When the weather begins getting colder in autumn, it isn't uncommon for field mice to find their way into your home, especially if you live in a rural area or have an old house. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to deter mice from taking up residence. Here are three tips to keep the mice at bay.
Fill The Gaps
Most people perform at least a little bit of winterizing and preparing their home to withstand the wind, cold, and snow. For example, they may need to put up storm windows or cover the windows with plastic to keep out the drafts. If you want to keep the cold air from getting in as well as mice, you need to go around sealing areas where they can get in.
Under the kitchen and bathroom sink or any other areas where there are pipes or plumbing that comes into the house from outside are common mice entry points. They only need a tiny little space — about a quarter-inch — to sneak through. Any cracks and crevices should be filled with metal mesh and caulk. If you use just caulk, they will be able to chew through it.
Consider Your Woodpile
It's not uncommon for people in northern climates to heat their homes with wood, often with wood stoves located in their basement. Oftentimes, people stack their firewood in the basement itself. Unfortunately, this is an ideal location for mice to take up residence. After all, they have shelter and warmth, and they usually have a super-highway of pipes to maneuver about to the rest of your home. To keep mice out of the house, you'd be better off stacking the wood outside rather than in your home. If this isn't possible, however, you will need to have a mouse pest control system in place.
Store Your Food Carefully
Mice have the same core needs any other animal does, including food. No matter how well you try to deter mice from getting in, it's hard to completely avoid them. Keeping your food locked away can help. Plastic storage containers with tight seals can help protect your food supply. Mice can chew through containers, but they generally don't have enough time to accomplish this in an active residential setting. Keep things like opened boxes of cereal and crackers in plastic containers. You will also need to contain your dog and cat food, or you will begin finding it all over the house.
If you really want to make sure you don't have to deal with mice at all, your best bet is hiring a mouse pest control service to come and take care of it for you. They can seal the entryways and set up traps or other methods to catch the rodents as well as tend to their removal and disposal.