Unwanted, Uninvited Guests
How to protect your home from mice
It is migration time for mice. They are looking to secure their home for the winter. Eating, chewing, building a home inside your home is the top priority for mice as the weather turns colder outside. After creating a secret nest they can multiply and establish a thriving, permanent colony inside your home. These unwanted, uninvited guests can wreak havoc on your property and your health. Here are a few ways to keep the invaders from infiltrating your home. If they have already taken up residence within your home we have a detailed eviction plan for you to implement.
A mouse can get in through a space as small as the diameter of a pencil. I know it’s gross to think about, however it is imperative you secure the border of your home in order to keep the free loaders out. You need to create a formidable foundation along the perimeter of your home. Look around your home for access points prior to the little critters finding their way in. You will need a flashlight and a bag of either steel or copper mesh to take care of holes or cracks you may find.
- Start in one corner of the garage; shine the flashlight along the concrete that divides the house from the garage. Look for cracks or holes to the house or basement. Be sure and look around concrete steps and doorways for access points into the house.
- Shove some of the copper or steel mesh in each hole or crack you find.
- Do the same thing along the exterior of your home.
- Once you have completed the outside, follow the same process inside.
- Look in kitchen cabinets that are close to the floor located on outside walls. Look for openings in the back corners. If you find holes, fill them with the steel or copper mesh.
- If your basement is unfinished be sure to pull the insulation out of the floor joist bay at the edge of the foundation, check for holes to the outside. If the hole is large install a board first and then fill in the final gaps with the steel or copper mesh.
The perimeter of your home must be sealed so mice cannot get in. You may have seen traces of a mouse or maybe you have seen one out of the corner of your eye. If you have seen signs of mice in your home it is time to do battle and get rid of the invaders. There are options available to rid your home of mice. You can hire a pest control company to spray the exterior of your home. Another option is to purchase poison, which the mice eat to drive them outside in search of water. Poison is effective, however, it exposes children and pets to potential danger. You can purchase spring loaded traps and set them yourself. No matter which option you choose it is important to remember mice can carry Hantavirus. Hantavirus is a life- threatening disease spread by rodents. Hiring a professional to eliminate the mice and clean the area is the safest way to reduce your possible exposure to Hantavirus.
- Spring loaded traps may seem “old-fashioned” however they are tried and true. Bait them with: peanut butter or meat snacks.
- Put out 15-20 traps.
- Either prior to setting traps or immediately afterwards, complete the steps 1-8 listed above so you only have to launch an eviction attack once.
If you must work in an area where contact with rodent urine or feces is possible, follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- When opening an unused cabin, shed, or other building, open all the doors and windows, leave the building, and allow the space to air out for 30 minutes.
- Return to the building and spray the surfaces, carpet, and other areas with a disinfectant. Leave the building for another 30 minutes.
- Spray mouse nests and droppings with a 10% solution of chlorine bleach or similar disinfectant. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Using rubber gloves, place the materials in plastic bags. Seal the bags and throw them in the trash or an incinerator. Dispose of gloves and cleaning materials in the same way.
- Wash all potentially contaminated hard surfaces with a bleach or disinfectant solution. Avoid vacuuming until the area has been thoroughly decontaminated. Then, vacuum the first few times with enough ventilation. Surgical masks may provide some protection.
Take time to walk around your home to inspect the perimeter of your home each fall. By doing this you will keep you, your family and your home safe from unwanted rodents.