Overview of How Mice Enter Homes

Every year, over 20 million professional calls are made to residential property to eradicate mice and rats from the premises. The stark reality is the rodents continue to be a major problem for homeowners in Southern California and across the United States. Prevention of mice infestation is a major objective of homeowners of all types. A key to the effective prevention of mice infestation is coming to an understanding of the basic behavioral patterns of these rodents. This includes understanding how mice ago about entering into residences.

What Motivates Mice to Attempt Entry into a Residence?

There is a trio of primary factors that motivate mice to attempt to enter into a home. These are:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Water

The drive for food and water is consistent the year around. The need for shelter tends to intensify as seasons change. For example, in a geographic location that features colder winter months, mice are more apt to attempt to enter a humanmade structure as cooler months approach. Conversely, if a particular location features especially hot months during the year, some mice may be more inclined to seek shelter in a residence or other structure as a means of escaping seasonal heat.

Common, Specific Entry Points for Mice

At the outset, you need to understand that mice are capable of entering into a residence through a very small space. A mouse is capable of getting through a hole or crack in the exterior of a residence that is as small as a U.S. dime. Thus, even a person who undertakes fairly consistent inspections of his or her home can easily overlook a small opening that is accessible to a mouse. With this reality in mind, mice to gain entry into a residence through small openings in the exterior of the structure itself.

A residence very well may have gaps in windows, ceilings, and in similar locations. These gaps may be small, as was just noted. These gaps provide fairly easy entry into a residence for a mouse.

Pipe, wire, and utility entry points into a residence can also provide access for a mouse into a residence. For example, mice may enter a home via the juncture at which electrical service is connected to a residence.

As rodents, mice have incisors that never stop growing. As a consequence, they gnaw to keep this pair of teeth in check. In addition, mice will gnaw as a means of garnering entrance into a residence or other structure. In other words, mice will find a potential entry point at a residence and they will expand it and make it usable by gnawing at it. Mice are quite capable of chewing through an array of different materials associated with the structure of a residence. These can include:

  • Wood
  • Sheetrock
  • Brick
  • Some siding materials
  • Plastic

Making sure all holes are and remain properly plugged is key to protecting against a mouse infestation.

Importance of Regular Residential Inspections

Mention was made of inspecting the premises of a home (or other structure). Indeed, a homeowner (or renter, for that matter) should conduct a regular inspection of the premises to ensure that the physical elements of the property are in good condition. In addition, a person needs to focus on such a regular inspection on signs that mice or rats may be present at the premises. When conducting such an inspection, a person needs to be aware of the signs of a mouse infestation that include:

  • Gnaw marks
  • Mouse Droppings
  • Scratch marks
  • Greasy looking trails (on walls and ground)
  • Smell of urine

In addition to these signs of the presence of mice, other signs of infestation include scurrying sounds, scratching sounds, and squeals; and because mice are primarily nocturnal animals, you’re not likely going to hear these sounds during the day. Rather, mice tend to be most effective from early evening until dawn.

Eliminating Mouse Attractions at a Residence

Mice can be dangerous. You’re best served to keep them at bay in the first instance.

At the heart of preventing a mouse infestation in the first instance is to eliminate items at a residence that prove attractive to rodents. This includes keeping food properly stored when not in use. Food containers need to be made of substances that are less vulnerable to a mouse attack.

Garbage cans need to be tightly sealed, both inside and outside a home. Firewood shouldn’t be kept near the exterior walls of a home or business. Rather, it should be stowed at least 12 inches off the ground at a location that is at least 20 feet away from the residence itself.

Vegetation should be kept at a distance from the exterior walls of a residence. In other words, avoid planting bushes, shrubs, and other greenery directly against the exterior walls of a home.

Keep the home clutter-free as possible. This includes not only the interior of the home but the garage and the grounds surrounding the residence itself.