You’re not the only one who prefers your cozy home to Mother Nature. Skittering mice find human homes a convenient place to withstand the winter cold or hot summer sun when trying to escape the elements. And a favorite indoor hiding place of mice is the inside of your walls.
While there are many reasons that homeowners will want to keep mice out of their homes, their ability to wreak havoc on your home is one of the most important reasons. Mice and other small pests can cause structural damage, chew electrical wires and spread disease to humans. How do mice sneak in? And how can you help get rid of mice in your walls? Here’s what you need to know.
How Do Mice Get In Walls
Because of their size, mice can squeeze their way through openings the size of a dime. And because of their ability to climb, they can typically access holes well above ground level. Once they're inside a building or your home, they use similar techniques to get in the walls.
Common entry points for mice include:
- Utility pipe and wire entries
- Deteriorating siding
- Cracks in home foundations
- Weep vents (structural holes in brick walls designed to allow built-up water to escape)
- Gaps in building materials
- Poorly sealed door and window frames
- Roof vents and chimney pipes
Signs Of Mice Infestation
Besides catching a mouse red-handed, there are many signs of infestation. Be on the lookout for any of the following, and you can keep a small infestation from becoming a raging mouse party.
In the case of mice behind your walls, the clearest sign of infestation is the sounds the mice make. These include gnawing or squeaking at night. More generally, you might hear scampering or scurrying noises.
Other common signs include:
- Droppings or urine
- Nests made of paper, leaves and twigs (these can also be a sign of bird infestation)
- Disturbed insulation (If pests have nested in or destroyed your insulation, you may need to replace it)
- Chewed or gnawed ducts
How To Help Get Rid Of Mice in the Wall
While there are DIY removal options, the safest and most thorough removal option is to contact a rodent control professional like Terminix.
- Inspect all accessible areas of your home, from roof to crawl space, to determine how mice gain entry
- Develop a customized game plan for your property to help get the intruders out
- Then seal and secure vulnerable entry points to help keep the intruders out for good
How to Help Keep Mice Away From Your Home
Once you are sure your house is free of mice, the next step is to take preventive measures to help ensure mice don’t re-enter your home. Go on the offense, so you don’t have to play defense later. Here are some tips to help keep mice away from your home, as well as other mice.
As mentioned above, mice typically enter your attic through holes or structural openings in the exterior of your home. A preventive measure you can take to bar animals from entering your attic is to find any openings or weak areas and fix them.
While walking the perimeter of your house, inspect the roof and the seams between the roofing and siding/brick for holes. Even small holes can be exploited by persistent mice.
A professional will be able to inspect the parts of your house that you can't see from the ground.
Rubber and plastic fillers (like caulk) are not effective, as mice can easily chew through them. In the long-term, the best way to exclude mice is to plug cracks and holes with wire mesh or quick-drying cement.
Also, keep flowers, shrubs and hedges trimmed at least 18 inches out from the foundation of your house. This can deter mice from sneaking their way in, and it will help you locate points of entry.
Finally, remove attractions that act like a magnet for mice. Clean up food scraps from outside your home and keep your trash bins firmly closed.
Mice can be cute but not when they trespass into your home. Contact Terminix to help keep your home free of mice.