One tried-and-true rule of thumb in pest management is that it's much easier to prevent a mouse infestation than to get rid of one after they've found a cozy retreat inside your home.
These crafty little creatures seem to possess the ability to gain access to even the smallest of locations inside a home or apartment, and the Clark Man has pulled together the following mouse facts:
- Mice are quick, agile creatures and can travel at speeds up to 12 feet per second
- Mice feeding habits can differ inside and outside of a structure. Inside, they consume human or pet food (they love grains), and outside, they’ll eat seeds, vegetation, and insects
- Mice can survive with little water, and they will conserve their intake when water sources are scarce
- Mice are “nibblers” and will make up to 200 separate trips from a nest to a food source, taking only milligrams each visit
With this knowledge, the Clark Man says the most successful and long-lasting form of rodent control in structures is to deny them access in the first place.
Small holes that seem impassable to our eyes can easily be four-lane highways for mice, because they have the uncanny ability to flatten themselves to get through even the very smallest opening.
The Clark Man offers the following for homeowners to keep mice on the outside looking in this winter – and all year around:
- Smudge marks caused by oil and dirt rubbing off their fur are often left along areas where rodents regularly travel. Look for smudge marks along rafters, pipes, and walls. Seal cracks and openings in foundations and openings for cable or telephone lines, water pipes, electric wires, sewer pipes, drain spouts, and dryer vents
- No hole larger than 1/4 inch should be left unsealed (think about the circumference of a pencil), in order to exclude both rats and mice. Coarse steel wool, wire screen, and lightweight sheet metal are excellent materials for plugging gaps and holes in the foundation
- Make sure doors, windows, and screens fit tightly and have no rips or tears. Door edges can be covered with sheet metal if gnawing is a problem. Use caulk to seal any openings around door and window frames
- Because mice are excellent climbers, openings above ground level must also be plugged. Keep trees and bushes trimmed away from the house at least three (3) feet to prevent easy access. Rodents love ivy and palm trees, or any dense shrubbery, and use them as bases for their covert activities
If you have questions about mice or other rodents trying to gain access to your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.