With the holidays around the corner and more snow on the horizon, the one thing we can be sure of this winter is that mice want to be inside celebrating with us. Mice are tricky little critters and are always looking for a warm place to nest, so it’s important to have some strategies in place to keep them outside of our homes! Here are 5 strategies you can use to make sure you have a mouse-free home this winter!
Clean it right up! Spills, crumbs and leftovers are fine dining for a little mouse. It might seem like it’s easiest to leave the cleanup for tomorrow, but if you put off cleaning too long, mice will smell the delicious smorgasbord you’re leaving out for them. Try to make a habit of cleaning spills, particularly sugary ones, as soon as they happen. Don’t leave dirty dishes with food scraps out overnight and wipe counters down to remove crumbs and bits of food. Change your garbage regularly and keep in mind that vacuuming often is a good idea!
Fill the holes! Mice are incredible at fitting into tight spaces. Any hole or crevice the size of a dime is large enough for a mouse because if their little head fits, the rest of them will. Take a walk around the outside of your house and pay attention to any crevices, cracks or holes in the foundation, near utility hookups, chimneys and along the roof. You’ll want to fill these nooks and crannies with steel or copper wool as mice will chew through pretty much everything else. When you’ve had a look at the outside of your home, do the same for the inside. Mice will stay close to the walls when traversing from one place to the next, so make sure you’re looking at corners of rooms, baseboards, underneath appliances and places like the bathroom, basement and attic.
Seal food items! Every dry food item in your pantry is fair game to a mouse if it’s left in the thin plastic bag or box it comes in. Seal all food items, including pet food, in airtight containers and keep all foods up off the floor. We’re talking about flour, baking powder, nuts, dried fruit, oats and more. If you spill some oats or raisins in the pantry, clean them up or a mouse will absolutely sniff out that delicious treat!
Repairs! Worn weather stripping and tattered window screens can be an entry point for a curious mouse. Check every door and window to make sure your screens and weather stripping aren’t damaged, worn away or simply not functioning and replace them where necessary. Changing out faulty weather stripping will also save you money on heating this winter too!
Deter those pesky mice! Using cleaning supplies and scents that will deter a mouse is another surefire way to keep them at bay. Vinegar is hated by most pests, but is a fantastic cleaning agent. Wiping down your counters and other kitchen surfaces with vinegar will cause mice to scurry the other way. Peppermint oil is also a very useful tool for deterring mice, as well as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, eucalyptus and pepper.
Mice love moving in with us because we’ve got lots of space for them to hide and the possibility of food. Try these strategies to keep them at bay, but if you’re already dealing with a mouse problem, these won’t be enough. Get in touch with professional pest control and they’ll be able to assist you before that problem becomes an infestation. Give us a call at 403.262.1666 and we’d be happy to help you!