It is fall again, and that means mice are looking for a nice, warm hole to crawl into. If they are crawling around next to your exterior walls, they might just choose your nice toasty house to wall up in. The best way to keep them out is, to make it frustrating to be near, or in, your home. Here are four tips that will get you there.

Don’t put out the dinner platter. Mice live in the fields around your house. That is where they are generally content to stay–because they don’t know any better. When the chill of winter comes, a wild mouse will typically tuck itself into a hole. But once a mouse has tasted of the forbidden fruit of human cohabitation, it is hard for them to return to the wild. If you get mice on your property, that have already learned to live off of humans, the best thing you can do is, make your home a harder target. If you have wild mice, that wandered in from the fields, it won’t take much to keep them away. They don’t know that there is warmth and food in that big box you live in. So, don’t give them a reason to find out.

  • Keep your trash sealed in cans, at all times, and don’t leave any food out on the deck, patio, or porch.
  • Don’t give them something to play in, like: a wood pile, construction materials, or boxes and crates.

Don’t give them access. Mice sniff around foundations for cracks, gaps, and rotted areas in your wood. If they find an opening, and feel that heat coming out, they will chew on it and make it big enough to fit in.

  • Cut back trees from your house, so mice can’t crawl up and jump down. Your home has a lot more vulnerabilities on the roofline, than it does at the foundation.
  • Put mesh in downspouts, so mice can’t crawl up.
  • Cover your chimney with mesh, because a chimney can be easy an access point.
  • Mice will try to crawl under your deck or patio to find a nice, quiet place to nibble. Throw gravel in those dark, moist places, so it is less inviting. Or, install wire mesh to keep them out. Remember that some mice can slip through a hole the size of a dime. Make sure your mesh is fine enough to keep them out.

Seal up the house. Do an inspection of your exterior walls, soffits, and foundation. If you find any rotted holes, or gaps, use a caulking gun to seal them, until you can afford to get the area fixed properly. Rotting wood is the most common entry point for mice, but a determined mouse can chew through perfectly good wood.

Starve them out. Mice come for the food. Don’t let them find any.

  • Keep inside trash sealed in a can.
  • Keep cereal, grains, rice, and other packaged food, in hard plastic containers.
  • Keep the floor and counters clean.

Mice are going to try to get into your home every fall. If you follow these common-sense practices, they will find your home less than inviting, and move on to a richer feeding ground.