As we discussed in our latest article, there are several ways to get rid of mice. But what makes them come to your house? Well, there are a few things that mice find irresistible. They might come to your house looking for a place to hide or searching for food. When it comes to eating, mice cannot resist peanut butter, chocolate, and bacon. But don’t count on the fact they came searching for fancy food as they could get a nice meal from searching through your trash.
The opportunity to find shelter
Materials to build a proper nest are very tempting for mice, especially things like old newspapers, dental floss, cotton fabrics or even feathers. Apart from food, mice are also looking for a good place to establish their nests when coming into your home.
If you left all over the house or garden nest-building materials, it’s an open invitation for mice to become your housemates. To make sure they don’t set camp around your house, throw away any old cardboard boxes, clothing that just sits in the closet and any piece of furniture that you have stored outside of the house for a long time.
How they get inside
In case you have some openings to the outside of your house that are just a bit bigger than a pen, you should plug them quickly. Even if it’s not a lot of space, mice can easily fit through those little holes. Keep in mind the biggest part of a mouse’s body is the skull and it’s almost as wide as a pencil cap.
How to keep them out
To prevent these little rodents from entering your house, you must seal up those cracks and holes. You can use steel wool or caulk to fill up the gaps. Just make sure you are not using something which will provide the mice with nice, comfortable nesting material. Mice can chew through improperly cured concrete so make sure the material you’re using is tough enough to resist their teeth.
Don’t forget about your car
It doesn’t matter if you keep your car in a garage or outside when it comes to these little rodents. When they start exploring the inside of the car, they will look for food, water, and a safe spot to hide from their predators, just like they would enter your home.
There is a big chance they will gnaw up the car’s insulation, upholstery, and wiring. A lot of people found dead mice inside their car as they got electrocuted while chewing up the wires. If you have the same bad luck and they sit there for a while, you will have a hard time trying to remove the smell.
If you have a lot of junk lying all over your car’s interior, it’s as tempting for mice to get in there as your house would be. Having a lot of food wrappers in your car will provide them food and a place to hide. Clean your car and remove any food scraps or trash even if you don’t use that car anymore. This way, mice will be less tempted to move there in great numbers.
Mice love peanut butter
As we all know from our childhood cartoons, mice love every type of cheese and it seems they never have enough of it. However, the truth might be a bit different than we learned at young ages. Cheese is actually lower on their preference list than you might expect.
One of the top choices for mice is peanut butter. Just like us, mice are big fans of carbs. Since mice are small and vulnerable, it makes sense for them to get as many calories as possible as they don’t know if they will be eating systematically. So mice are big fans of hazelnut spread, peanut butter, and chocolate.
Mice enjoy eating a strip of bacon
Next time you are cooking some bacon, remember that mice love bacon and you can take advantage of this. The Illinois Department of Public Health advises tying a tiny strip of bacon to the mousetrap in order to lure them. You can use dental floss or fishing line as they are harder to observe by mice.
Mice eat almost anything
If you would eat a type of food, a mouse would probably eat it too. So everything in our kitchen is part of their menu. Your kitchen might look quite clean but if you don’t clean spilled foodstuffs such as oats, sugar or rice, mice will dine in your house for a long time.
Also, leaving dirty dishes with small pieces of food on them or even feeding your pets a plate of wet food can be tempting for mice. If you store bags of flour or sugar in cardboard boxes you should consider stocking up on airtight plastic containers.
How to keep mice away
Having a clean home is the best way to keep them away. The trash bins and cans will be as tempting as you allow them to be. Spend a little more time to make sure you’re correctly managing your food waste and not just letting it decay at the bottom of the bins.
Make a cleaning schedule for vacuuming and wiping the kitchen. It might not be obvious to you, but there could be a lot of tiny morsels of food on counters and floors. For a mouse, having food diversity is the best thing. Scientists have observed that mice make almost 20 to 30 stops a night to eat.
They don’t even eat a lot from every stop as it has been recorded they only consume 0.15 grams of the food.
Tall weeds around your house
High vegetation and shrubs might attract mice as they could use the vegetation to mask their raiding activities. Even if the grass doesn’t occupy a good spot on mice’s list of preferred foods, it works as a place to hide. Since they are so small, they don’t need large obstacles to hide.
A pile of leaves or other natural remains could mask the small rodents so if you want to keep the mouse away, clean the yard waste as fast and efficient as you can. Also, you may place some old-fashioned snap traps around the yard but make sure you warn every family member about them. If you don’t feel good killing the mice by yourself, having a cat or two might help get rid of the mouse problem.
You should avoid traps using glue or poison. Poison could be dangerous to other animals around your house and humans, especially young children. Also, if one of your pets eats a poisoned rat, it might get poisoned too. Glue traps are quite cruel as most of the mice gnaw off their own legs in order to escape so we recommend not using them.
Unsecured garbage bins
When it comes to mice, throwing away food in an unsecured trash bin is like opening a mouse canteen. It doesn’t matter how fresh the food is. Remember they are wild animals and when hunger takes over, they will eat almost anything they might find.
What you could find disgusting might be a desirable dinner for them. Furthermore, we got more and more used to throwing away a lot of food debris and scraps so mice can invade your house in large numbers as there is plenty of food for them.
Even if you are using plastic bags, it doesn’t represent a challenge to hungry mice. One way to keep the mice away is to keep the trash bins far away from the house. If you increase the distance between the mice’s restaurant and your kitchen, the chances of mice looking for food in your house become smaller.
You should do this as a method of prevention, even if you didn’t see any mouse around your house. If you saw a mouse, it is not alone. Certainly, it has more of its family hiding as mice are not solitary creatures. If you got a mouse infestation, getting rid of them will be difficult.
Mice are prolific breeders as they can produce up to 10 litters of babies in just 12 months. They reproduce just 3 weeks after mating, regardless of the season. Even if you consider mice to be cute little animals, they represent a human health hazard. Mice are known for spreading diseases such as leptospirosis, the hantavirus, and the plague.