During the fall and winter months, rodents such as mice and rats in Alabama start seeking out warmer, more hospitable homes. They need a steady supply of food and water along with protection from the elements and dangerous predators. Unfortunately, your home can often involuntarily attract and make the perfect home for these critters. While it’s still warm and summer-like here in Alabama, now is the quintessential time to start preparing. When it comes to rodent control, especially mice, the best strategy is prevention. Here are a few tips on how to keep mice out of your home.
Seal Any Gaps or Holes on the Inside and Outside of Your Home
Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a half-dollar. The easiest and best way to prevent mice from getting inside your home is to seal up any gaps or holes. Take a walk around the inside of your home, looking for ways pests can get in. Look around doors, windows, floor vents, inside, under, and behind all kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator, and stove. Check the pipes under sinks, around your water heater and furnace, and inside both the basement and attic. Don’t forget your closets!
Now take a walk around the outside of your home. Specifically, focus on the areas around your doors, windows, around the foundation, utility holes, and on your roof. Fix any small holes with steel wool. Put caulk on the steel wool to keep it in place. Utilizing your local hardware store, use a lath screen or lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix large holes.
Keep Debris Around Outside of Home to a Minimum
Later in the fall, when the leaves start to fall, try to keep them cleaned up as much as possible or at least moved away from your house. Rodents and other wildlife love to make homes out of leaf piles. Do you store birdseed in your garage? Keep it in a tight metal container. Chipmunks and squirrels are notorious for chewing through the plastic to get a good meal. And keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your house because mice love to make nests out of woodpiles. Only bring it inside when you are ready to use it so that any wood boring insects will be defeated right away.
Trim and Prune Trees and Other Shrubbery
Cut off the bridge that enables mice and rats into your home by trimming back shrubbery from the exterior of your home. Keep any branches and twigs trimmed close to your property and prune any leaves that hang over or touch your house.
Keep Foods Properly Sealed and Contained
A great way to keep mice from infesting your Alabama home is to manage your food better. Any food that drops on the floor, crumbs that make their way under appliances, or even dinner left out overnight is an easy target for a hungry mouse or rat. Clean up any messes and spills immediately and no matter how tired you are, never let food sit out overnight. It is also never a good idea to store rice, cereal, or pet food on the ground in the south unless they are in a properly sealed container. Pet food, including birdseed, makes a great attraction for mice and rats, so keep it packed in plastic or metal containers.
Common Snacks Mice and Rats Enjoy Include:
- Grains, seeds, and nuts
- Bread and crackers
- Peanut butter
- Fruit and vegetables
- Pet food
Make Your Alabama Home Less Attractive to Rodents With Essential Oils
The verdict on whether or not essential oils work is still out, but if you’re willing to try, the best essential oil to use is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil covers up the pheromone trails that mice leave for communication making it difficult for them to get around. They also hate the smell. It irritates their nasal cavities. Soak the essential oil in cotton balls and stick them in areas that frequently attract mice.
Set up mouse traps around the more vulnerable areas of your home, such as along walls and behind trash cans. There are a variety of mouse traps to choose from. If you’re looking to eliminate mice, there are snap and electric traps. There are the sticky and live catch traps for the more humane option, both of which allow you to set the mice free. With the exception of the sticky trap, which uses adhesive glue, all use some kind of bait such as peanut butter or chocolate.
Stop Rodents Completely With Rodent Control Services From Bama Pest Inc.
While all the above tips are helpful in keeping mice out of your home, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, they find a way in. That’s when you call on the professionals at Bama Pest Control, Inc. for help. Our Rodent Control Services include the removal, trapping, relocation, animal waste clean-up, and removal of dead animals. We follow and utilize Integrated Pest Management protocols for your family’s safety and the protection of the environment. Learn more about our Rodent Control Services by visiting our website or contacting us today. You can fill out our online form or give us a call at (251) 478-7015.