How to Keep Mice from Being Attracted to Your Home

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Is your home a magnet for mice? Here's how to keep it from being so attractive to them.

Mice are attracted to warm, welcoming spaces, especially in the fall of the year. These spaces need to be near outside entrances so they can go out for water and they need to be in an area that provides hiding places along the way.

Make your home less attractive to mice outside

If you have trouble with mice coming into your home, first take a look at your landscaping. Remove any bushes, brush, tall flowers or anything else near the foundation that would give mice a place to hide as they enter or exit your home.

Move bird or squirrel feeders at least fifteen feet away from your home and pay attention to permanent structures like storage sheds. Clear the clutter and don't leave piles of anything on the floor level. Use shelving to hold things up off the floor and be sure that any material with mouse appeal (soft wood, seeds, etc.) is stored in metal or glass containers.

Put trash cans and woodpiles, even if they're not near your home, on racks at least a eighteen inches above the ground. Mice can jump straight up for about twelve inches, so don't give them a chance to jump into an inviting space.

Check for holes or cracks around the foundation of your home and seal them with spray-on foam sealer or with steel wool covered with outdoor caulking. A mouse's skeleton is such that it can go through extremely small holes, so don't overlook anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Adjust doors and screen doors or storm doors to fit snugly and make any repairs to screens or sweeps as soon as possible, but keep in mind how small of a space it takes for a mouse to enter. (Very small!)

Make your home less attractive to mice inside

  • Sweep the floors after every meal and any time there may be crumbs or flakes or pieces of food on it.
  • Wash the floor as soon as it gets dirty.
  • Keep counters and stoves super clean.
  • Store bread and other grain products in glass or metal containers.
  • Put all pet food and bird seed in sealed glass or metal containers.

The refrigerator is a good place store things where mice can't get to them, even if the product doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Keep storages areas clutter free and store material, yarn and other soft goods in containers on shelves high enough that mice can't get to them. Remove anything they can climb or jump from and leave the door open to the rest of the house and activity when you can.

If you have a pantry, paint it white to avoid creating dark, welcoming corners for mice. If you have doors on shelves, make sure they fit snugly. Keep foodstuffs in glass or metal containers when stored there - even things like winter squash, potatoes and other produce that will store without refrigeration should be stored on the highest shelf where there is no way mice can jump up to them, or drop down to them.

Keep extension cords, any strings or anything else mice can use to climb to upper shelves, contained against the wall or removed.

If you keep your home and the area outside it clean and uncluttered, you will keep it less attractive to mice and other rodents.

Garages and Mice

In addition to keep your property clear of over grown brush near your home, the garage is one place that mice seem to love and will enter your home from. Many of us store all kinds of things in the garage.

Mice enjoy making nests in piles of stuff, and that stuff can include clothes that are stored in the garage, plus many other items.

In the backyard, many people store all kind of things, not actually being a hoarder, but things someone might think that can use later. This can include old parts, old cars, old washing machines and many other items stored in the backyard or the garage. Mice like these things, because they are usually not disturbed.

Always pay attention to the items you are storing in your home and on your property.

More Natural Ways to Keep Mice Away

Mice do not like peppermint oil. You can put a little peppermint oil on cotton balls around your house and this also keep mice away. You can get peppermint oil companies like Essential Oils or Now Foods.

Steel wool also works wonders. If there are any holes or cracks that mice might be coming through, put steel wool in there. Mice cannot chew through steel wool and it actually hurts their teeth and gums.

You may also be interested in "Get Rid of Mice in Your Home."