Mice are a homeowner's worst nightmare. Not only are mice likely to destroy wood, foundations, or other parts of the home, but they can also put the health of family members and pets at risk as well. In order to avoid risks to family and pets living in your home, it is important to take steps to understand what brings mice into the space in the first place.
Mice come into the home in search of food or shelter. The most common reason mice enter a home is to find and eat unsecured food. If you often store food, such as cereal, in its original box, consider investing in plastic containers to secure it. Mice have strong teeth and are capable of chewing through cardboard and other materials. By storing food in a closed container, it is possible to eliminate a mouse's primary food source.
In addition to storing food in secure containers, look for areas where mice may be able to find food. If you have children or pets that may have dropped food into a hard-to-reach area, such as behind the counter or next to the refrigerator, be sure the area is cleaned up often. Avoid leaving out loose food, including fruit or vegetables, anywhere but in a secured area, such as your refrigerator or a cabinet with no known holes or leaks in it.
Garbage is also a food source for mice, and they may be drawn not just by garbage in the kitchen, but also in the garage or around an outside storage area at your home. Never store trash outside a garbage can, and be sure all cans are secure and free of holes. By keeping food sources cleaned up and food secure, a homeowner can keep the house from becoming a place mice will want to linger.
Even if you are sure to secure your food, however, mice often enter homes seeking shelter. In colder climates, homeowners may notice mice entering their home during the snowy months in search of a warm place to sleep. The easiest way to prevent mice from entering your home is to be sure your perimeter is secure.To conduct a perimeter check for mice, inspect windows, door frames, the foundation, holes in sidings or walls, and the garage for holes. Even very small holes can allow mice to enter your home, so consider caulking or sealing the hole as soon as possible. If you already have a mouse problem, filling a known entrance with steel wool can help deter mice until you can seal it properly.
Mice may also use areas around plumbing, holes in the back of cabinets, or other holes as a way to move. As with the exterior of your home, check the inside of it for places where mice could move through unseen or otherwise create a mess. Check cabinets for droppings each time you open them, as well: This will often be your first sign of an infestation.
Prevention is the easiest way to keep mice from being drawn into your home. Even changing the way you store food can be a helpful prevention tool, although sometimes detecting potential entry points may be more difficult. If you already have a mouse problem, or are concerned about mice entering your home, consider a free quote from a professional, local exterminator today. They can help you determine the best course to keep your home mouse free and, most importantly, safe.