Fall means rodents. An in the Northeast, Fall means rodents invading your home. For most homeowners, this is not surprising. However, there are some surprising facts about mice we have collected that will help you prevent them from getting inside in the first place. Use this knowledge to keep your fall rodent, and pest, free.
How mice get in
There are many ways mice can enter your home. Some of the more obvious ways, like cellar doors and hatchways, sometimes have larger openings. However, mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime. So even if you have weather stripping on your basement door, an imperfectly drilled utility opening can leave enough space. It’s critical to caulk the gaps where cable, electricity, and water enter your home.
Another surprising access point for mice is the roof! Field mice are deceptively good at climbing and can make their way up trees and along branches that overhang your home. This is good practice for windy weather as well but be sure to prune large shrubs and long branches if they get close to the roof.
The sign of a mouse infestation
- Look out for shredded materials scattered around the house. Mice typically make their nests from paper, cardboard, fabric, or insulation.
- Mice tend to have oily fur and can leave dark dirt or grease marks along the floor or walls as they make their way to and from the nest.
- Unusual scratching, clawing, or scurrying sounds coming from the walls or attic could mean your home might be infested!
Health hazards of mice
Not only are mice dirty and can make a mess of your pantry, but they are also a health threat. They can contaminate stored food and spread diseases like Salmonella, tapeworms, and Ebola. Be sure to seal your food in air-tight containers. Things like cereal and oats should go in Tupperware and be regularly monitored.
Prevention is key
Take a look around your home’s foundation and repair cracks, gaps and ill-fitting doors, windows, etc. It’s also helpful to move firewood away from your home and any other piles of stored items that allow mice to hide in plain sight. Keep brush piles and other accumulated items away from your foundation. Don’t invite mice to hang out around your home! Spaces below your nice deck tend to accumulate yard items, kids’ unused toys, and yard debris like leaves and grass clippings. All these are very attractive to nesting mice. Falls cooler weather makes for a great opportunity to clean up and dispose of mice attracting “piles”!
Another helpful strategy is to have exterior bait stations placed just outside your home. Exterior bait stations have been shown to be extremely effective at controlling rodent populations and are an increasingly popular method of reducing exterior rodent activity. This in turn reduces the possibility of mice entering and infesting your home. Because the bait is held securely inside, these sturdy stations prevent children and pets from accessing the bait that is poisonous to mice.
You can’t always prevent mice from getting in, but you can minimize the exposure. Our team at Graduate Pest Solutions specializes in prevention. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and service necessary to help keep your home and workplace pest-free!