How to Keep Mice and Other Critters Out this Winter

Fall is finally here and there is so much to look forward to. Soon, the leaves will change, and sweater weather will be in full swing. Fall is a favorite time of year for many people, thanks to its wonderful flavors and traditions.

Like many homeowners, you may find that you struggle with pest problems as soon as it gets cold outside. Mice, bugs, and lots of other pests like to move indoors to escape the cold, bringing loads of trouble with them. Mice are so common that many homeowners give up and almost consider them as a part of the house, but mice will dirty the insides of your walls and risk making you sick. It’s important that you avoid this problem and get rid of it as soon as it comes up. 

Check out the following tips to avoid the headache of a pest problem this winter. If you are currently dealing with an infestation, contact a professional for mouse control in Brampton or near you. 

Block Them Out 

Mice and pests get into the house somehow. One of the most obvious ways you can keep them out of the house is to block the entrances they use to get inside. So, grab a flashlight and take a good look at your home’s exterior. Search for holes that a mouse could fit through. Keep in mind that mice can climb up the wall and sneak through holes that are barely one-quarter of an inch wide. Then, grab some pest-proofing materials and get to work. 

Here are some common entry points and how you can get rid of them:

  • Door Gaps. In many cases, mice come walking in through the front door. Seal gaps underneath your doors by installing some weatherstripping to their bottoms. When a door swings inside, put the strip on the inside of the door. If it swings outside, put it on the outside. You’ll be keeping mice, bugs, and cold air from creeping into the house. 
  • Window Frames and Screens. Fix tears in your window screens with patches from the hardware store or replace them entirely. Then, seal cracks in your window frames with caulking. This will keep pests out while reducing drafts. 
  • Weep Holes and Vents. The little holes in your brick wall are important for ventilation, but they may be wide enough to let mice in. Block these with metal covers you can find online or at the hardware store. Just make sure that they are flexible and grated so air will continue to flow. Likewise, cover your wall vents with a thick steel mesh. Screw the material right into the wall to keep pests out. 
  • Cracks in the Foundation. Fill small cracks in the foundation with epoxy or stuff them with steel wool. If you find any cracks that are horizontal, bulging, or that seem to be getting larger, contact a foundation repair professional for an inspection. 
  • Soffit Gaps. Are there gaps between your soffits and the exterior wall? Mice, bats, wasps, and other pests will climb into the attic through these openings. Seal them off with mesh, caulking, or metal flashing. 
  • Utility Lines and Cables. Check behind your air conditioning unit and look for gaps surrounding your cables. Seal these up with expanding foam, caulking, or steel wool. Mice may crawl into these holes, then get into the walls of the house. 

Clean up the Kitchen and Pantry 

The second-best way to keep mice out this winter is to keep the house clean. Mice can smell the food you keep in the house and will come looking for it. Start by deep cleaning the kitchen and anywhere you store food. Clean all your major appliances, like the oven and the fridge, and clean up behind them. Wipe down all your kitchen cabinets and store food in airtight containers. Then, get in the habit of keeping the kitchen and dining room clean. Don’t leave any food out overnight and do the dishes every day.

Dehumidify the Home

Pests are attracted to humid homes where they can find water. Tighten your faucets so they do not leak and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight. If you find the air a little humid, consider getting a hygrometer to confirm your suspicion. Homes should be kept at 30 to 40% humidity in the winter and somewhere between 50 and 60% in the summertime. 

You can reduce the humidity in your home by setting up a dehumidifier or increasing ventilation. Get some ceiling fans and turn the fan on whenever you take a shower. You can also use the exhaust fan in your kitchen when cooking and boiling water. 

Maintain the Yard  

Finally, you can help avoid a pest problem this winter by doing some maintenance around the yard. Mow the lawn one final time and trim back your shrubs so pests have fewer places to hide. Clean up under your deck and move objects away from the walls of the house. Rake the leaves, clean out your gutters, and tidy up the yard. If you have fruit trees, make sure you pick up their fruit as soon as they fall to the ground. Don’t leave any fruit or vegetables out to rot – rodents will eat them in a heartbeat. 

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