How to Prevent Mice   

mouse coming through wall

Mouse infestations have always been a problem here in greater South Jersey and the Philadelphia metro area, but they’ve become increasingly common over the last few years. Since these pests can be incredibly difficult to get rid of, it’s important to be proactive about prevention. Knowing how to prevent mice will not only save you the stress of an infestation, but it could also help you avoid costly property damage or dangerous diseases. Read Cooper Pest Solution's mouse prevention tips to protect your home and health!

How to Tell If You Have Mice

Since mice are tiny and great at hiding, it can be hard to tell if you have an infestation—especially early on when the damage isn’t all that noticeable. If you’re worried you might have mice, look for these key signs of rodents:

  • Droppings: Mice constantly eat throughout the day, which is a lot for their little bodies. Droppings are left behind and will appear to be black or brown in color and the shape of a grain of rice.
  • Scratching: Since mice are nocturnal creatures, you may hear them scratching in your walls late at night. This can be pretty disconcerting, especially if you can’t find the source, but it’s a telltale sign of an infestation. 
  • Tampered food: While in search of shelter, mice are also in search of a food source. It’s much easier to eat food from your pantry than search for food outside in the elements. Signs of tampered food are cereal boxes or other pantry items that look like they were chewed through along the edges.
  • Mice: You may actually see mice. They crawl along edges of walls so you probably won’t see them running through the middle of a room. Due to their nocturnal nature, they will be most active at night.

Mice Versus Rats

Mice and rats are pretty similar, with two main differences: mice are much smaller, and they feed on different things. While mice generally measure from two to four inches, rats can reach as long as nine inches in length. Since mice are so much tinier, they can also nest in harder-to-reach parts of your home. 

When it comes to diet, rats are more likely to feed on greasy or protein-rich foods. Meanwhile, mice tend to prefer fruits, nuts, and grains—though, at the end of the day, neither is terribly picky. And, though they feed on different things, both pests are infamous for gnawing on all sorts of things in your house, such as wires or door frames. 

Are Rats More Dangerous Than Mice?

Mice may be smaller than rats, but they aren’t any less of a problem. Rodents of any kind can spread dangerous diseases to humans and pets, some of which can be fatal without treatment. Since rats and mice often rummage through our kitchens in search of food, it doesn’t take long for them to contaminate what we eat. Not only that, but their gnawing habits can cause costly property damage or even trigger electrical fires. 

Where Do Mice Hide Indoors?

Mice are shy creatures, so they usually try to build nests where we aren’t likely to find them. They seek out in places that are warm and offer easy access to food or water. Nests can be found pretty much anywhere on your property, but the most common hiding places for mouse nests include:

  • Wall voids
  • Insulation
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Under appliances
  • Garages
  • Crawl spaces

How to Keep Mice Out of Your Walls

You might feel like you’re living in a horror movie if you hear scratching sounds coming from your walls in the middle of the night. But, if mice are nesting somewhere in your home, it’s likely that they’re sneaking around in the walls. Since mice can squeeze through holes as small as a dime, it may feel impossible to keep them out, but here are some ways you can prevent mice from hiding in your walls:

  • Fix broken or torn vents: There are a lot of types of vents that lead outdoors, including those for dryers, attic airflow, turbines, soffits, and crawl spaces. If these vents are poorly installed or torn, they’ll leave a tiny opening leading right into your home. Mice may even chew on the opening to make it larger and easier to get through. 
  • Seal cracks in your foundation: Cracks in your home’s foundation can happen for several reasons, from problems like poor drainage and water erosion to the soil settling over time. Not only do these cracks make it easy for pests to get inside, but they could also indicate bigger problems with your home. Should you come across any cracks or openings, try sealing it with caulk or consult a professional for repairs. 
  • Place screens on weep holes: Weep holes are intentional gaps between bricks when masonry takes place on a home or other human-made structures. The purpose of weep holes is to prevent moisture from being trapped behind the bricks, which can lead to structural issues. While it’s suggested that you shouldn’t seal or fill in weep holes, it is important to keep them screened off to prevent rodents and other insects from entering.
  • Seal utility pipes: Utility pipes such as plumbing lines aren’t always completely sealed where they meet the exterior of the house. Mice are skilled climbers that can use the gaps around piping to enter your basement and walls. Take a walk around the outside of your home and look for these gaps so you can seal them.
  • Fortify any builder’s gaps: When a home is constructed, a “builder’s gap,” also called a construction or roof gap, is sometimes created to allow the house to breathe. This opening exists where the roof and gutters meet, running horizontally along where the two should come together. While these can be difficult to fix on your own, you can talk with a roofer or a pest control expert for solutions. 

How to Keep Mice Out of Your Garage

If you mainly use your garage for storage, it’s probably a prime target for a mouse infestation. Garages are warm enough to provide adequate shelter, and they often have food sources like pet food, bird seed, or grass seed. While it isn’t easy to keep mice out, you can use the following tips to rodent-proof your garage.

  • Keep grass seed, dog food, and bird seed in sealed containers or bins
  • Reduce clutter and keep things organized
  • Seal cracks and gaps leading into the garage
  • Cut back tree branches that touch the roof of the garage
  • Move trash cans outdoors and seal them tightly
  • Store firewood outdoors, as far away from your garage and house as possible

Why Get Professional Mouse Removal?

Though the tips above can really help you avoid a mouse infestation, they may not be enough to get rid of a colony if it’s already infiltrated your home. Since these pests can be incredibly destructive and dangerous to your health, it’s best to get professional rodent removal from a licensed exterminator. 

At Cooper Pest Solutions, we go above and beyond to deliver the best results possible. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, eco-friendly treatments, and an award-winning team, we’re confident that we can handle your mouse problem in no time—or your money back. If you want to learn more or schedule your mouse removal, contact us today!