Cute, fuzzy, three to four inches in length and weighing roughly an ounce, mice don’t necessarily look threatening. Nevertheless, don’t underestimate the negative impact these unwanted critters can have on you and your family.
California’s dry, warm conditions are forcing pests, including rodents, to do more “window shopping” as we approach the fall season, seeking alternate water and food sources inside structures. While mice do not require as much water as their rat cousins, they still have the need to feed, and your home is a prime target.
Mice that seek food aggressively not only can spoil it with their droppings and urine, but can transmit dangerous bacteria, including salmonella, by crawling on countertops and food preparation areas, and can contaminate food by chewing through packaging.
In addition to spoiling food, mice also pose a significant threat to the structural integrity of your home. They can destroy insulation in attics and can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood, and electrical or computer wiring. In fact, rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S. every year.
Good sanitation practices are one key to keeping mice out of your home successfully. Keep counters clean, eliminate clutter, and make sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently. Also, be sure that all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers – indoors and out.
But the first and most important step to make sure your home remains rodent-free is by preventing them from gaining access in the first place. Mice (and most pests for that matter) are opportunists that spend most of their life looking for a way inside a structure in search of food, water, and shelter.
The Clark Man bases his rodent management programs on excluding mice (and rats) from homes and other structures. Here are theClark Man’s Six Mice Prevention Tips for homeowners:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, even those up high. Mice are willing climbers, and can jump up to 12 inches and squeeze through an opening the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood away from your home and above the ground so that you can see under it (to keep rodents from nesting there).
- Trim shrubs and trees close to your home, cut the grass regularly, rake up leaves, and pick up debris piles in the yard where mice like to hide.
- Check the weatherstripping on garage and entry doors and make sure it has no gaps.
- Make sure the screens on dryer and utility vents do not have tears or openings.
If you are having a problem with mice in your home, call (800) 936-3339 or drop me an email at email@example.com.
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.