A mouse in the house… is much more likely to be ‘mice’ in the house, which can be a real problem to get rid of effectively. These little rodents can climb ladders, walls, cables and swim through pipes (yes, they can potentially come up through your toilet!). Mice can adapt very quickly to their environment and are unstoppable when it comes to finding food, warmth and shelter.
In fact your home is a big potential nest, when it comes to all their basic needs. Just like us, mice need warmth, shelter and food. With the cold and wet conditions of winter, these little rodents are all the more tenacious in finding a way into your home.
How do mice get in my house?
Opportunistic and determined, mice are inquisitive and will search for any gap or crack they can squeeze through in their quest for food. Which is why you need to develop a keen eye to identify any flaws (however small) in your property where mice could enter: look for small holes, fill the gaps, and repair any external damage that can make it easier for them to find their way inside.
Facts about mice in your home:
- House mice can climb rough vertical surfaces like walls and vegetation up to about 2 meters in height.
- Young mice can squeeze through a 5 mm gap, sneaking in to spaces as small as a pencil width.
- Mice are able to jump up to about 24 cm high, which is quite a feat, considering their average size is between 3 and 10 cm.
- Mice tend to see best in dim light. Their eyesight is weak, but their senses of smell, hearing and touch are very acute.
- Mouse whiskers are used to sense smooth and rough surfaces, temperature changes and breezes.
- Mice can make 20 to 30 visits every night to different locations in your home to forage for food, yet taking as little as 0.15 g at each site.
How to prevent mice from entering your home
Your home is your castle, and you definitely don’t want to be sharing it with a small family of rodents – who will very quickly multiply into a much larger family of rodents.
Also, mice are carriers of diseases, as pathogens in their urine and faeces can transmit diseases such as Hantavirus and Salmonellosis. None of which you would want to have in close proximity to your kitchen or bedrooms.
Mice are also known to be a potential fire hazard as they have a tendency to nibble through anything that gets in their way, such as electrical cords and wires. This could cause a fire but at the very least may cause damage to some of your expensive electrical equipment around the house – such as those nice 40” HD TV wires, PlayStation and Xbox 360.
‘Prevention is better than cure’ (or treatment in this case) so how can you stop mice from coming into your home?
Mouse Deterrent Top Tips
The best way to deter mice from entering your property is to block entry points and tidy up areas where they could potentially nest. As mice are very good at climbing you’ll need to check your home from the very top (rooftop and eaves) to the the bottom or below if you have a cellar. Don’t forget integral garages either as these can also be an easy route for rodents to enter a building.
How to Deter Mice Naturally
A mouse has a flexible skeleton which allows it to squeeze tiny gaps that can be easily missed. Here are some top tips to help deter mice from your home:
- External doors: fitting bristle strips to the bottom of doors, especially in older properties where the door fit isn’t so tight can help prevent mouse entry.
- Pipes: seal any holes around pipework with stainless steel wire wool and caulking.
- Exterior holes or gaps: often made for cables and pipework need to be sealed as mice can squeeze through gaps of about 5mm. Remember to check if old installations holes have been filled.
- Ventilation: air bricks and vents can be covered with galvanised wire mesh (especially if damaged) to allow air to continue to circulate but deny mice entry.
- Roof, Gutters & Eaves: repair any visible damage and use wire mesh to cover holes and gaps.
- Think about Food Storage: mice have a keen sense of smell, so keeping food in sturdy plastic, glass or metal containers that are ‘air tight’ will make it more difficult for them to source food. Regularly clean under fridges, freezer and cookers as crumbs and food debris are an incentive for mice.
If you are sharing your home with a mouse and his family and friends, professional pest control treatments will effectively eliminate the immediate mouse problem. This will then give you the time to prepare your home using preventative measures to mouse proof your property to stop them returning.