Mice have an uncanny way of finding where you’ve let your guard down and taking advantage of it. Once you’ve removed them all, or before they invade your home, it is important to take steps to keep them from coming in.
Keep Trash Contained
Outdoor garbage cans should be made of metal or thick plastic. Lids should be firm and snug, and any trash placed in the cans should be in garbage bags. If there’s a leak, take time to spray the inside and outside of the can to remove the food substances. Mice like to follow the trail, so if they are drawn to your garbage can it is only a matter of time before they start sniffing around looking for ways to get in the house.
Give your Kitchen a Once-Over
Are you keeping cereals, flours, or other dry goods in paper bags? If so, start looking for plastic containers with lids to store them in. You can purchase tupperware containers, or simply repurpose ice cream tubs and other plastic containers. Mice will eat through paper bags and happily pull flour, oats, sugar, cereals, even corn meal from the bottom of the bag back to their nest. No one wants to find mice droppings in the cupboards or think of mice sharing your food!
Even though it’s tempting to place dishes in the sink and deal with them later, it is important to wash all dishes as soon as you are done using them. That tiny bit of sauce left on a plate may seem like nothing to you, but to a mouse it is a meal fit for a king! The same goes for splatter on the counter or stove from cooking, clean it up as soon as possible.
Pet Food is Mouse Food
If you fill your cat or dogs dish with food and leave it sitting for the day, you are leaving out mouse food. Mice will happily munch away on your pets food. Try to give pets the amount they will eat in one sitting. Bags of pet food should be stored in plastic containers with snug lids, as mice will chew right into those bags if given the chance.
Shut The (Mouse) Doors!
When looking for areas that mice can use to get into your home, you have to get down to their level. Often, mice enter through a hole behind loose siding, under doors that have an old or torn door sweep, through the gap at the bottom corner of the garage door, or even through basement window wells that aren’t properly sealed. Check your home for areas near the ground that have any holes or gaps, and fill them in. Check these spots regularly, especially in the early fall when mice are starting to look for warmer spaces.