Home Maintenance Tip: Get Rid of Mice in Your Crawl Space
Posted on November 09, 2015

Do you may hear clawing, gnawing or pitter-patter sounds at night? Have you noticed mouse droppings? Mice are notorious for getting into pantries or cabinets to raid food, as well as gnawing on wood or electrical wires. It is important to address any problem with mice because mouse feces and urine can spread diseases, provide an unpleasant odor and attract more mice.

Crawl spaces and the interior of walls provide an ideal environment for mice as shelter from the elements and protection from predators. A crawl space may also provide a good source for food and an entry into the living areas of the house through the wall cavities. Crawl space floor and wall insulation makes a nice nest for mice.

The first step to eliminating mice in your house is to seal off all entry points. Mice have very soft cartilage that enables them to fit their bodies through holes as small as a dime. Since mice have an average of six baby mice per litter with as many as a dozen litters per year, removing all possible places where mice can enter your home is paramount.

  • Examine the exterior of your home thoroughly for possible entry holes. These can include pipe or vent penetrations, loose siding, joints of any type and gaps at roof eaves and soffits for example. Sealing these areas can also promote energy efficiency.
  • Fill these holes or gaps with wire mesh, mortar or caulk depending on the surface.
  • Do not use your crawl space as a storage area. Mice can use any organic materials to nest.
  • Eliminate moisture sources that may be collecting in your crawl space. Mice drink too.
  • Remove mouse droppings and any soiled insulation. Use a respirator when performing this task.

After sealing the house and removing food and water sources, the next step is to trap and remove the mice. Depending on your preference, spring-loaded traps or live-catch traps are the best methods to catch mice. These traps are available at your local hardware or big box home improvement stores. The key to catching mice is the placement of the traps.

  • Traps should be placed on the pathways that the mice are using. Follow the feces and the litter they may have created.
  • Use a small amount of peanut butter as bait for the traps. If you use too much, the bait can be stolen without activating the trigger of the spring-loaded variety of traps.
  • Check the traps daily and remove the mice.
  • Listen for more scratching and gnawing sounds and look for fresh mouse droppings.
  • Continue to set the traps until you are satisfied that you have caught all the mice living in your crawl space.
  • If your traps are not working, study the mouse runways closer and reposition the traps.

With a little persistence, you can rid your house of mice. However, if you don’t have the inclination or the time, you can always contact a pest control company to tackle this project.

 

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