How do mice get in walls

How do mice get in walls and the attic?  It’s a question that we answer everyday.  The fact is mice only need about the size of a dime to get into a home.  Once inside mice can do almost anything they want.

In order to know how mice get in walls and attics you’ll need to know a little about construction.  In Connecticut there are three main types of house framing; they are post and beam, balloon frame and modern stick framing.

Post and beam homes

A post and beam style home was typically built in the 1800’s and earlier.  The typical post and beam home is framed with logs directly from the lot they were built on.  The walls are generally completely open and nothing is very straight.  They’re also likely to have stone foundations.  The vintage home has great appeal in Connecticut for both humans and mice.

Balloon frames homes

Next, there are balloon frame homes which were popular in the early 1900’s. These homes came after vintage homes and are characterized by wall studs that go from the basement straight to the attic.  A mouse that gets into walls of this type home needn’t look further than the unfettered access given from ground to roof.  Coincidentally, due to their age many balloon frame and vintage homes have very little wall insulation which further aids the travels of a rodent

Modern construction

Last, there’s modern construction.  The construction of a modern home has many advantages, not the least of which is firewalls between studs and sub floors that separate one floor from the next.  Also, newer construction has fire caulking and new insulation techniques that impede a rodents travels through walls.   Yet somehow mice are still able to get into the attic walls!!

So how do mice get into walls and the attic?

The first and most obvious way is that they need construction to help them.  In general if a mouse is able to access a basement or crawl space in either a vintage or balloon frame home they can easily get anywhere in the home including the attic.  A mouse will climb directly through the walls and set up shop where they’re afforded a possible food source and shelter.

A modern home isn’t as cut and dry.  When mice get into the walls and attic in this type of home it usually starts on the outside.   If you have mice in the basement they gained access at the foundation level. Here are a few access points from the outside

  1. Chimney:  Your chimney on the outside of the home is actually a ladder for mice.  Mice have very fine claws that give them to ability to climb any rough surface.
  2. Corners: Homes that are vinyl sided have a corner piece that’s hollow.  Under this area the sheathing comes together and forms a ladder that leads directly to the attic
  3. Wood siding and brick homes: The rough texture of wood siding and brick allow mice to climb directly up the side of the home and into the walls and attic.
  4. Gutter downspouts: Although not as common; mice can sometimes crawl up downspouts and gain access to the attic
  5. Aftermarket AC condenser: When a home has aftermarket AC installed your service person will run a line up the side of the home.  This line is covered in black foam.  This black foam is a perfect climbing surface to gain access to the attic.
    AC allows mice to climb to attic
    AC pipe allows mice to climb to attic


What are mice doing in the walls and attic?

If you’ve never seen a mouse nest I’m going to explain what it looks like.  All mice are great scavengers and they’ll use anything to stay warm.  In fact, I’ve seen them use hay, dead grass, chewed cloth and wires just to name a few.  Once mice are in the walls they have the perfect insulating material, your insulation.  They’ll hollow out an area and set up a nest for their young and personal shelter.  There are many problems associated with mouse nests not the least of which is the amount of urine and fecal matter that they’ll deposit in the same area they’re nesting in.

How to stop mice from nesting in walls and the attic

Mice getting in walls and the attic is a common issue.  The way to prevent this behavior is to stop access from the outside.  This type of service is called a rodent exclusion.  It’s a great service to add value to your home and finally put an end to the constant cycle of mice year in and year out.  Envirocare Pest Control solves rodent issues permanently.  Does your home qualify for a rodent exclusion?

If you have mice and need help call Envirocare Pest Control we can be reached at 1-888-879-6481.