3 Reasons Your House Is Infested With Mice
Mice are incredibly destructive pests. They eat your food, gnaw into your home, and spread diseases with their urine and feces. Every year, rodents such as mice cause about $900 million worth of damage in the United States, and Americans spend about $100 million every year controlling them. When mice move into your house, you may wonder why they chose to destroy your house, and not someone else's. Here are three possible reasons.
It was easy for them to get inside
Mice can squeeze through openings as small as 1/4 inch in diameter. Openings this small can easily be overlooked by homeowners, but unfortunately, not by mice. To a tiny mouse, these gaps that you don't even notice look large and welcoming.
Gaps can be found in many places on the exterior of your house. Utility entry points are a major source of gaps, so check around your wires, pipes, and vents. Cracks in your foundation, broken window screens, and worn shingles can also allow mice entry into your house. These openings need to be sealed with either caulk or steel mesh to keep mice out.
Even though mice are already inside your house, you still need to seal these openings to prevent more mice from moving in.
There are lots of places for them to hide
Gaps in the exterior of your house aren't enough to ensure a mouse infestation. The mice also need lots of safe places to hide and breed without you noticing their presence. Cluttered, undisturbed areas of your house, like your basement or attic, give the mice a perfect hiding place. Cardboard boxes, piles of paper, and other clutter make it hard for you to see the mice until it's too late.
Even if your house is clutter free, there may still be lots of places for the mice to hide. If you have any cracks in your walls, gaps between your floorboards, or loose baseboards, mice can access hidden areas of your home like the insides of your walls or the voids beneath your floors.
Now that the mice have moved in, you need to eliminate their hiding places. Get rid of the clutter in your home, and fix structural problems that allow mice access to hidden parts of your home.
There is lots of easily accessible food
Mice don't just need a way into your house and a place to hide once they're inside; like all living creatures, they also need food. They can find food easily if your kitchen isn't spotless. Tiny messes like crumbs on your kitchen floor or spills on your kitchen counter provide an easy meal for mice. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight is another way that you could have been inadvertently feeding the mice.
Even in spotless kitchens, food is easy for mice to find. It's hard for mice to get into your refrigerator, but they can easily get into your cupboards, and can gnaw through the packaging of many foods. They can chew through cardboard boxes to eat your cereal or pasta, and they can chew through paper bags to eat your sugar. Any food that isn't canned or jarred needs to be stored in glass or metal bins with tight fitting lids, not the original packaging.
If your house is infested with mice, it's because your house is easy to get into, has lots of hiding places, and has lots of food. Sealing your house, reducing hiding places, and hiding your food will go a long way towards getting rid of your mouse infestation, but since they reproduce very quickly, you'll also need to trap them. Hire a local mice extermination company to help you with this, since mice are very hard to get rid of by yourself.