We’ve all seen the pictures online of adorable little mice sitting in coffee cups, running on wheels, and napping inside flowers. While they might be cute little animals that make you say “Aaaaaaaaawe…”, having mice in your house that aren’t pets can very quickly become a problem. Your situation can go from a single mouse scurrying across the floor, to a full-blown infestation in a matter of days.
Mice are an extremely common problem in the U.S. and almost everyone has dealt with a rodent infestation in one form or another. Whether you live in a mansion or a mobile home, if you are dealing with a rodent infestation, the most important thing to educate yourself on is mouse proofing your home.
- 1 Is it Possible to Mouse Proof a House?
- 2 What Are the Best Ways to Keep Mice Out of Your House?
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Possible to Mouse Proof a House?
The simple answer is yes, it is possible to mouse proof a house. The not so simple part is how to go about it. In this article, we will discuss five of the best ways to mouse proof your house. We will also discuss how to protect your home from rats, as well as some of the costs you might incur while doing so.
Read on to discover the five best and most effective ways to get rid of mice and rats in your home, as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions about rodent infestation and how to prevent it.
What Are the Best Ways to Keep Mice Out of Your House?
There are quite a few simple, yet effective methods that pest control professionals sometimes use to keep rodents out of your house. Five of the most effective methods for mouse proofing your house are:
Filling All Mouse Holes
Mice are capable of flattening themselves out to fit through the tiniest of openings. Check your home thoroughly for mouse holes and fill any openings. A few common places to check for mouse holes in your home are:
- Around the pipes under sinks, washing machines, water heaters, and furnaces.
- Around windows, fireplaces, and doors
- Floor and dryer vents
- Inside kitchen cabinets
- Behind refrigerators and stoves
There are a few different ways to fill mouse holes, one of the most effective, however, is steel wool. Mice will chew through just about anything, but steel wool is one material that presents a challenge for them. If you do choose to fill holes with steel wool you should use caulk to hold the material in place so mice cannot simply pull it out. Also, keep an eye out for any dead mice. While mice cannot chew through steel wool, it’s a pretty safe bet that they will try, and once it’s been consumed the metal in their stomachs will kill mice.
If you find any holes too large to fill with steel wool, cement and hardware cloth are some other options. Both cement and hardware cloth are hard enough that mice will not be able to chew through them so using these materials to cover mouse holes will work as well.
Sealing All Entry Points
Mice can get into your house through the tiniest cracks and crevices so when mouse proofing your home be vigilant about sealing all possible entry points from the outside. This means making sure that your foundation is well cared for and doesn’t have cracks big enough to be entry points for rodents.
Other common areas to check for an entry point outside can include:
- Around windows and doors
- In the roof along rafters
- Crawl spaces, attics, and basements
- Around holes for electrical and cable wiring or gas lines
Investing in weather stripping along the bottoms of doors is also a good idea. This will keep mice from crawling under them to gain access to your home. You should also caulk any cracks or openings around windows. If you have a crack large enough for a draft to get through, it could be an entry point for a mouse. Covering any vents that are accessible from the outside is essential. Hardware cloth or sheet metal is the best way to do this.
Keeping a Clean House
Rodents will actively seek out any food or water they can get to, even if it’s just a leaky faucet. Keep sinks and bathtubs dry and always clean up crumbs or spills immediately. Mice can easily chew through any paper or plastic packaging so keeping foods like cereals or crackers in sealed containers can make a huge difference.
Also, avoid using outdoor spaces like your garage to store food. Pet food also attracts rodents, so keep your pet food sealed in plastic containers as well. Keep both indoor and outdoor garbage cans sealed and empty them as often as possible. If you have any bird or squirrel feeders in your yard you will want to empty them also.
Clutter will attract rodents just as much as food. Mice like to burrow in materials like paper, cardboard, and insulation. If you have a cluttered attic, basement, or office area, it is likely to attract rodents. Keep clutter to a minimum and avoid stacking things like boxes or firewood directly against walls, as this creates a perfect hiding spot for mice.
Keeping Your Landscaping Sparse
If you have long grass, or plants bunched together, chances are you have a few rodents living in your yard, Mice love to cozy up in between plants where they are hidden by branches and leaves. They will even set up shop in your grass if it is long enough. Keep rodents from making themselves at home in your lawn or garden by keeping plants to a minimum.
Cut your grass regularly to prevent it from getting too long, and never place numerous plants close together. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have a full 360-degree view of the ground around each of your plants. Mice do not usually nest or burrow where they can be easily seen, so keeping open sightlines is recommended.
Setting Live Traps
Many people prefer the humane approach to dealing with rodent infestation which is completely understandable. If you have children or small pets, having poison or mouse traps lying around the house can be a serious safety issue. If you don’t want to kill rodents but want them out of your house, live traps are a viable option.
Live traps are steel boxes that allow mice to get inside but not back out. You can place bait like peanut butter or cheese inside the trap to attract rodents, the set them free away from your house. If you choose to use live traps to catch and release mice, experts recommend releasing the rodents at least a mile from your home, and preferably in a wooded area.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Seal My House From Rats?
Keeping your home sealed from rats is done in much the same way as keeping it sealed from mice, however, there is one notable exception. Rats have much stronger teeth than mice and have been known to chew through even the hardest of materials.
Rats can generally be kept out by the same means as mice, however, it’s worth noting that if you fill holes and rats continue to get in you should check to see if they have managed to chew through your filling material.
How Much Does it Cost to Rodent Proof a House?
The cost of rodent proofing a house can vary wildly depending on whether you choose to handle it yourself or hire a professional. Hiring an exterminator or pest control professional to rodent proof your home could cost you anywhere from 200 to 600 dollars or even more depending on your location and the severity of the problem.
Rodent proofing your home yourself could cost you as little as 100 to 200 dollars. You’re thinking if it costs so much less to do it yourself then why wouldn’t you, but here’s where it gets tricky. Rodent proofing a house takes knowledge and experience that you probably don’t have.
While reading up on Google is all well and good, attempting to rodent proof your home without the proper training is likely to be far less effective and could even be dangerous. The safer option would be to pay a professional to handle your rodent problem for you and minimize the risk to yourself and your family. A professional will usually handle the problem entirely on their first attempt, while you may end up spending more money than necessary having to repeat your process more than once.
Is Flex Seal Mouse Proof?
Whether Flex-Seal is mouse proof is a common question for people attempting to get rid of rats and mice. The Flex-Seal website claims that the product can be used to seal your home from rodents, however, many pest control professionals claim otherwise. Mice and rats are known to chew through many different materials, but whether or not Flex-Seal is one of them seems to be up for debate.