To prevent mice and other rodents that often infest homes, it’s crucial to take preventative measures. These critters can multiply rapidly, exacerbating your pest issue. To keep your living areas free from mice, it’s best to learn how to keep them out of your yard. If you see signs of their presence outdoors, it’s especially important to take action and repel them.
During autumn and winter, rodent infestations, especially with mice, can occur more often due to the scarcity of food sources outdoors. When they get in, they cause problems by spoiling food and making areas dirty with their mouse droppings. It is important to find out how to eliminate mice and prevent them from entering your house from the yard.
Strategies for Eliminating Mice from Your Yard
Mice are small but breed a lot, so controlling them needs smart planning. A single house mouse can have 5-10 litters of 3-12 babies each year. To make your yard less attractive to mice and other rodents, here are six practical suggestions:
Keep your yard tidy. Mow the lawn regularly and clear away wood, leaves, and other materials that could provide hiding places for mice. If you compost, keep it away from your house and in secure containers.
Store food properly, including pet foods. To keep mice away, place your trash in sealed cans, and store any leftover pet food or birdseed in sealed containers in a garage or shed.
Set traps. Place snap traps or live traps with peanut butter in areas where mice are often seen, but make sure they are out of reach of children and pets. Focus on positioning the traps near the edges of your property.
Block burrow entrances. Fill any holes in your yard with rocks or dirt to prevent mice from burrowing. If a hole reappears, there may still be mouse problems to deal with.
Check your home. To prevent mice from entering your house, check for any holes or cracks and seal them with wire mesh or caulk.
Stay vigilant with pest control. Keep an eye on the area around your home to prevent indoor pest issues.
Preventing Mice from Entering Your Home
To prevent rodents from entering your home:
- Check for any openings or gaps both on the inside and outside of your house
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and make sure to close any gaps or openings you find.
Inside your home, pay attention to:
- Kitchen cabinets
- Closet floor areas, especially corners
- Areas around the fireplace, windows, and doors
- Behind appliances and around pipes
- Attics, basements, crawl spaces, and floor drains
Outside your home, examine:
- The roof, especially rafters, gables, eaves, and soffits
- Windows, doors, attic and crawl space vents
- The foundation perimeter
- Openings for utilities
Securing Your Home from Rodents
Cover all gaps to block rodents from getting in. For tiny openings, apply steel wool combined with caulk or foam spray. For bigger openings, utilize resources like lath screen, concrete, or metal sheets. If necessary, seek advice from a pest management expert like On Demand Pest Control.
Securing Food and Water Sources
Rats and mice are drawn to places with easy access to food, water, and nesting spots. To prevent entry:
- Use strong containers made of thick plastic, metal, or glass to store food, and ensure the lids fit tightly
- Immediately clean up any food spills, and wash dishes and cookware soon after use
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight, and store indoor trash in strong plastic or metal bins with secure lids. Clean these containers regularly using soap and water, and be sure to throw out trash and garbage often.
Maintaining the Exterior of Your Home
Here are some simple steps to maintain your home’s exterior:
- Use a sturdy garbage can with no holes and a secure lid to remove any trash near your house.
- Keep outdoor cooking spaces and grills clean.
- Place compost bins a minimum of 100 feet from your house.
- Put bird feeders far from your home and add squirrel guards to reduce rodent access.
- Store grains and animal food in durable containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Get rid of abandoned cars or park them at least 100 feet from your house.
- Keep woodpiles over 100 feet away from your home and elevate them by at least a foot.
- Clear out brush and weeds close to your house.
- Trim grass and bushes within 100 feet of your home regularly.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice
- Traditional mouse traps are often used to eliminate mice in houses. To achieve the best outcome, place these traps close to the walls, ensuring the trigger parts face the wall.
- Glue traps can work too. When put in the right spot, mice get stuck and can’t escape.
- Zapper traps attract mice into a small space and then administer a deadly electric shock. While these traps are more expensive than other options, they also need batteries to function.
- Homeowners might think about using baits, but it’s not advised for them to do so inside their homes. These baits can be harmful to people and pets. Young children may accidentally consume them if not used properly and according to the label. It is important to exercise caution when using these products.