It's that time of year again here in South Portland, when the mercury dips down at night into the forties or fifties, and furry critters, like cute little mice, begin to feel the cold. Their fur coats may protect them from the nip in the air but, just like humans, they would rather be somewhere nice and cozy warm. And that cozy warm place might just be your home, if you aren't prepared.
If you would rather not have cute little furry mice moving into your home for the winter, there are a number of steps you can take to encourage them to find shelter elsewhere. With a little effort and knowhow, some diligence, and basic supplies, you can make your home unwelcoming to mice.
Check carefully all around your foundation for any loose mortar and fix any damaged areas you find.
Search the outside of your walls for gaps or cracks and use a caulking gun to fill in any holes you find. Be sure to look at areas where pipes, wires, or other items enter into the home. This will not only keep mice from squeezing through but help prevent other overwintering pests from getting in as well.
Install wire mesh inside downspouts to keep rodents from climbing up inside and gaining access to your roof areas.
Cover chimneys and vents with window-grade screening.
Make sure all of your screens are in place and free of holes, rips, or tears. Replace or repair any damaged screens you find.
Check or install door sweeps and weather stripping. A little mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, so check carefully that sweeps and stripping seal all the way across.
If you have woodpiles or construction materials, store them well away from your foundation walls. You don't want to give rodents a place to hide near your home.
Make sure your garbage is in containers with tightly fitting lids. The smell of garbage will lure mice and other pests near your home.
Keep your attic, basement, and crawl spaces clean, dry, and free of clutter.
Store all of your food inside tightly sealed containers, or the refrigerator. (Mice can easily chew through cardboard.) If a mouse is able to make its way inside, you don't want to provide it with any free meals that will make it want to stay.
Make sure you have no leaky pipes or fixtures. You don't want to give mice a source of water either.
Keep your home free of food crumbs or spills. It doesn't take much to feed a mouse. Consider doing a thorough cleaning, paying attention to areas such as between the stove and counter, and underneath the fridge.
If you are looking at this list and feeling a little overwhelmed, there is an easier solution. Let a professional pest controller take care of this for you. Here at Big Blue Bug Solutions, we know how to keep these pests out, since we've been doing it for close to 80 years. And if you are dealing with a current mouse infestation, we can take care of that for you as well. Don't deal with mice moving into your home for the winter, Big Blue is just a call or click away.