Monday, July 22

How to Keep Mice Out of Your House This Winter

Each year, as the temperatures drop in the fall, mice are on the hunt for an all-inclusive winter resort where they can find food, warmth, and shelter until the spring. Though you can’t really blame them, you also probably aren’t about to roll out the welcome mat and invite them into your home.

But mice are resourceful, compact critters, and don’t wait for an invitation. In other words, if you don’t want them moving in this winter, now’s the time to take steps towards preventing that. Here’s what to know.

Not only are mice small to begin with, but they’re also able to squeeze through holes the width of a pencil—that’s about 1/4 inch in diameter—so stopping them from gaining access to your home may be more of a challenge than you thought. Here’s what to do in order to prevent them from moving into your house for the winter:

Head outside and inspect the perimeter of your house. Do a few laps focusing on the lower foundation and mid-structure, checking for cracks, crevices, and holes. Additionally, look for gaps between the foundation and ground.

Next, look for other gaps and holes on your home’s exterior, including:

  • In and around the roof, including among the rafters, gables, eaves, and soffits
  • Around windows and doors
  • Around attic and crawl space vents
  • Around electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should check the following indoor locations for potential entry points or hiding spots inside your home:

  • Around windows and doors
  • Behind appliances
  • Inside, under, and behind kitchen cabinets
  • Between the floor and wall juncture
  • Floors of closets, especially corners
  • In the basement or crawl space
  • Around floor drains, such as in your basement or laundry room
  • Around fireplaces
  • Around the pipes under sinks and washing machines
  • Around the pipes leading to water heaters and furnaces
  • Around floor air and dryer vents
  • Around all electrical, water, gas, and sewer lines
  • Inside the attic

Once you’ve located the gaps, holes, and hiding spots inside and outside your home, it’s time to seal them up. Use exterior-grade caulk to fill any small openings on the outside of your home.

If there’s enough room, you can stuff the holes with some steel wool first, then use caulk or spray foam to keep it in place. Seal larger holes with hardware cloth, cement, metal sheeting, lath screen, or lath metal.

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