Mouse Traps and Getting Rid of Mice
I’ll Live Inside. You Live Outside, Thank You.
It’s quite unlikely you will ever keep mice from entering a building. There are steps you can take to stem the tide, however, most of which are common sense. Beyond this, how mice get into your house is anybody’s guess. Small animals that enter dwellings (that includes ants) are in search of food. If they find some, they’ll set up camp. If not, they will likely keep moving.
Here are some tips that will help to keep them outside where they belong.
- Clean up after yourself. It seems like a no-brainer. That means keeping your floor swept. Clean out your kitchen cupboards of crumbs, etc., and keep your countertops clean. A caveat in your defense -if the little buggers find your dry cereal and pasta, you can have the cleanest cupboards and it won’t matter. They like that stuff. If you keep it in sealed containers (like Tupperware of Rubbermaid -type stuff), it removes it from the equation.
- Don’t leave pet food around overnight. Keep supplies of it in sealed containers.
- Go clean your basement, closets and attic of all unnecessary stuff. A good rule of thumb is: if you haven’t touched it or needed it in the past five years, you likely can live without it. Reducing the clutter reduces potential nesting sites. Mice will nest in cardboard boxes or behind or within a pile of stuff. You’ll find their droppings inside cardboard boxes you have stored.
- Clean up around your gas or charcoal grill of all food scraps. Clean up spilled birdseed. Spilled grease and / or meat scraps will attract rats and raccoon. In some rural locales it’ll attract the bears, as will birdseed.
It is my observation about human nature that people tend to plant shrubs, bushes and trees too close to the house. Your house needs room to breathe. The cute little potted shrub seldom stays that way. In five years’ time it will be crowding your home.
Overgrown vegetation close to your house is not your friend. It prevents proper drying around the foundation, which contributes to rotted wood that attracts carpenter ants. Overgrown bushes, shrubs, and flowering plants make good nesting sites because they are concealed and safe.
If you clear away all the clutter and trim back the vegetation, your house will be better off and you’ll reduce potential nesting sites. While doing this, be on the lookout for cracks in the foundation or loose siding where rodents or insects might be entering and seal them up -either with caulking or (in the case of masonry, point it up with mortar, much as you would a chimney. You may need to put a screw in to hold loose siding.
If mice are properly controlled once they are inside and the proper steps are taken to prevent them from entering (to the extent possible), you can effectively prevent mice infestation.
In my experience, it seems like they will always find a way in. It’s not that big a deal, really. Getting rid of mice is not that difficult, but if you are not proactive, they will quickly multiply in number and it’ll take more time and effort, as well as a few mouse traps.
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