I'm hoping someone can tell me a way to find out where mice are
getting in our house. The house was built just over a year ago and
about 2 months ago we've discovered mice. We keep trapping them (about
3-4 a night) but until I find where they come in, I'll be doing this
forever. I've gone around and foamed and/or stuffed steel wool in any
openings I could find. Thanks in advance for any help
Gee Davy -
We have dealt with this very same problem in several houses.
Solutions we have found are:
1. Get an INDOOR cat. Outdoor cats lose their edge from the spoils of
war - birds, snakes, bugs, frogs, toads, voles, moles, & mice, whereas
indoor cats retain their blood thirst to kill anything that enters
their domain, especially Mickey and his friends.
2. Track the little buggers. If you live where it snows, it's easy.
Just go outside after a snowfall that has aged for a night, and look
for their tiny little feet prints. You may also have some success
with mud prints. This will provide at least a starting point of which
side of the house they are using as a door to your domicile.
3. Focus your attention near the sill-plate. Many times, they can
wedge themselves up under the cladding at this juncture.
4. Don't live like a human; clean up food scraps and keep mouse food
like birdseed out of your house. We had bird food in our basement one
winter, and soon had about 50 mice ... really, 50 mice!
4. Bless the weasel. Coax a weasel family to set up residence next to
yours. They love mice, in the carnivorous sense of the word, and can
fit through small openings to catch them. Fortunately, a weasel
showed up and occasionally made house calls to remove about 40 of
those 50 mice we had.
5. Invite Farley Mowat over for some boiled mice and beer.
Good luck, and good eatin'
- Bob Stanley, Handy Man
Years ago we had a inside cat. A mouse got in and I set some
plywood around it in the basement and dropped in the cat. The cat
got in one corner and the mouse in the farther corner, both scared
of the other. Not knowing of any other thing a cat is good for, I
decided cats are useless.
PS we haven't had a mouse for years, don't know why.
There are three ways to keep mice out:
1- Get a cat, Or
2- Remove Mice food, Or
3- Get a reppelent and spray it aound suspected enterances
MEEF - Middle East Economic Engineering
You may have trapped them in the house if you sealed all the openings.
Then again you may have overlooked some openings thinking they won't get in.
Keep in mind mice can get into a space the size of a dime. They can jump
and climb vertical surfaces very easily. I actually watched a mouse jump up
approx. 3' into the bottom of a siding corner trim piece and climb up into
the attack of a house.
Aside from sealing all the openings you need to make the house less
attractive to mice. Keep all leaves, mulch, small plants, etc. away from the
perimeter of the house. They tend to nest near the house waiting for an
opportunity to get in out of the cold.
Inside you need to keep the house clear of food that is left out. Even the
smallest crumb that has landed on the floor is an invitation to mice.
Traps are ok, but I've found that the poison works best. You can easily put
it out of reach of children and pets, since mice usually don't come out in
to the open areas. Behind or under appliances are good hiding places.
In the garage, workshop, basement, etc., we decided to go the old-fashioned
route... Good old (~$1.00) mousetraps.
My understanding of the poisons is that the mice eat them, then go on a search
for water... If a water source (i.e., moisture) happens to be *inside* your
house, well, you end up with dead mice, possibly in the walls.
On *rare* occasions, usually during the summer months, when door are frequently
open, we've trapped a few mice inside the house, using this type of trap:
In the winter it's from the garage. Keep the overhead closed, set traps
there and look for a small hole in the gypsum that separates the garage from
the house (they'll chew into the wall where there's hiding room, behind
furnature, workbench, etc.). They can also squeeze under the door between
the garage and house.
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