Mice and men aren't all that different! Both prefer to seek warmth when the temperature starts dropping. If your home is not properly prepared and sealed off against them, mice will move into your space during the fall and winter months. So how do you go about preparing your space to keep mice away this winter? In addition to working with an exterminator, there are other steps you can take.
1. Seal up any cracks or holes.
You may have been told that small cracks in your foundation are not a big deal. That might be true in reference to the structural integrity of your foundation, but it's not true when it comes to rodent exclusion. Mice have narrow head and can squeeze through tiny spaces. So grab a tube of silicone caulk, head down to the basement, and start filling those cracks. It's best to do this on a dry day so that the caulk actually sticks to the sides of the concrete.
2. Replace your weatherstripping.
Weatherstripping is the fabric, felt, or rubber banding that runs along the outsides of your windows and doors. If the weatherstripping starts peeling away, there will be a gap between the window (or door) frame and the window (or door.) Mice can squeeze right through this crack! Look over all of your weatherstripping, and if any pieces look damaged, peel them away. Cut a new piece of weatherstripping to size, and adhere it to the door or window frame.
3. Trim brush and bushes.
Brush and bushes growing up around your foundation cause mice problems in two ways. First, they may give the mice a place to hide out. Once the mice are this close to your home, they could quickly sneak in if you leave the door open or crack a window. Second, the bushes and brush may hide a crack in the foundation, which could serve as a means of entry for the mice. Trim the brush back as much as you can, and then fill any cracks as instructed above.
4. Clean up cupboards and drawers.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you may miss a few cracks or crevices. If a mouse is able to come through, they're more likely to stay (and invite along some friends) if they find a good food source inside your home. So spend some time sweeping up and cleaning up the crumbs in your cupboards and drawers. Do this often throughout the winter, too. A vacuum makes it easy!
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