Mice are persistent pests. Once they have found a place they want to nest, or a source of food, they rarely give up on getting to these places. But how do mice get in your home? Any crack or crevice will work. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and hey can chew many different materials to open entries wider. Lets look more into these amazing little pests…
THEY HAVE SUPER HUMAN ABILITIES
Mice are extraordinary creatures. The average mouse can jump a foot into the air. This makes getting on to counter tops and other high areas fairly easy. These rodents also are good climbers and swimmers. Again, drain pipes are no issue for this little guy. They get hungry quickly, eating up to twenty times a day. If you see one mouse in your home, rest assured that he is not alone. Mice reproduce very rapidly, and can have litters of up to 14 baby mice. They can have up to ten litters a year!
Mice can live up to two years, but in the wild, rarely do. They often find their demise as prey for larger animals such as cats, owls, hawks, snakes and foxes. They see poorly, but their sense of hearing, smell and feeling more than make up for it. This is why most people see a mouse running against a wall. They can’t see very well, so they use their whiskers to feel the wall as they travel.
SO HOW DO MICE GET IN?
Mice find many common ways to enter into homes. Remember, they only need a space the size of a dime to squeeze through to get into your home. Most homes, especially in Oklahoma where the ground moves causing gaps and cracks, have plenty of openings to enter. Here are a few examples.
The siding on your house, especially vinyl siding, has plenty of gaps to use as entry. Corner posts are used to finish off the ends of siding at the corners of your house, and j-channels are used like trim around windows and doors to hide the ends of vinyl siding. Both of these are hallow and leave gaps large enough for rodents to enter. Once in, they can climb as high as needed. Then they can enter any level that they choose.
Foundations often have large cracks that mice can enter through. Oklahoma ground rarely sits still, and this causes foundation cracks and gaps. Mice can use these gaps to enter your home fairly easily. Attached garages have the same issues. Gaps in the overhead door, and foundation cracks offer easy entry points. Garage clutter can also provide cover and nesting places for mice.
WHERE ELSE CAN MICE ENTER?
Doors and entry ways, especially basement doors, can be particularly problematic. Gaps between the door and the door frame, or the door frame and the house can be open invitations to these little pests. Windows can also be problematic. If you have a window unit air conditioner, the gaps on the sides must be sealed properly to keep rodents out. When leaving windows open in the summertime, be mindful of gaps in the screens on your windows.
Since mice are such good climbers, pipes can be a major entry point for them. Gutters and downspouts around your house have to be carefully monitored, since these can be climbed. This is a common way for mice to enter attics and crawlspaces. These places are warm, provide shelter, and have plenty of clutter to hide a nesting spot. Unused sewer and water piping can also provide entry.
SO WHAT DO I DO TO KEEP THEM OUT?
Completely removing all entry points is virtually impossible. But limiting these entry points is a great way to keep mice out of your home. Small gaps found around your home can be filled with a good exterior caulk. Gaps around doors and windows can usually be fixed with caulking. Cracks and gaps in masonry can be filled with steel wool or covered with wire mesh from a hardware store. Metal is one of the few things that are difficult for rodents to chew. Flat surfaces are also difficult because of their teeth. Mouse teeth angle inward, making it hard to get a hold of flat surfaces.
The best solution for a mouse infestation is to call your local exterminator. They have methods beyond the scope of this article to find and remove rodent nests. If you are in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, feel free to Contact Us here at TermMax Pest Control for a free estimate!