How to keep a mouse outta the house
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Here are three ways to defend your home, garage and shed from pesky mice who want to move in.
Mice named Mickey and Minnie are cute; those trying to establish residency in your home, garage or shed are quite the opposite. In addition to damaging property and belongings, mice can spread diseases that are harmful to humans. However, there are several things you can do proactively to keep mice out.
First, understand mice
Mice enter human spaces in search of food, warmth and shelter. Being tiny creatures, they can slip through tiny spaces; a quarter-inch gap (about the size of a pencil’s diameter) provides enough room for these pests to squeeze through. And, if a promising entry is too small, a determined mouse may chew at it until it’s big enough to pass through.
Defense #1: Close up gaps
Your first defense is to close up gaps and eliminate mouse access to food or nesting materials. If they can’t get in, they can’t create problems for you.
Fortunately, the supplies for closing up gaps are inexpensive: caulk, steel wool and weather stripping. You want to stick to these materials for fillers because mice don’t mind gnawing on plastic, rubber, wood and other substances.
Seal any gaps in your foundation and any place where pipes or vents extend outdoors. Also, check along the roof line, around windows and doors, and where utility lines enter your home. Push some steel wool into the holes and then caulk to keep it in place.
Check all weather stripping and repair any with gaps. Make sure there are no gaps in the door sweep at the bottom of exterior doors. If there are, replace the sweep.
Defense #2: Securely seal food sources
A mouse will eat anything you eat, as well as anything cats, dogs or backyard birds eat. Your second defense against mice is to keep all food sources (including pet food and bird seed) in sealed containers.
Keep trash cans covered to keep kitchen scraps from becoming a buffet for rodents.
Defense #3: Eliminate nesting materials
You can reduce the likelihood of the discovering a mouse nest in your garage or shed. How? By employing your third defense: eliminating or securing anything mice can shred and use to make a comfy, cozy home. This includes paper, cardboard, string, fabric, straw, rubber, plastic, plant material and even electrical wires. Yes, this is a pretty long list. Mice are nothing if not adaptable. If you must store any of these materials in your garage or shed, place them in a container with a tight seal.
If a mouse gets past your defenses, don’t despair! It can happen to anybody. Your next line of action is trapping the invaders. A tiny bit of peanut butter is all you need for bait in a trap. If the task of rodent elimination makes you queasy, you can call a pest control expert.
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