The population of the common house mouse is currently more than that of any other mammal in the entire United States. The sheer numbers of this animal and the fact that each female can produce up to 10 litters of offspring each year are just a few of the reasons that nearly every household will experience a problem with mice at one or more points in their lives.
Winter often brings more mouse activity
Like other mammals, mice actively seek out shelter from inclement weather, which is why they so often invade residential homes. In addition to shelter, mice who can find a way into an average home can usually find a plentiful supply of food and water, as well as some level of protection against other animals that might prey on them.
Preventing a mouse infestation begins with access control
The first tip for mouse-proofing your home is to find ways to prevent them from entering at all. Since the average house mouse is capable of successfully navigating an opening no larger than a dime, the average home can provide numerous opportunities for access, including the following:
- the openings under or around exterior doors or windows
- window screens that are missing or those that have holes or damaged areas
- openings around wiring, vents, and pipes that extend through the exterior wall of the home
- chimneys and flues
- exhaust stacks for toilets and plumbing fixtures
- openings and vents in attics and crawlspaces
Taking the time to locate and seal any openings in the envelope of the home that are large enough for a mouse to navigate will help to limit the possibility of a serious mouse infestation.
Access control is also important for garages, sheds, outbuildings
In addition to taking steps to control access into your home, it is also critically important to do the same in other areas of your property, including garages, storage sheds, and outbuildings. When easy access makes it possible for mice to enter and populate these areas, they will be emboldened and more persistent in their efforts to get into your home. This is especially true if these areas contain materials that mice like for building nests, such as fabric or paper, or if there are stores of grain or feed to attract them, such as birdseed or pet food stored in these areas.
Homeowners who want to learn more about preventing a mouse infestation in their homes and outbuildings should contact pest control companies that seal homes to prevent mice from entering.