During the winter, mice in Pittsburgh have lots of reasons to want to be inside your home—they just don't know it. They don't have a sixth sense that tells them that your home has a maze of passages to play in, lots of soft stuff to make nests with, or that there is an abundance of food. All they know at first is that there is warmth. They usually find this out as they explore your exterior and come upon a small gap or crack. It doesn't have to be a big opening to allow that little mouse inside. A full-sized, adult mouse can get through a gap the size of a nickel. And, if a gap is smaller than a nickel, a mouse has teeth that are able to chew holes through wood and plastic. This is usually how mice get inside Pittsburgh homes—they take small holes and make them larger. So, how do you keep mice from getting into your house? Here are some ideas that will help you protect your Pittsburgh home from common winter house mice problems.
Your home belongs to you and those mice aren't invited to be guests in your house. It is your job to let them know. Otherwise, they may take you up on an offer you never gave. You can keep mice out by sealing entry points and strengthening your defenses in vulnerable areas.
Sealing Entry Points — There are many ways mice can get into your home. The most common entry points can be found around doors and windows. Mice chew through screens and frames to get into the voids of your walls. They chew holes through the rubber weatherstripping that is around your exterior doors. They chew small holes in the corners of door sweeps to squeeze through. They'll also exploit gaps around pipes and wire conduit, cracks in foundation walls, and holes in mortar. All of these points of entry can usually be examined easily and patched quickly. But there is a common entry point that tends to be hard to examine and fix. Mice often target rotting sole plates on a home. These are the horizontal wood members that rest on your foundation wall. If they are softened by wood rot, they can become an easy access point to your home. Since mice prefer to chew holes in locations that are protected and secluded, they'll usually attack a soleplate that is under a deck, patio or porch.
Strengthening Defenses — If you have a spot on your home that gets targeted by mice, sealing it may not be enough. You may have to protect it with metal flashing or change the conditions to make mice uncomfortable when they come to chew on that spot, such as remove potted plants, add light, or clear objects away from the location. Doing this will make mice feel exposed.
The Next Step
If you're reading this and you know that you already have mice in your home, you're probably wondering, "What is the fastest way to get rid of mice?" The method that works best is trapping and removal. This is the method professionals use. But there are many ways trapping can fail when it is done by an untrained individual. Professionals follow complicated procedures that are known to be effective. It is best to seek out a professional for mouse removal.
Witt Pest Management is Pittsburgh's oldest and most advanced pest control provider. Our team of expertly-trained professionals knows Pittsburgh mice and they have the experience to track mice down and eliminate them. We can help you with those winter mice.