With the colder weather setting in, rodents can become a big problem for many homeowners.
Rodent season begins from late August to October, with mice being the most common rodent to infest homes.
Knowing how to prevent mice from entering your home is key when it comes to protecting you and your loved ones from these unexpected pests this winter.
Here are some of the best mouse prevention tips and a few of the most frequently asked rodent questions.
When Are Mice Most Active?
Mice are nocturnal and typically only search for food or water after dusk to avoid detection. Because of this, a mouse infestation can go unnoticed for a long time, unless you know what signs to look out for.
Additionally, mice are most active during the fall and winter months when temperatures are cooler, and they take refuge in your home.
Signs of a Mouse Presence
Mice may be sneaky creatures, but they can also be loud and belligerent without even realizing it. Here are several telltale signs of a mouse infestation to be aware of:
- Noises coming from inside the walls and underneath the floorboards
- Rodent droppings
- Gnaw marks on food packaging
- Burrows or holes
- Rodent tracks
- Discarded nesting materials, such as paper or plant matter
- Live or dead rodent sightings
Types of Rodents and Their Impact
There are several different animals in the rodent family, including mice, rats, and squirrels. Mice and rats are known to carry a number of diseases that are dangerous to humans and can transmit them through either direct contact or from urine or feces droppings.
Mice are the most common rodent in New Jersey, typically entering homes through small cracks near your basement. Rats are known to infest houses, though they tend to come up through sewers and dirt floorboards.
Squirrels can also enter homes, though this is usually only possible if you have a huge hole in the exterior of your house.
Nevertheless, all three rodents can wreak havoc on your house, chewing through wiring and other materials behind your walls. For this reason, you should take the same precautions to prevent all rodents from entering your home.
7 Tips to Prevent Mice From Entering Your Home
1. Clean Up Trash and Clutter
Keeping a clean home is one of the most important ways to prevent pests of all kinds from invading your space, especially mice. Regularly taking out the trash and disposing of garbage bags in sealed containers away from the house is a big way to prevent mice from entering your home, as they are less likely to show up if you don’t have anything to offer them.
2. Clean Up Your Yard
Overgrown grass and weeds create the perfect hiding places for rodents, so maintaining your property is imperative to keeping mice at bay.
3. Seal Cracks and Entrances
Sealing cracks and crevices in your home is essential to keep rodents from invading your space. This can be done using an inexpensive store-bought caulk and applying it to any cracks and possible rodent entrances in your home.
4. Eliminate Food Sources
Eliminating food sources is an important way to prevent mice from entering your home, as they are typically searching for food and water. This means regularly sweeping your floors, cleaning up after every meal, and properly storing your food in airtight containers.
5. Adopt a Cat
Cats are natural rodent predators, so adopting a cat can work in your favor if you believe you may have a rodent infestation. People who live in urban areas or apartment buildings may also benefit from adopting a pet cat, as rodents are typically more prevalent in these areas.
6. Set Our Traps and Baits
If you believe you may be dealing with a mouse infestation, setting out baits and traps can be a good idea. There are several different types of traps available, from traditional snap traps to more humane traps. Bait stations can also effectively eliminate a rodent infestation, but be sure to carefully read the instructions to ensure they are set up properly and kept away from any pets or small children.
7. Call a Professional Exterminator
When in doubt, it is always best to seek the help of a pest control professional to handle any type of infestation. An experienced rodent control specialist will inspect your home to determine what kind of rodent you are dealing with and make targeted recommendations to take care of the problem quickly and effectively.
Can mice infestations cause health problems?
While mice are not typically aggressive toward humans, their danger lies in the multitude of diseases they carry. Some of the most commonly transmitted diseases from mice to humans include plague, salmonella, hantavirus, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.
What are the most common entry points for mice in a home?
Some of the most common entry points for mice include fireplaces, attics, dryer vents, and underneath doors. Once inside, mice will typically hide underneath kitchen cabinets, behind refrigerators, and behind stoves.
Do mice have a preference for certain types of food?
Mice are most attracted to sweet and fatty foods like fruits and berries, chocolate, bacon, butter, and lard. Because of this, it is imperative that you practice proper food storage and ensure that your food is properly sealed and put away to prevent rodents from sniffing it out.