It’s a mid-winter evening and all through the house, not a creature is stirring - except wait, is that a mouse?
Whether it’s a furry flash dashing across your carpets or the sound of tiny paws click-click-clicking just under the rooftops, mice can seriously dampen your spirit in the wintertime. Rather than letting your winter be ruined by these unwanted invaders, here’s a look at just where you might find mice hiding in your home when the snow starts falling - and what you can do to make sure they don’t get too comfortable.
Attic & Insulation
Mice looking for a hiding place in your home during the winter will often look for spaces that are least likely to bring a lot of traffic. In most homes, that space may just be the attic, where the only other occupants are probably some old decorations and dusty clothes. This is also where mice stand the best chance of setting up a nest that may not be noticed for months - and that can mean plenty of sickness-spreading droppings and urine can build up long before you even spot a single mouse.
In most cases, mice make their way into your attic through an opening somewhere along your roofline, often where insulation is missing or not completely sheltering your attic from the outside. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a pest management professional fully inspect your attic for missing patches of insulation. By filling these gaps, you can remove that easy access and prevent mice from setting up shop right above your head, all while keeping in heat to last all winter long.
Basement / Crawl Space
Mice, like many other pests, tend to seek out dark, warm spaces with plenty of access to food and water - and, because water tends to find the lowest point in any home, many homeowners end up finding mice living in their basements and crawlspaces. Whether mice set up a nest near your heater, in a dark crawlspace, or around cracks in your home’s foundation, basements and crawl spaces can make for perfect hiding spaces for mice and their litters.
If you notice mice in your basement, or if you’re concerned about them in your low-lying areas, it’s a good idea to have a pest management professional perform a thorough inspection. He or she can identify noticeable entry points to your basement, including cracks in your foundation or gaps in your plumbing and ductwork, that can give mice an easy entry. By sealing up these entry points, you put one more barrier between mice and your home.
Although not quite as warm and toasty as other parts of your home, your garage can be a welcome relief from the cold in the midst of cold and snowy winter weather - and for mice, it can be the perfect, low-traffic hideaway. Between untouched bags of potting soil, dormant beach bags and summer toys, and covered cars riding out the season under a roof and four walls, garages can offer plenty of places for mice to start a nest relatively undisturbed - and since many homeowners keep their garbage bins in the garage, plenty of access to food.
A pest management professional can help secure your garage from mice in two distinct ways: removing mice there already, and helping to prevent mice from making their way inside in the first place. By keeping your garage neat and orderly, sealing off any entrance points, and thinking proactively about where mice might want to make a nest, you can keep your garage rodent-free all the way through until spring.
Hear that scratching sound coming from somewhere, but you just can’t figure out quite where? The pitter-patter of little feet scurrying across above you, leaving no trace behind? That might just be a sign that mice have taken up residence somewhere you’re least likely to catch them - inside your walls.
With plenty of hiding spaces and easy escape routes to pretty much anywhere in your home, the interior of your walls can make for a convenient, maze-like hideaway for mice. In most cases, the sound they make as they rummage around your home may be the only sign that mice are even in your home - and the first sign that you should contact a pest management professional to get them out. A pest pro can identify the most likely central nesting spot in your home and eliminate the mice safely and securely, all while sealing up any entrance points to keep mice from making their way inside your walls again.
Few things are more comforting than a winter afternoon when the weather is cold and the heat is on - until, that is, you start to smell some nasty scents coming through the ductwork. This can be a sign that mice have infiltrated your ducts, making their way around through one of the most convenient tunnel systems built into your home. In most cases, the only way to fully remove mice from your ductwork is to call an experienced pest professional.
By identifying the location of the nest, as well as any droppings and dead mice that may be causing the smell, your pest professional can clean and repair your ductwork to keep mice out and heat in for the winter ahead, and well into the spring. Regular, preventative pest management can also help keep your ducts clear with regular inspections, helping you avoid the struggle - and the potential for sickness to spread through your ductwork - before mice ever even get a chance to get inside.
Cabinets / Pantry
If there’s any space in your home you should be most attentive to when hungry mice come sniffing around, it’s your pantry and kitchen cabinets. Although these are vulnerable spaces to mice just about any time of year, the lack of readily-available food outside makes your food-storage areas particularly attractive to mice looking for a place to make a nest. This can quickly spread disease and sickness to those in your household if not taken care of.
If you notice mice scurrying around your food supply, get in touch with a pest management professional as soon as possible. He or she can take charge of eradicating the mice from your home, as well as advising you as to which food you may have stored could be contaminated with feces or could have come into contact with the mice.
Don’t Let Mice In Your Home For The Holidays
In the heart of winter your home should be an inviting space where you, your friends, and your family can gather together and enjoy the time spent inside and away from the cold - not a time you want to be fending off mice and other rodents.
Rather than waiting until it’s too late, get in touch with a pest professional today and make sure your home is secured from invaders and ready to take on winter mouse-free.