Why Do I Have Mice in My Home?

Mice are scavengers—meaning they go where there is abundant food, shelter, and safety.

If you’ve got mice in your home, that should tell you that your house has laid out a proverbial “mouse welcome mat.”

To prevent mice from entering your home and resolve a current mouse problem, it’s important to learn what attracts mice and eliminate those attractants. Today, we’re going over a comprehensive list of why you have mice in your home—and what to do to get rid of them.

Be sure to stay on the lookout for mice this season. As fall begins and the temperatures drop, mice start infesting homes!

Your Home Provides Shelter

Ask yourself: if you were a tiny mouse, would you prefer to sleep outdoors on the cold, wet ground or inside a nice, cozy house? A curious mouse who ventures inside your home to find warm, dry shelter is obviously going to want to stay.

But how are mice getting inside your house in the first place?

Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime! They are made to squeeze into tight spaces: if their head can fit through, they can maneuver the rest of their body through the space.

If you’ve got a mouse in your house, it’s likely that there is at least one opening letting them in. Common mice entryways include:

  • Gaps at the bottom of doors that don’t close and seal properly
  • Gaps around windows
  • Sink or bathtub drains (if drainage pipes aren’t properly sealed)
  • Holes around plumbing and oven gas lines
  • Uncovered exterior vents
  • Gaps around cable and utility wiring
  • Holes in basements and garages
  • Holes in the foundation

To close the door on mice, you’ll need to do a thorough inspection of your home for mouse entryways. Find and fill the holes, cracks, and crevices they might be using to get inside. This includes installing weatherstripping on doors, filling cracks and crevices with sealant or caulk, and covering exterior vents with mesh screens.

Your Home Provides Food

Your home might be setting out a buffet for the mice that wander in. What might they be snacking on? Here’s a short list:

  • Crumbs and spills left on the floor and surfaces
  • Food left out on countertops
  • Unsecured pantry items (cereal boxes, bags of grains, etc.)
  • Pet food left uneaten in bowls on the floor
  • Bags of pet food unsecured in the pantry
  • Unsecured trash (inside or outside trash can)
  • Water from leaky pipes

To pack up the buffet, make sure to clean up spills immediately and sweep up crumbs daily. Don’t leave food on your countertops or pet food in bowls overnight. Secure pantry items in sealable glass or metal containers. (Mice can chew through paper and plastic.) Also, invest in a trash can with a sealable lid and take out the trash regularly. Finally, make sure to fix any leaky pipes.

Your Home Provides Safety

Mice love places that provide safety—from the elements and from predators. They look for places where they can nest and raise their babies. Once they find a place to nest, they don’t usually stray too far from it.

Your home might provide plenty of safe places for mice to hide and nest. Consider if your home has any of the following features:

  • Tall grass or overgrown landscaping
  • Landscape planters
  • Unused or rarely used sheds or barns
  • Unused or rarely used cabinets
  • False ceilings
  • Gaps under the floor
  • Sewers
  • Attics
  • Basements

Mice typically look for secluded, undisturbed places in the list above. However, if you own a vacation home or unoccupied investment property that sits vacant for long periods of time, you might find a mouse problem anywhere. (They can afford to be a bit more brazen when there’s no one around to catch them.)

You might also be inadvertently supplying mice with all they need to make their nest. If your home is cluttered, there are more places for mice to hide. Mice will also take advantage of any soft materials you have lying around to line their nests (think yarn, fabric, paper towels, leaves, insulation, etc.).

How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Home

Mice can wreak havoc on your home—chewing on wiring and walls, contaminating your food, spreading diseases, and damaging your possessions.

Because mice reproduce so quickly, it’s important to act fast. Getting rid of a mouse problem is a multi-step approach that includes finding and eliminating the nest currently in your home, plus taking measures to prevent future problems.

The best way to get rid of mice is to contact the pros to help you do it! We have the knowledge, experience, and tools at our disposal to get rid of mice quickly.

Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, 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 websiteFacebook, or Twitter.