Mice are pesky rodents that cause havoc in households all over the world. Often, owners are surprised to hear mice’s unmistakable sounds crawling between the walls or chewing away at something. As mice are very tiny, even the most well-built houses are no match for their creativity. At least one (probably more) mouse has found a way to get into your house. Usually, the question is how it managed to do so. When this happens, it’s too late.
Bad news first, there are way too many possibilities, so you probably will only ever have a solid answer. But you can still do a lot to minimise the chances.
It's About Timing
While having mice in your house is generally a year-long issue, there are times when the risk is more significant. Naturally, it’s around autumn and early winter as the temperatures start to fall. During spring and summer, mice can easily find food in rubbish bins, fields, parks, etc. When it’s colder, these opportunities are much fewer, so mice tend to look for other options. Plus, the warmth of the houses is also something that attracts them.
So, it would be best if you made “house sealing” efforts before these times. Also, it’s ideal to do them before and after you’ve done an inspection for house mice in your house and have eliminated them. This way, you know you will have a “clean start” and will have a better idea of whether your efforts were practical or not. And yes, inspecting your house for possible entry points is something you have to do regularly. At the very least new damage can always occur, or maybe you’ve missed a weak spot during the previous inspection.
How To Do a Proper Entry Point Inspection
You will need three main things: a torch, a “poking” tool and… time. It would help if you also were methodical. Start from a particular area and only move on to the next one when you are sure everything has been checked. Mice can use holes as small as a fingernail to crawl. Often you may not even see these tiny gaps. And other times they might look small but be brittle enough for the mice to chew on and make suitable for entry.
That is why you should use a torch to have proper light on all surfaces. Focus on the door and window frames, pipes, vents, and all the covers where the house and soil meet. Also, check the roof and all of the floorboards and walls. Next, check if all the doors and windows close properly. If something is crooked and leases a gap, it might be a possible entry point for mice.
Also, check the fireplace and around it. Examine the chimney, too.
Despite your best efforts, assume that there’s always the possibility that a mouse will sneak in. At the very least it can happen as you have the window open to let in some fresh air. So, it’s time to focus on the more minor details after the house’s inspection and the main areas.
Check all of the cabinets, baseboards, pipes and vents. Also, look behind the appliances.
What to do after the inspections
You can opt for one of two approaches – immediately repair and seal any hole you find or create a list of them and repair them after you check everything.
Ideally, it would help if you opted for a mix of both. Keep a list of all the entry points you’ve located. It will come in handy for repairs and keeping track of what you’ve done and when.
You should also have some materials to fix the more accessible issues. These materials are elementary – steel wool, epoxy, metal sheets, steel grates, etc. Everything is usually readily available at hardware shops.
The exact fix type will depend on the hole’s location, size, and materials used. Most of it should be reasonably straightforward. Some trickier bits might be the draining pipes. Thin grates might not be strong enough to withstand the mice’s teeth while thicker grates might get clogged easier. You will have to opt for a mesh depending on the type of pipe and the amount of water flowing.
Finally, clean up the garden. Clutter is ideal for the mice to crawl through and hide. Piles of leaves or uncut grass are a natural place for mice to sneak. So, by keeping your garden tidy, you lower the possibility of mice entering it in the first place and thus – reaching your house.