Steel wool and caulk or foam to plug holes under sink?


I've recently been visited by several mice, and after taking all the supplies out from under my kitchen sink, I noticed that that some of the steel wool that had placed there 20 years ago has been eaten away, and some other holes have been created by missing (eaten through?) wood.
What's the best way to plug the holes? Should I use steel wool and then a spray can of foam to seal it completely, or steel wool and caulk? I don't have a caulking gun, but I've noticed that there are smaller tubes that can be used. The foam seems to be easier and may dry more quickly.
I've noticed several brands and types of foam and caulking supplies. What is the best for this typpe of job? I may also need to seal a hole by my bathroom heatpipe and the the walls near the radiators in other rooms.
I'm sorry I didn't place wheel casters under my oven and refrigerator for easy movement. I'd like to clean behind them and check for holes in the wall, but they're impossible to move. I was recently in someone's kitchen and they had the foresight to use wheel casters, and it was almost a pleasure to clean the floors underneath the oven and refrigerator.
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on 11/25/2009 12:04 AM (ET) needquickkitchenepair wrote the following:

Are you a renter, or the owner of the house? If the latter, find out where they are getting into the house and seal that entrance. If a renter, have the landlord seal the house.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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years ago I re did the kitchen, and cemented around all the floor penetrations. mice used plumbing as highway.
kitchen directly over garage which has to open for my business........
dont store anything edible in basement!
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Renter. Your advice is easier said than done. In the old days, supers would do anything you needed in apartment buildings. In this age of co-ops, where you have numerous speculators owning apartments, you first have to get the owner of your apartment to approve improvements before a building super will do it. By the time that's done, and with the resulting tip for the super, it may cost the same to do it oneself or at the very least save much time.
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needquickkitchenepair wrote:

Much simpler just to put old-fashioned traps with peanut butter in the path they take to get to food. Mice like to move indoors when weather gets cold...I've never had them persist after I trapped the first ones. If they do persist, or you have rats, call the city and forget about landlords.
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needquickkitchenepair wrote:

As others mention, you have to seal outside entrances. Trap those already in house.
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needquickkitchenepair wrote:

I've never seen wood damaged by mice, although in one house we got seasonal (November) guests every year...can you describe wood damage?

Seems like overkill for mice...got any rats? I used stainless steel wool and Bondo to repair rust holes on my car...regular steel wool would rust too easily and caulking should be sufficient to keep mice out of most entries. Mice need very little space to squeeze in, so sealing all possible entries is probably impossible....take care of plumbing and wiring entries, gaps in siding, etc.

Stove and fridge are nice, warm, comfy meese homes. Need to put cereal foods in hard containers (rice, bread, corn meal, flour, etc.). Clean up after pets if you have them...dog chows are a fave for meese I have known. When I moved cereal foods into hard containers and out of base cabinets, the meese pretty much quit coming around. I did find signs of their habitation in boxes of stored paper and clothing in cardboard cartons in our garage.
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I heard one in the stove but couldn't find it. Every so often I hear a knock coming from the fridge but thought that came from age (it's over 20 years old). Where would they hid by the fridge? Under it or in the gratings at the back?
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needquickkitchenepair wrote:

Yes...motor makes it warm and it is hidden from view. I always put traps behind fridge and range, with good results. Once had a mouse take dog chows and stash them around the burner of the clothes dryer....had the fire department out for that one, late one night, when the kitchen filled with black smoke :o) I tried DCon once, and had a dead mouse underneath the sink cabinet...got him out by taking out the drawers next to it and fishing the vacuum nozzle around in the space.
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On Tue, 24 Nov 2009 23:04:43 -0600, needquickkitchenepair wrote:

Personally I'd cut out the bad wood and replace it, introducing gaps around the pipes that could be caulked (and even if they weren't would still be mouse-proof). Careful if you do go that route not to make them too tight such that the pipes might rub.

The caulking guns to take smaller cartridges are insanely cheap - something like $1 at the big stores (at that price I keep wondering what I could do with them if I bought a truck-load ;)
I don't like spray-foam, too messy. I particularly don't like the canned stuff - it seems like a bit of a "use once" solution as the foam jams the nozzle after the first use. I think you can get stuff where you can mix the quantity that you need and then brush/paste it on, and that might be more economical (although still messy)

May as well just get some "bathroom" stuff I think - I believe it withstands high moisture environments for longer than the other stuff (costs a little bit more, but you'd need some for your bathroom anyway)
If I don't use a whole cartridge in one go I usually stick a nail or whatever into the hole then tape the end tightly; it seems to keep for several months that way.

Hmm, didn't know they made ones without - although the wheels they have are normally crappy. If you can tilt the thing backward at all you can probably get some wood under the front and slide the thing out (not quite a regular solution, but better than just dragging the thing as-is)
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wrote:

mice will chew tom and jerry type openings in wood etc to reach food and nice cozy lodging. the upside down U shape opening.......
mice tunneled in underground to reach food area for my rabbit who lived in the basement
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