Preventing Mouse Invasions in the Winter: Your Home’s Defense Guide

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The beginning of winter brings festivity, family gatherings, and warmth around the fire. However, winter brings biting and even deadly temperatures for many little critters. This means that you and many other homeowners will see the return of unwanted pests in your homes. As the weather turns chilly, these tiny pests, such as mice, seek warmth and shelter in our cozy abodes. If you’re asking yourself, how do you keep mice out of your house during winter, and why do they come inside your home? This guide can help provide you with answers and practical solutions.

Mice: How Tough Are They?

The winter months can be especially bitter and cold, even for us, and you may be asking yourself, “Can mice survive the cold?” Mice are not particularly fond of the cold. These tiny rodents are naturally adapted to outdoor environments, but extreme cold can be deadly. Their fur provides some insulation but is not enough to keep them warm during harsh winter conditions. So, why do mice enter the house in the winter when the temperatures drop? Most importantly, how do you keep mice out of your house during the winter? Please continue reading to learn how mice think and act and how to prevent them from invading your home during the colder months.

Why Do Mice Come in the House in the Winter?

Warmth, Comfort, and Safety: 

Mice prefer a warm and cozy environment when temperatures drop outside. However, mice infestations do not question whether mice can survive the cold but how they survive the cold. Several factors contribute to why mice enter our homes and how our homes help them survive the cold. 

Our homes offer a perfect haven from the cold, with heating systems that provide an appealing escape for these creatures, food in hidden places, and overall protection from the elements. 

Food Sources: 

Mice are very resourceful creatures. They come inside seeking food, especially when their natural food sources become scarce during the winter. Mice can survive on various items, including grains, seeds, and crumbs left behind. Knowing a mouse’s diet can help you diminish the use of these foods in your home or ensure it is well maintained. Keep a clean environment and avoid leaving out food or leftovers, as the crumbs attract mice. 

Protection from Predators: 

The dropping temperatures and possibility of snow aren’t the only dangers mice face by staying outdoors. Predators of mice, also looking for food and warmth during these winter months, are constantly on the prowl. Houses protect mice from natural predators like owls, snakes, and larger mammals. This safety factor further encourages them to seek refuge indoors. Knowing why mice are attracted to our homes during the winter helps us devise effective strategies to keep them out.

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How to Keep Mice Out of Your House During the Winter

Now that we have answered the question, “Why do mice come in the house in the winter,” we can move on to answering the question of how to keep mice out of the house in winter. Below, we have listed several methods of prevention to help keep mice out of your home during the cold winter season. 

Seal Entry Points

Mice can slip through surprisingly small openings. Mice do not have clavicles (collar bones) like humans do. This means they can fit into any hole they can fit their head through. If you can poke your finger through a hole that leads from the outside of your home to your inner wall void, then a mouse can get in through that access. Carefully inspect your home for gaps or cracks; seal them with caulk, weatherstripping, or steel wool. Pay special attention to areas around windows, doors, vents, and pipes penetrating the exterior wall. Oversized weep holes in bricks can be filled with a wire mesh. It is important that you use a wire mesh that allows airflow from the inner wall to the exterior wall. So, don’t just stuff them full. That airflow allows moisture to leave your wall in the form of humidity, a function without which may lead to conditions that are conducive to fungus, mold, termites, and other pests. 

Keep a Tidy Home

During winter, you’ll have extra cushions, blankets, and other cozy items out on couches and beds. Snuggling in on the couch with a fuzzy blanket is a wintertime staple. However, not only do you enjoy it, but so do mice! Make sure to pick up any blankets, clothes, or other objects mice might hide in and keep them on elevated surfaces, away from the ground. Clutter provides many places for mice to hide and feel safe; so, reducing clutter in your home is important.

As mentioned, mice are also attracted to food, so maintaining a clean and crumb-free home is crucial. Store food in airtight containers, promptly clean up crumbs and spills, and ensure your garbage cans have secure lids. Remember to clean pet food dishes after use as well. Keep bags of pet food stored in a container with a lid.

Set Traps

Mousetraps are an effective way to catch mice that have already entered your home. Please place them in areas where you’ve seen mouse activity or near any potential entry points. Bait the traps with either professional lures such as Provoke by Bell Labs or with foods that mimic rodents’ natural diet such as oats mixed with peanut butter. Though popular culture would have you believe that mice like cheese, this is not the best bait as it is not part of their natural diet. While they will eat cheese, they will have a preference for nuts and grains. 

Consider Ultrasonic Repellents

What are ultrasonic-repellent devices, and are they effective? Ultrasonic-repellent devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are unpleasant for mice while inaudible to humans, but rodents will put up with a significant amount of unpleasantness to survive. This annoyance will not stop rodents from seeking out food, water, and shelter. After consulting dozens of pest control companies on the use of these devices, not a single one used these devices as part of their Integrated Pest Management strategy. 

Keep Up With Outdoor Maintenance

Keeping the outdoor areas around your home tidy can help prevent mice from nesting outside. Large amounts of vegetation, open trash, and scattered garden tools can attract mice to your yard, eventually tempting them into your home. Here is a list of potential and unsuspicious items in your yard that may attract mice to your home. 

In the meantime, trim overgrown vegetation and store firewood, trash, and debris away from your house. These steps make your property less appealing to mice, reducing the likelihood of them entering in the first place.

Hire Professional Help

For severe mouse infestations, consider professional pest control services like Bug Bros. While DIY methods offer temporary relief, experts ensure long-term solutions. Early action is vital to prevent winter mouse invasions. You can maintain a rodent-free home during chilly months by understanding why mice seek indoor warmth and using effective prevention.
Remember, mice aren’t the only winter pests. Are you experiencing other infestations? Check this article on eliminating overwintering pests. For comprehensive winter pest control, Bug Bros has got you covered! Ask for a quote now!

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