Finding rodents in your house can be a sign of trouble. Rats can be a big problem, but mice are also harmful as well. As they are smaller rodents, they can fit to cracks easily and invade your home in no time. Mice are also very fast breeders, so preventing an infestation with them is very important, as their presence can cause a lot of damage. As they tend to seek indoor shelter, especially during the colder months, preparing your home and making it rodent proof is important. It is always easier to apply preventive measure and avoid an infestation, than having to deal with one later along the way. There are multiple ways of preventing a mice infestation, in your yard and in the house as well. You will find below a list of actions that you can take, in order to avoid the development of an infestation, however, keep in mind that applying multiple methods at the same time can lead to a quicker solution, than just using one.
Depending on what your property can offer in terms of food or shelter, you will have to apply preventive methods, in order to make your home inhospitable for mice. As infestations tend to occur because mice can find a reliable source of food or shelter on a property, you should make sure that you get rid of any type of attractant possible. Mice require an available food source very close to their nests, otherwise they will have to relocate. Make sure you remove any type of debris and keep your property clean, and you can easily drive mice away.
- clean your house regularly, and remove any food leftovers fallen on the floor;
- remove clutter in the house, such as piles of clothes or boxes;
- use rodent-proof containers to store food;
- do not feed pets outside, or if necessary, remove the food left after they fed;
- wipe away crumbs and liquids that have spilled;
- keep garbage secure, in airtight containers, be it indoor or outdoor;
- clean up fallen fruits, berries, or seeds from bird feeders;
- remove piles of wood from the yard;
- trim bushes and shrubs;
- remove leaf piles and deep mulch;
- mow your lawn regularly.
Removing attractants such as the possibility of finding food and water is very important, but removing access points into the house is also relevant. As mice are really small and can fit through tiny cracks in walls, you will need to seal up all possible entry ways. Check the structure of your hose, on the interior and exterior as well. Check and repair things like:
- shingles, drains, baseboards and wall panels which are loose fitted
- crack and crevices in the foundation of the house;
- cracks and crevices in the walls, be they interior or exterior ones;
- spaces and gaps under doors, by sealing them with door sweeps
- open spaces around wires, pipes and cables, or damaged screens, which should be closed;
- drain outlets, vents and chimneys;
- keep attics and basements ventilated, dry, and clear of clutter;
- fix leaking pipes and clogged drains.
Repellents against mice
The next step in keeping mice away, after removing attractants and changing the landscape in order not to offer them shelter, is using repellents. You can use natural, chemical or electronic ones, but as mentioned before, a combination of efforts always works best when it comes to keeping mice away.
Keeping cats around the house can help in scaring the mice away. They are a natural predator for rodents, so by sensing their presence, mice will tend to avoid the area. If you do not own a cat, you can borrow some used litter from a neighbour that owns one, and just scatter it around your property. Mice won’t need to see the cat to avoid the area. The sheer small of the litter will drive them away. You can also use natural predator urine, which can be bought in the form of bobcat urine.
Other natural nice deterrents that you can apply in and around your house are different types of strong scented plants. Mint, bay or peppermint are plants which will repel mice from your house. You can either plant them near entrances in the house, or under windows, or you can use them in the form of essential oils. Making mixtures with water and spraying them around the areas you want to protect will irritate the mice. However, mice are quite prevalent so you will just try to avoid the treated area, but find another way of access. This is why it is very important to use multiple repelling means, not just one. Covering more ground, with more methods can lead to a quicker and more effective result. Remove any harbourage areas, where mice nest and they will not manage to prosper. By removing their food source as well, mice will become stressed and relocate to a better location.
Besides using natural repellents such as cats or essential oils, you can also add an electronic repellent to your fight against rodents. The ones meant for keeping mice away are based on ultrasonic sounds, which irritate the mice and keep them away. Depending on the type and size of room, you will need to use one or multiple such devices. Their signal strength can differ, and depending on the number of speakers they have, they can cover a larger area. The area around the device should be clear of all furniture and other obstructions, to be sure the room gets enough coverage. Just by plugging in such a device can help keep a room clear of mice, rats, and other pests. Just be careful, if you own pets, such as hamsters, to keep them away from such devices, as they can be affected as well.
Keeping mice away with mothballs or rags soaked in ammonia is another solution, however, the chemicals that evaporate through fumes from these repellents can be very toxic. Using them can be dangerous, especially if you have kids or pets around the house, so make sure they are placed out of reach, so that they do not affect anyone else but mice.
No matter what pests you are dealing with or want to avoid, they are normally attracted to your yard or house because of the possibility of finding food and shelter. Constant sanitation will help you avoid issues with any type of pest, not only rodents. Always clean spillages, make sure you do not leave open food containers, vacuum, mop and clear clutter and make sure the house is sealed and no entry points have remained unprotected. By employing these actions and by using repellents as well, you should be able to avoid the development of an infestation. By creating an inhospitable environment, mice will avoid your property and search for a different location that will provide them with food and shelter, and less effort to get to it. Keep your guard up, and mix these preventive measures, for a more effective result. And in the case of an infestation that is already occurring, visit our related article to find out ‘How to get rid of Mice’, but remember to keep using preventive measures as well, so that another infestation does not occur.