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If You Give a Mouse a Cookie… Are You Encouraging a Mouse to Move In?

January 21, 2016

It might start with scratching noises behind the wall at night. You may find tiny footprints across your floor. Maybe you even find droppings in a pantry or a cabinet drawer. Add up all the evidence and the conclusion is obvious – you have a mouse in your home.

When the weather turns cold, mice scramble to find shelter and food. One of the best places for them to find both is inside homes. In fact, mice can live in your home for months without you noticing. And because of how quickly mice breed, a few months is plenty of time for a few random mice to grow into a large group.

Many people believe mice are just a nuisance. Unfortunately, they can be a very serious problem. There’s the obvious sanitation issues with having mice in your home. They leave droppings, grease, and urine everywhere, possibly even where you prepare food. They can also chew the electrical wires behind your drywall, creating a dangerous fire hazard.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent a mouse infestation. Below are things you may be inadvertently doing to attract mice into your home. If you can take a few simple preventative steps, you can go a long way towards keeping mice out.

Field mouse - are you encouraging a mouse to move in? Scherzinger Pest Control offers preventative steps

Holes and cracks in your foundation.

Mice can enter your home through even the smallest of spaces. They’re curious by nature, so if they spot an opening in the foundation of your home, they’re likely going to check it out. And once they’re in your foundation, it’s easy for them to make their way through the rest of your home.

One of the best preventative steps you can take is to seal any openings in your foundation. You can purchase sealant at any hardware store. Take a day to do a careful inspection of your home from the outside and seal any holes, cracks, or other openings.

Also, walk around your basement walls and look for cracks or gaps on the interior. Seal those up too. Sealing your foundation won’t just help you with mice. It will also prevent moisture from leaking into your basement.

Overgrown landscaping.

Mice can climb nearly anything, and they can jump almost a foot into the air. If you give them a platform, they’ll find a way to use it to enter your home. One of the most effective platforms for mice is landscaping that brushes right up against your home.

Mice can climb up shrubs or trees and then jump from the landscaping onto your siding or a window ledge. All it takes is one small gap in your siding or a tiny hole in a window screen for a mouse to enter your home.

Take some time to evaluate your landscaping. Are you providing an easy bridge for a mouse to enter your home through an open window? If so, trim back your shrubs. Consider replanting them a little further away from your house.

Also, look at other structures that may give mice an opportunity to enter your home. For example, do you have a log rack against the side of your house. A mouse can easily hide in between the logs on the rack and then enter your home when presented with an opportunity. Look for a new location that’s not so close to your home.

Easy access to food.

When a mouse does enter your home, they’re looking for one thing – food. If they find food, they’ll stick around. If they don’t find any food, they’ll likely continue their hunt elsewhere. One of the best things you can do to prevent a mouse infestation is make it difficult for them to find food.

An easy step is to eliminate crumbs and other particles of food that may be lying around your home. Sweep up the floors after every meal. Vacuum regularly, especially if you have kids who may leave a trail of crumbs across your carpet.

Also, wipe down your counters as often as you can. The scent of food on the counters may provide a mouse with incentive to keep looking for food in other parts of your home.

Mice aren’t just looking for crumbs on the floor. They’ll eat almost anything. They’ll chew through a bag to eat pet food. They’ll get into a cereal box. If you have any food that is accessible, they will try to reach it. Consider putting loose foods like cereals and dry pet food into plastic containers with closeable lids to keep mice from gaining access.

Crumbs

What to do if you find a mouse

If you realize that you have a mouse in your home, it’s important that you take action quickly. A female mouse can conceive and deliver a full litter in just over a month, so time is not on your side.

For fast and effective results, call in a professional. At Scherzinger, we help homeowners like you eliminate mouse infestations everyday. Contact us today to schedule an inspection so we can get started on your mouse problem.

Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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