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Residential Home Mouse Problems

01.20.2020 - 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.

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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