A mouse can squeeze through spaces as narrow as 1/4 inch, and its teeth and claws allow it to climb and jump walls.
Mice get in through an open door or window and may come in on clothing, in boxes, or other objects moved from outdoors to indoors. They can chew through many materials such as insulation, wood, plastic, and drywall.
As soon as mice enter the house, they hide in the walls or other enclosed areas where they can be hard to spot.
Why Are There Mice in My House?
When mice invade your home, they are attracted to three things: food, water, and shelter. Food can be anything from crumbs on the countertop and floor to pet food left out in the open.
Mice need water to survive and seek out anything containing even small amounts of water. This means dripping taps or moist pet food are excellent sources.
They are attracted to warmth and might seek shelter in your home during cold weather but they will often come indoors at any time of the year if a food source is available.
Once they have these needs met, mice reproduce. The average mouse has five to ten litters per year. However, there are several factors that affect how many babies mice have. Thus, if you notice a few of them, there may be hundreds more you don’t see
How Do Mice Get Into the House?
Mice easily enter homes because many people believe their house is too clean and secure to attract pests. Most homes are warm, have food readily available, and provide adequate shelter for mice to thrive.
Mice can enter your home through open doors, vents (including AC), the inside of chimneys, and holes in exterior walls just to name a few places.Since mice are crafty creatures, they can be troublesome to get rid of once they’ve moved in and made their nests.
Common Mice Entry Points
Because mice are small and fast, they can get into your house in several ways. They get in through holes, up the siding or exterior of your home, under doors, or through the mail slot.
Other common entry points include:
- Holes in soffits or other close crevices
- Gaps around dryer vents, plumbing pipes, and electrical wires
- Crawlspaces and vents
- Exterior doors
If there is not an existing hole, mice can chew their way into your home through compromised areas such as the foundation, around electrical outlets, and pipes.
How Can Mice Live In My Home?
Mice find food and water inside homes by looking for crumbs on the floor or in cupboards, eating pet food that is left out, and drinking from pet water bowls or sinks.
Mice eat anything that people do but prefer grains like oatmeal, cornmeal, rice, or wheat. They also like sugar or sweet ingredients and are easily attracted to these supplies.
They seek spaces to nest in to protect them from the elements or predators and areas that provide enough room for storing food and raising their young. Pregnant mice are preoccupied with the survival of their young and may forage for food near the nest.
Mice will also find space in walls, under floors, between walls, and in cabinets to make nests and store food.
Keeping your home clean reduces the chances of attracting mice. Pest control services are the best option if you see mouse droppings, live mice, or chewed food packages.
What Damage Can Mice Cause When They Get Inside Homes?
Mice can cause a lot of damage when they get into a home. They chew on wires and furniture and leave droppings and urine everywhere.
Common damage that mice cause in homes include:
• Tearing up walls and carpets for nesting material
• Chewing through exposed wiring
• Leaving behind droppings, urine trails, and hair
• Scratching noises in walls and floors, especially at night
• Making holes in furniture and walls
• Carrying diseases that cause sickness in humans, such as the hantavirus
• Eating through cardboard boxes and food supplies
Besides their destructive nature, mice carry parasites such as ticks and mites, which feed on blood. They can cause serious diseases in humans, including Lyme disease, typhus fever, and leptospirosis.
How Can You Keep Mice Out of Your Home?
If you notice mice making their way into your home, there are several things you can try.
The first and most important thing is to clean up the outside of the house. Remove any boards, brush, or other debris they might use for cover. Don’t put any food outside of the house as food attracts mice and will encourage them to stick around.
If you have pets that go outside, keep their food in a place where mice cannot access it.
Block off all holes in any exterior walls with steel wool or small rocks, then spray foam insulation into them to prevent entry.
Other ways to keep mice out of your home include:
- Sealing up any entry points
- Repairing or caulking any cracks or holes
- Not leaving food unattended outside of the refrigerator, pantry, or cupboard
- Disposing of trash in sealed containers to avoid attracting pests
- Eliminating hiding spaces in storage, basements, and attics
- Keeping gardens free of dried leaves and other debris
If you see rodents around your property, a mice pest control professional can thoroughly inspect your home and provide a customized pest control plan to get rid of mice.
Mice are not only annoying, but they can also pose serious health risks. So it’s essential to take precautions before it becomes an issue in your home.
Keeping a clean house, sealing any holes in your home, and placing traps around the house can prevent mice from making your home their own.
Mice are only looking for food and shelter, so keeping those resources under control will help keep them out of your house.
If you have questions about how to keep mice out of your house or if you want help to get rid of them for good, contact our team of exterminator professionals for a consultation.