly.
- Does sealing gaps in my doors, windows, attic, and basement help that much? It indeed does; let’s look at some ideas on how to seal your home from mice and rodents.
How to seal your home from rodents
Barriers and prevention are critical to keeping mice and rodents out of your home, garage, or shed. Sealing various entry points is a step in the right direction, but be mindful that mice can chew! Sealed areas should be checked seasonally and in conjunction with the sealing and treatment services offered by a professional pest control service.
- Seal food and water sources inside your home. Mice rely on water to survive, but they can go a long time without it if they can get enough moisture from their food.
- Seal food and water sources outside your home.
- Seal entry points inside and outside your home.
What is the best way to keep rodents away?
We know that as homeowners, you do your best to keep your home, family, and pets safe and pest free. As a professional pest control service, our technicians will perform a property inspection, including home, garage, and outdoor structures such as sheds, to determine the best protocol for treatment and removal.