5 tips for keeping mice out of your home

    Mice numbers peak during fall and they head inside looking for food and warmth for the winter

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    As the weather gets colder and winter approaches, homeowners may notice they have some unwanted guests. Looking for food and a warm place to stay, mice are now heading indoors to nest for the winter.

    Steve Graff, quality assurance manager for Abell Pest Control in Kitchener, says that this time of year is typically a busy time for his industry.

    “[Mice] numbers are at their peak during the fall so as the weather starts to cool down, they’re really trying to find a warm place for the winter,” he said. “That’s why we always see a big push this time of year.”

    Keep them out

    One of the most common signs of mice in the home is finding droppings. Mice “constantly” defecate and urinate wherever they travel, Graff said. Damage to food packaging, such as holes in boxes and storage bags is another giveaway.

    So what do you do to keep them out? For starters, do an exterior inspection of your home.

    “Looking for any penetration into your home around the foundation is key,” Graff said. He adds that mice will try to make small gaps bigger in order to fit through siding, around vents and exterior doors and windows.

    He also suggests to check other areas of your home, such as:

    • Gaps around utility conduits and air conditioning units.Sometimes the air conditioning coolant or power line that enters your home may not be completely sealed.
    • Door sweeps on your garage door. Mice will actually chew away weather stripping around the bottom of your door or garage roll-up door.
    • Check your attic exhaust vent. If the screen is damaged or missing, mice will get into the attic space and then travel down through walls to access other parts of the house.

    Another precautionary step that homeowners can take is to avoid stacking wood or patio stones against the home. This gives mice an outdoor shelter and more incentive to look for ways to get inside from a ready-made “staging area.”

    “Mice are something you want to be aggressive with and get them out of your house as soon as possible,” Graff said.

    Mice reproduce fairly quickly, giving birth to a litter of six pups every month. Graff said that if mouse traps don’t get rid of the problem after trapping a few of them, that’s when you know the problem is large enough to call a professional.

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