Mouse in the house prevention | Living the Country Life
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Mouse in the house prevention

Keep these uninvited house guests from scurrying around
Photo courtesy of Alabama Cooperative Extension

I’m probably one of very few people who think mice are cute. However I draw the line when I see one running through the house. None of us ever extends an open invitation, but if a mouse can find its way in you will have new tenants.

Terry Messmer is an Extension wildlife specialist at Utah State University. He says really, it’s our own fault. We leave garage doors open, our window screens have holes, and there are cracks and tiny openings around the exterior of our houses. Now is the time to enforce your ‘no vacancy’ policy for rodents.

"If you’ve got any openings that are larger than about ¼”, then basically you need to seal them," says Messmer. "If you’ve got cracks in building foundations, around water pipes, vents, utility cables, doors and window screens should fit tightly. So the idea is just go around and do an inspection of the area."

Stainless steel scouring pads will plug holes as a quick fix. For the long term, Messmer recommends using some kind of insulating foam to fill the gaps and prevent mice from gnawing.
They’re coming in to find a warm place for the winter – and for free meals - so sanitation is extremely important.

"They can survive on very, very small amounts of food. So the idea is taking that food, storing it properly, storing it in closed containers. If you’ve got dog food in the garage, or things along that line, make sure that that’s in a rodent-proof container, some type of plastic garbage can or something along that line," says Messmer. "That will reduce the attraction."

If you see mice in the house, Messmer recommends setting standard wooden traps baited with peanut butter. He does not recommend repellants. For one, he says they don’t work very well. And if they’re chemical-based they could cause secondary effects in the humans living there.

Learn more:

House mouse facts and prevention tips

Ways to keep them from getting in the house

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