- This article focuses on NWCO solutions for mouse infestation problems in home
constructions. Other creatures and construction types - condo, barn, industrial, etc., will
be covered in future articles. The mice species herein are the deer mouse, house
mouse and white footed mouse.
Attics can be havens for all sorts of creatures great and small. They find a quiet
environment not often visited by the humans below, if even at all. You need to inspect
the attic thoroughly. Attic access is through a hatch, pull down steps, or a staircase.
Mice must also have a way to get in the attic. This is the root of the problem, and must
be addressed or the problem will keep happening.
Mice build nests to raise young, shielded from the elements. They store food
brought in from the outside, or found inside the house. There will be soiling of insulation
and surfaces from urine and feces, chewing on wires and wood, destruction of insulated
ducts and other damage resulting in cost to replace or repair damage.
When mice infest attics there will be droppings, odor from urine and possibly the
odor from dead mice especially if rodent poison was used. Look for chewing of wires,
wood, and cardboard boxes. Look for disturbances to the insulation, visible trails and
discoloration. Lift thicker insulation that may be covering the evidence. An infestation
may be localized or present throughout the entire attic.
Mice are easily trapped with conventional wooden snap type mouse traps that
have the yellow plastic pan. Put a small amount (pea sized) of bait such as peanut
butter in the little square well.
Most situations are covered by setting a dozen or so traps
within the infested area. A trap that is not anchored with double sided tape or Hercules
putty may be carried off by squirrel, or a mouse caught by the tail. You will check these
sets on your next trip when you come to seal up the entry points, and fix any damage.
Next you will want to do an outside inspection to locate where mice may be
getting in. On a vinyl sided house, the bottom of the corner post is often found open,
which is a straight path to the attic for mice. Close this up with a Kritter Cap, or fill it with
copper mesh (Stuf-fit.)
Look at where the chimneys joins the house. Fill any small openings with caulk,
or copper mesh (Stuf-fit) and caulk. Larger openings may indicate structural damage
that could mean the chimney is pulling away from the house. This may need to be
stabilized which is a job for a chimney specialist.
Another common way for mice to get in is at defects in dormers. There may be a
small gap between the main roof and dormer soffit. If small enough it can be filled with
Stuf-fit. Larger openings need to have metal flashing installed which requires metal
bending skills. Any opening larger than your little finger needs to be closed.
Now that you have closed up the exterior, the next step is checking traps. Most
mice are caught on the first night so give it a few days before checking again.
Depending on the age and condition of the house, it may take a few trips to get it done.
Homes that were built over one hundred years ago, may have used the “balloon”
construction method which is a different topic.
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Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Mice page for tips and advice.
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