Mouse Problems in Older Homes


01.30.2020 - Homes built before 1930 used “balloon” style construction which differs from modern construction methods. In these older homes a mouse is able to freely travel from basement to attic inside the walls with no impediments. This is also a major fire hazard so those homes that have been upgraded with a firewall will not have the potential rodent problem. You can actually see the space between the walls by looking up from the basement.

Mice can access any floor but usually end up settling in the kitchen. Often this style home has pocket doors that close off the kitchen from the dining room and this is where the mouse gets from between the wall into the living space. Pipes that snake through the house can also lead to rodent access.

Solve mouse problems in these homes by trapping them where you find droppings, staining from urine, chewing and entry holes. Set at least a dozen of the “professional” style snap traps baited with peanut butter. Position each trap with the trigger facing the wall. Set them behind appliances, in cabinets or any place hidden, since mice are more cautious in the open where they feel vulnerable. Set them a foot from each other.

After catching mice you need to find and close up where they get in. Look for openings around the feeds for wires, pipes and vents, and caulk them where found. Look for holes in stone foundations leading to the basement where mice and snakes can enter. If there is evidence of snakes - shed skins and sightings, you can place a few giant glue boards around, along the walls, and on the ledge on top of the wall.

giant glue boards 18 inches x 10 ½ inches

Also set baited mouse traps. Seal any holes in the stone foundation right away using exterior caulk. Blend in the caulk while it is still wet, using dust from the area. Leave the glue boards and traps.

Seal pipes and cables that go through the wall from the outside, by stuffing a chew-proof material (copper mesh Stuf-fit) into the opening, then covering that with exterior caulk. Seal around the edges of bilco type basement doors by backfilling with gravel. Seal around regular doors with weatherstripping, caulk and an under the door sweep as needed.

Older homes frequently are in need of repairs to the dormers, soffits, roof, gutters, porches and windows. Some old house repairs need to conform to historical specifications, using unfamiliar methods and materials. In all cases where the walls are in their original state (no firewall,) the owner should be informed of the fire hazard this poses, and let them decide. This applies to single homes only.

We specialize in nuisance wildlife control - this is the field of removing unwanted wildlife from homes and property, and solving conflicts between people and wild animals. From home inspections to preventative repairs, wildlife trapping, attic cleanups and more, we solve critter problems with professional expertise. Call me, David, or click on the below link to find any one of hundreds of wildlife trappers in every city and town in the US.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Mice page for tips and advice.
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