Use these tips to prevent mice from taking up residence
Mice love nothing more than a warm comfy place filled with loads of their very favorite foods and plenty of places to hide in and bring miniature versions of themselves into the world. And our homes tick virtually every box on those tiny rodents’ wish list.
And that’s the reason for the endless battle that has raged on for millennia between humans and mice with the latter doing its very best to get the former to share all that warmth and food, and the former doing everything in their power to prevent mice from doing just that.
In this article, we shall be taking a look at a number of tips on how best to mouse-proof your home in order to ensure you constantly emerge the victor in this conflict which shows no signs of coming to an end anytime soon.
Enlist the help of a furry friend or two
One of the best means to prevent mice from taking up residence in your home is by exploiting yet another ancient conflict, this time between them and one of their most feared foes - the house cat.
Mice are terrified of felines and will generally stay clear of them and their environs.
Terriers which were actually bred to form the canine equivalent of the house cat also happen to be particularly fond of hunting them.
If you happen to love animals and are able to provide a cat or a dog, or even both with a loving home and loads of food, warmth and care, this option might just turn out to be an especially rewarding one: you'll not only get to enjoy a mouse-free home but will also gain a furry friend or two in the bargain. The alternative to getting a cat as a mouser is investing in effective mouse traps.
Keep your garden tidy
Gardens, particularly those with shrubs and trees, tend to provide all the cover mice need to slip into your home unnoticed.
Branches that lean rather close to your house must be trimmed while shrubs should never be grown close to the walls of your home but should be planted at a fair distance from it.
Trees that bear nuts such as acorns will also prove to be mice magnets as these rodents share squirrels’ (their cuter, arboreal relatives) love of these treats which are rich in fat.
And just like their cousins, mice are particularly fond of helping themselves to any nuts and seeds left out for feathered visitors to your garden. As a result, feeding birds at a distance from your home and tidying up immediately afterwards, is highly recommended.
Trash cans used outside the home must be placed at a distance from the house and kept shut when not in use. They should also be emptied and cleaned on a regular basis while their surroundings must be kept tidy and free of debris.
Keep your food out of reach
Mice love to eat what we eat and also have a fondness for pet food too. As a result, food such as grains, pasta and cereals must be stored in airtight plastic containers rather than being left in their packets where they will be particularly vulnerable to mice.
Pet food must also be stored with the same vigilance and both food and water bowls must be emptied and cleaned once your furry friend has eaten and drunk their fill.
Pet bowls which contain leftover food or drink are particularly attractive to these rodents which will sneak up to them and help themselves to their hearts’ content when no one’s paying attention.
Keep your home spotless
Mice are surprisingly adept at getting by on small amounts of sustenance. Hence keeping them at bay requires frequently sweeping and mopping floors as well as wiping down surfaces to completely remove any tiny particles of food they might be able to nibble on.
Keeping your home spotless also involves eliminating any clutter present including all those old books, clothes and even old upholstered furniture which will provide mice with excellent nesting material and even a cozy warm spot to raise a family.
Regularly checking areas such as the back of your freezer and stove is highly recommended as is cleaning up after young children and teens and inspecting their favorite haunts.
Trash cans must also be shut tightly at all times when not in use and frequently emptied and cleaned.
Seal all possible points of entry
Did you know that mice are capable of squeezing through a hole the size of a pen or a quarter of an inch in circumference?
No wonder keeping them out and preventing an infestation is so difficult. And yet it’s also definitely doable. You will need to carefully inspect your doors and windows to ensure no gaps are visible when they're shut.
You will also need to check the foundation and the walls outside your home and seal any openings you find: caulk, concrete and steel wool are especially effective since such materials are capable of withstanding the formidable dentition mice are renowned for.
With these methods, coupled with some good mouse traps for eliminating the few unwanted visitors who might slip in, you'll be able to prevent mice from joining your household.