Showing posts with label mice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mice. Show all posts

Thursday, December 3, 2020

How To Mouse Proof Your Home Reviewed

Mouse by Raintree Annie
I am undoubtedly a nature lover. I admire wildlife and all creatures with whom we share this world. So it may seem strange and counter-intuitive to those people who know me that I am actively doing a program of mouse prevention.

However, I do feel that preventing mice from entering our homes in the first place is so much better than dealing with the consequences for humans and mice. 
 
My aim is to mouse proof our home without causing harm to any mice.  


Mice!

We are fairly relaxed about the wildlife in our patch to the point we actively encourage them. We have birds nesting in the eaves, grow flowers to attract pollinators, we carefully carry out various bees and spiders, enjoyed tree bees nesting in our extension and even shared the loft in our home with a wasps nest twice which was no problem.

Mice are also in my eyes adorable creatures, inquisitive and social. We know they live in our garden and our neighbours' gardens and most of the time outside we happily coexist.  However, due to my husband's health concerns there is the problem with wild mice potentially carrying diseases that are dangerous to him. I am also not willing to share our food with mice, so I am not wanting to share our indoor home with them. I do not like to kill any living creature so I would much rather prevent them from coming in and setting up home in the first place than having to resort to the less palatable options. 

I will only be covering mouse prevention here, not the merits or otherwise of the various methods to eradicate them.


What Do Mice Want? 

So how to mouse proof a home? The first thing is to understand what mice want from a home. They need food, warmth, water, safety and shelter, just like us. They also would like to be undisturbed and ideally not have anything to do with us. 

They are however superbly adapted to living alongside humans and many people will already have a small family of mice in their homes and be totally unaware of them. 

Mice are opportunistic and curious and where there is one mouse there is invariably two and then given the right conditions quickly a large family! They are very social creatures and breed rapidly under the right circumstances.

 Autumn/Fall is often a key time for mice to seek warmth and shelter in our homes. They mean no harm, but our nice warm, safe homes are a great opportunity for them.

 So if we do not wish to share our homes with mice, we must prevent them from entering our homes and make it inhospitable to them.


Identify Opportunities For Mice

First, walk around the outside of your property and see if you can spot any broken bricks or grates that could be entry points. Are there any holes in the fabric of your building? If so, block them up with a mouse-proof material such as a proprietary Mouse sealant, or a fine mesh. 

 We found mesh ideal for covering air bricks while still allowing for essential airflow and also in other gaps. Sometimes we used mesh together with sealant on larger gaps.

 If you look for a mesh that is designed for mouse proofing and that can be cut with scissors/clippers for domestic use that is usually best.

 Do be careful when handling as in my experience the cut mesh can be sharp. It goes without saying to keep it well away from children.

 


We just cut the mesh to size wearing thick protective gloves and used it over our airbricks with an all-weather sealant. It was a bit fiddly but now looks fine and has done the job.

Next, do the same indoors. Pay close attention to obvious holes or gaps in floorboards, around plumbing pipes and in cupboards and again block these holes.

We found sealant to be easier to use on small gaps over larger areas. Do keep sealant away from children.

As a general rule if you can fit a pencil through a hole, then an average mouse can enter through the gap and it requires sealing. 

 


I Saw A Mouse!

If you see a mouse then you have a clear sign that they can enter your property. It may just be one mouse, but if you do not take action and your home is a good, safe place for them, there may soon be more.

Even if you do not see a mouse it is wise to regularly check for mouse droppings.

 If you have any suspicion that you are sharing your home with mice, doors should be shut at night to prevent mice from roaming around your home in all rooms. That way if you do see any signs of mice it is easier to target.

If you suspect a mouse put down some baby powder to track it. It won't hurt the mouse, but if it walks through the baby powder it will leave tracks, then you can see what is attracting it and where the entry and exit points are and can block them.

If you store excess treasures in the loft, garage or basement then make sure that is kept in strong sturdy containers that are mice resistant.

Ideally, eat at the table or if watching TV or a game use bowls to catch all the crumbs.  Hoover up regularly and thoroughly. Move large furniture now and again just to check there is no unseen activity there!


Mouse Resistant Food Storage

Food storage is key. All food apart from tins should be stored in closed cupboards preferably inside sturdy containers. There is a huge variety that can be bought made from strong thick plastic, pottery with lids and steel.

Here is an example of good food storage for flour, cereals, pasta and rice. These containers look good in a kitchen pantry or on shelves and hold quite a lot of food. It keeps food fresher and is a much better deterrent for mice than keeping the food in its original cardboard or paper containers. 

 


Pet food in particular needs to be stored in good strong mouse-proof containers. Often dog and cat food have a strong scent that is attractive to mice and they love to eat it. We avoid free-feeding pets and only keep pet food out for the time it takes pets to eat it or up to about half an hour. Then it is taken up and all food stored securely.

We also keep birdseed and fat balls in a very secure box to do our best to keep out pests and keep it dry. We do not store these types of boxes outside though but keep in a large cupboard inside. 

This type of food storage box is very useful for pet food and birdseed and also for storing seeds for the garden. 


In terms of everyday habits, it is not advisable to leave any human or pet food out especially at night. Keep all food in the fridge or freezer, or in mouse-proof strong containers. Tins are Ok in a normal cupboard but anything like rice, cereals and especially dog and cat food must be in enclosed containers.


Mouse Repelling Scents 

Some people say mice do not like strong smells though I cannot verify that. So if you would like to do that by all means put some peppermint or other strong fragrance into your cleaning fluids when you mop the floors. At worst it will make your house smell nice and at best it may help to deter some mice. Always check for any interactions with the cleaning fluid first though and obviously keep away from children.


Mouse Prevention Is Always The Best Course Of Action

One takeaway I will say is that preventing mice from entering your property is always preferable to dealing with an issue both for you and the mice. Mice do not have a vendetta against us, they are just trying to survive and prevention is far better than the cure.


Mice have just as much right to life as we do and form an important and integral part of the ecosystem. However, if we do not wish to share our homes and food with them, a few preventative measures can go a long way to protect humans and mice. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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