It’s the end of summer and you may be noticing a little more color in the trees. Perhaps there is a hint of wood smoke in your neighborhood. Or maybe you have become aware of a nip in the air, reminding you that fall is just around the corner. These are all signs that soon we will be digging out the winter hats and mittens and spending more time inside where there is shelter from the inevitable cold New England winter. While this is true for humans, animals take note of the temperature change as well. And mice are no exception.

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Why Mice Come Inside

As mentioned, animals take notice of the encroaching cold this time of year. And while some get their dens and burrows ready for a long winter, others, like mice, often seek the shelter of man-made structures. They are drawn to things that are warm, perhaps the sunny side of your home has lots of bushes that they can hide behind. Maybe you have a dryer vent where they can make a nest. And then, when it gets even colder, they look for a way inside. In addition to shelter, mice are also looking for food and water sources.

Where Mice Go Once They Are Inside

Once inside, mice love to make nests in attics or wall voids. It is warm and dry in the attic, and usually, there is lots of clutter. They are typically left alone up there and it is peaceful. Plus there is usually plenty of materials, such as insulation, that they can use for bedding. Yes, an attic is an ideal place for mice to establish a home inside your home. But, they don’t only stay in the attic. Mice are nocturnal, so they’re active at night and will forage for food. Bedtime, for humans, is when mice are usually heard within the walls, as they are moving from their nests into other parts of the house where they can find food and water sources.

What Mice Do In Your House

Take note that just because they have taken up residence inside your home, it doesn’t mean that they stay in your house all the time. They often will still go outside and forage in filthy places such as dumpsters and sewers, and then come back inside to track that filth and disease-causing bacteria onto your countertops, dishes, silverware, etc. Mice also deposit urine and feces everywhere they roam. If you have a mouse infestation, you may notice a smell or tiny black droppings in the backs of your kitchen drawers. One other thing that mice do in homes is chew on things. And, being rodents, they never stop chewing, since their teeth never stop growing. They will chew on wood, plastic, insulation… just about anything, including electrical wires. And, that can be a fire hazard.

Ways To Prevent Mice From Coming Into Your House This Fall

While mice are drawn to man-made structures in fall, they don’t have to be drawn to yours, if you do a little prep work to make your house less inviting.

  • Inspect your home and seal up any gaps or cracks you find–any entry point mice could squeeze through. Look for loose mortar on your foundation and fix those areas as well.
  • Keep wood piles and construction materials well away from your home. These are favorite hiding places for mice, as well as rats and other destructive pests.
  • Keep your attic, basement, and crawl spaces clean, dry, and free of clutter. Mice are looking for places to hide and build nests. Don’t give them dark, moist, cluttered places to establish themselves.
  • Hide food and water sources. If mice do make it inside, don’t give them a reason to stay. Seal up all food inside the refrigerator, freezer, or in sealed containers. Give your home a good cleaning, removing crumbs, spills and other sources of food. Consider putting boxed food inside sealed plastic containers, and make sure all of your trash, inside and out, is in containers with lids that have a secure seal. Also remove water sources, such as leaky pipes.

While it is possible to keep mice out of your home, if you are dealing with an active infestation, it is wise to contact a professional pest control company. Mice can be very difficult to completely eradicate with do-it-yourself strategies.

Serving Bergen and Passaic counties as well as other NJ counties, ChemTec Pest Control offers professional rodent control services that get rid of mice and rats.  Contact us today if you’re dealing with a rodent problem in your home.

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