How do mice get into homes

How do mice get into homes?  Do you know? Contrary to popular belief the vast majority of homes all have the same areas where mice are able to get inside.  Also, there are some key tips to know where those areas are.

Its a seasonal thing

Every fall as the temperature dips the phone begins to ring with homeowners that have rodent problems.  Assuming that your home is not a vintage home (built in 1900 or earlier) keeping mice out may be easy.  Further, you shouldn’t have to pay thousands to make this happen.

I think by now most people are aware that mice don’t need at large hole to get into a home.  In fact, for some young mice the diameter of a pen may be more than enough.  If you couple this with the other abilities that a mouse has, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  So how do mice get into homes anyway?

The first thing to know about mice is that they’re superb climbers.  A mouse has the ability to climb just about any man made surface including stone, brick, concrete, wood and stucco.  It should come as no surprise that if mice are in your attic the likelihood of them having climbed there from the exterior is 100%.  Contrary to popular mythology in modern construction it would be odd for mice to get into a basement or garage and then climb through the walls to an attic.  More likely what’s happening is that the mouse climbed the side of the house or chimney and walked right in.

How they get in

AC allows mice to climb to attic
AC pipe allows mice to climb to attic

Another common way that mice get into attics is after market air conditioning.  The picture to the right is of an A/C condenser that has allowed mice into this home for years.  Also, if you closely to the right of this condenser you can see the chimney frame.  They were using this as a ladder that led directly into the attic.  These areas accounted for most of the entrances we found.

The last areas that mice gain entrance are from worn garage frames as well as the lip behind vinyl siding and utility penetrations for things like oil, gas and electric.  These three areas will account for the vast majority of the rodent entrances in both the basements and garages of the average home.

Now that you know how mice are likely to get in the next question is what to do about it.  Common pest management tactics revolve around using glue boards, snap traps and lethal baits.  All this can be done safely, but what about keeping them out in the first place?

Common Entry Points
Common Entry Points

Total mouse exclusion for your home?

Up until a few years ago many companies have just plugged obvious entrance holes, but the problem is that not all holes are obvious. Recently that’s changed.  Now companies including Envirocare Pest Control offer whole home exclusions.

A rodent exclusion is a great complement to a quarterly service program along with a regular application of a liquid rodent repellent on the exterior.  The 3 together are a great 1-2 punch.  But some companies are charging $3000-$4000 or more for this type of service…….. At that price you can have a pest controller live with you who wants that?

The truth is that a really good exclusion for mice on most homes should cost a quarter of that amount and be just as effective.  In many cases for an additional charge the job can also come with damaged insulation removal and dropping cleanup.  All said the entire service may still not reach $4000.  You owe it to yourself to see if this type of service can work for your home.

If you have rodents and want them gone please call us at 1-888-879-6481.  We can help.