Cove Real Estate

Posted by Cove Real Estate on 4/28/2017

In spite of their furry and innocent looking exterior, mice have evolved to become experts at getting into small spaces. They can fit in tiny cracks and holes in your house and make their home there, sometimes going unnoticed for months.

Since most of us don’t circle our house with a magnifying glass looking for vulnerabilities, it can seem like a mystery how these creatures can find their way in. There are, however, several ways you can help fortify your home against mice. If you follow all of the advice in this post, you should be able to turn mice away and have them heading for the neighbor’s house.

Step One: Filling the cracks

The most important step to keeping mice out of your home is to fortify your home’s exterior. The size of a mouse can be deceiving. While they appear to be a few inches in diameter, they can squeeze into spaces much smaller.

It is a myth that mice can actually collapse their skeleton to fit in small spaces. Rather, their ability to squeeze into a small crack (sometimes a half an inch in size) can be attributed to their flexible vertebrae, soft fur, and willpower.

In daylight, perform a check of the outside of your home. Look for cracks in foundations, gaps around the roof, and small spaces around doors and windows. Also look around holes that have been made for pipes and cables, such as for electricity and plumbing. If the holes are too big, a mouse could easily squeeze through the gap.

A good way to seal up holes on your home’s exterior is to fill them with steel wool and use caulk to set it in place. For larger holes or problems with your foundation it’s a better idea to use cement and hardware cloth.

Step Two: Remove any mice that are inside

Now that you’ve fortified your home, it’s time to see if any mice may have gotten in before you made the repairs. Glue traps are the least humane way to get rid of mice for a number of reasons.

It’s recommended to use live traps, which are reusable and easy to set up. Once you’ve caught the culprit, you can release him or her away from your home. Before you do, however, be sure to look up the regulations in your area about releasing wild animals.

Step Three: Discourage further visits

Aside from filling cracks there are a number of things you can do to make your home less appealing to mice. One of the age-old, but effective techniques is to employ a house cat to patrol the house for you. Keep in mind, though, that if you get a cat you are no longer the owner of your home--that title goes to your new feline companion.

You can also dissuade mice from entering your home on the outside. A couple of natural mouse repellents include mint and bay leaves. However, you’d have to plant a lot of herbs or spend a lot of time putting it around your house to keep the mice at bay.

Cleanliness is one of the best ways to discourage mice from breeding in your house. Taking away their food source (crumbs in the pantry, or boxes of food that are easy to access).

If you’ve taken care of the above steps, you shouldn’t have to worry about mice in your home for a while. Just be sure to keep repeating these steps as necessary.

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