What Attracts Mice To Nest In The Garage Or Basement
The primary attraction mice have to your basement or garage is the accessibility to shelter and warmth. Typically a garage door is not sealed very well, or the foundation has cracks. Both are excellent ways for a tiny critter such as a mouse to squeeze into.
Mice begin collecting items to build their nest once they get inside. These nesting items can be anything from old newspapers, cardboard boxes, and any other debris you may have stored away.
As long as the environment is warm and cozy, these critters will hang around in your garage as long as you let them. Additionally, a garage normally has plenty of food sources in it, such as pet food, birdseed, and grass seed will keep them sustained throughout the winter.
Cut Off The Food Supply
You may not think twice about that extra fridge out in the garage or opened bags of fertilizer, straw, grains or pet food, but the mice sure do. Mice will remain in your garage so long as theres food to keep their bellies full and negate the need to hunt outside of the structure.
To prevent mice from seeking shelter in your garage, make sure all of these food sources are properly bagged and stored.
Bags of grain and fertilizer are often flimsy and you might overlook potential holes or tears, and so it is in your best interest to store these mice-attracting food sources in a sealed bin or container.
This goes the same for things that tend to spill easily, like birdseed. Examine the floor of your garage, behind tables, under workbenches, or beneath cluttered areas to see if there are any spills that need to be cleaned up.
Without the supply of food being readily available, this is one reason for mice to not shack up in your garage, and one of the most important ones. As with any animal, a food source isnt what only attracts them to the shelter, but it keeps them sticking around too.
How To Get Rid Of Mice
Mice hanging around in your house is a problem that can rapidly get out of hand. Heres what you need to know about keeping the mammals of the order Rodentia out of your home.
There are a number of strategies to deal with a mouse problem, ranging from prevention to repellent to trapping. Each has its own merits and flaws along with varying degrees of compassion for the mouse itself. Were animal lovers here at HGTV, so well start with the most humane methods and then touch on some solutions that should be used as a last resort.
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Spotting Signs Of Mice
Rodent Food And Nests
You may also find food stashes and nests in out of the way corners. I remember finding a mouse nest in the back of an old school desk in my room.
Gnawing damage is another dead giveaway. My mom had a cardboard box of old cooking magazines inside a wooden cabinet, and the mini rodent ninjas still found their way in and chewed the edges of the magazines.
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What Surfaces Can Mice Climb Up
Mice are able to climb up most surfaces–this includes furniture, stairs, countertops, landscape features, and even most surfaces that are vertical. As long as the wall has something for them to grip their tiny paws onto, mice can scale up.
Mice are skillful at jumping and climbing. Mice will climb anything that has a rough surface, this means walls made of stucco, wood, or panels.
Surfaces that are vertical but smooth dont allow the mouse the opportunity for gripping onto anything. This poses an issue when they attempt climbing up the wall. Mice will use ropes, wires, and pipes as aides in climbing up these smooth surfaces. Even that beautiful vine plant you have climbing up the side of your home presents an open invite to mice. Mice are persistent when trying to get indoors, taking advantage of any rough areas. They also see crevices, or cracks in garage doors.
Block Hiding Places And Small Holes With Steel Wool
Mice are elusive creatures that can be difficult to eliminate once theyve taken up residence in your home. One of the best ways to prevent mice from moving in is to block their hiding places and small holes with wool. Mice are attracted to homes because they offer shelter, food, and water. By stopping their access to these things, you make it much less likely that theyll want to move in.
Steel wool is an incredibly effective deterrent because its durable and cant be easily chewed through. Plus, its a more humane solution than traps or poison, which can be dangerous for children and pets. So if youre looking for a way to keep mice out of your garage, wool is a great option.
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Remove All Food Sources
Mice only need small amounts of food each day. To get rid of them in your home, remove the things they like to eat. Store all grains, pet food, and other dry goods in glass or metal containers, which keep food secure since mice cannot chew through them.
To avoid attracting mice to your property, seal all potential food sources in tamper-proof bins, avoid leaving pet food out for long periods, and clean up all spills and messes promptly.
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Get Rid Of Any Nesting Material
Mice love to build nests. They do this for multiple reasons, and the more you understand about why they build nests, the better chance you have in getting rid of the infestation. Nesting behavior allows mice to regulate their body temperature, which is especially helpful in your garage during colder nights.
Building nests also allow mice to protect their litter and young mice pups, giving their offspring a sense of security and protection. Nests also protect the mice against other predators, hiding their bodies in a mess of hay, grass, and other various materials.
Essentially, nests prolong the survival of the mice, and as soon as you rid your garage of materials these nests can be created out of, the sooner the mice will pack up and vacate your garage.
Garages have a tendency to collect things that shouldve been thrown away, like pieces of paper, straw that came loose from its binding or packaging that was neglected and not tossed in the garbage.
All of these items make great material for mice to collect and build nests. Go through your garage and clean up anything that looks like it might make for an excellent bedding material for mice. By doing so, youll not only complete the dreaded task of finally cleaning the garage, but also ensuring the prevention of mice setting in there for good.
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Clean The Garage Floor
Mice are attracted to cluttered, dirty environments where they can find food, shelter, and other materials. A floor covered in oil and grease is perfect for a mouse to set up camp. Not only will cleaning the floor help prevent mice, but it will also make the space more appealing and functional.
A clean floor is easier to sweep and mop, and it will dry faster after a rainstorm. In addition, it will be easier to spot signs of mouse activity, such as droppings or gnaw marks. By taking the time to clean the garage floor, you can help deter mice from making themselves at home.
What Do Mice Look Like
The mice that commonly infest a home or garage include a number of species in the Mus genus of the Rodentia order of mammals. These small, fairly innocuous creatures are common visitors to human homes simply because these structures offer them the dark sheltering areas and food supply they need to survive. Garages are especially susceptible to infestations because mice often go overlooked here. And food sources, such as grass seeds, bird food, and pet food, are often plentiful.
The best-known species of mouse in the U.S. is Mus musculus, the 3- to 4-inch-long brownish house mouse with a pointed nose and long tail. There are also a number of field mice from the Apodemus genus and deer mice from the Peromyscus genus that can, under some circumstances, infest a home, garage, or outbuilding. These rodents are very similar to house mice, except for having white bellies rather than the solid-colored coat found on the house mouse.
Liz Bomford/Photodisc / Getty Images
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Where Do Mice Hide During The Day
Mice spend most of the day holed up in their nests or shelters. Most live in cool, dark places like the space between walls, the backs of pantries or cupboards, in attics or crawl spaces, or in clutter like old boxes and stacks of paper.
These areas offer shelter and protection for mice and keep them safe from predators like cats.
How To Get Rid Of Mice In The Garage This Winter
Have an attached garage? It may be how the mice are getting into your house.
Make sure that garage door seals correctly. If it doesnt you might need the Xcluder Rodent-Proof Garage Door Seal.
Tim Horgan, Service Manager at Debug Pest Control
An attached garage is an often overlooked portal for mice looking to get into your house for the winter. Every time you open the garage door to leave for work, come home from work, or do any kind of car maintenance or chore in your garageyoure creating an opportunity for mice to enter your home.
And once mice are in your garage, its only a matter of time before they get into your much warmer house.
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How Do You Know If Mice Are Gone
The first thing youll probably notice is a lack of new mouse droppings. When the mice are gone, the signs and destruction they leave behind will be, too.
After the droppings disappear, you may also notice that you dont hear the mice any longer, or that youre not cleaning up the debris or nests they leave behind any longer.
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Go For Electronic Repellants
Electronic mice repellants are excellent at keeping mice and other rodents out of garages. They are designed to emit sound waves that keep mice uncomfortable. Humans dont hear these waves, but the mice hear them and cannot stand the sound.
For some people, an electronic repellant is the best rodent repellent for garage. The reason is that it is stress-free to use. All you have to do is buy it from the stores, plug it into a power outlet and it starts working.
So, whether youre looking for how to keep mice out of garage in winter or fall, these outlined methods will work as they are effective in most seasons.
How To Tell If You Have Mice In Your House
Its probably more common to see mouse droppings or mouse damage before you see the mice themselves, as they are nocturnal.
When I was a kid, the little buggers would drive me crazy at night running around up in the attic. Thankfully we didnt get rats in the house, but they would sometimes show up in the outbuildings around the farm.
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How Can I Prevent Mice From Getting Into My Garage
If you want to prevent mice from getting into your garage, you need to make the garage as unappealing to them as possible. Use the following tips to rodent-proof your garage.
- Keep grass seed, dog food, and bird seed in sealed containers or bins
- Reduce clutter and keep things organized
- Seal cracks and gaps leading into the garage
- Cut back tree branches that touch the roof of the garage
- Move trashcans outdoors and seal them tightly
- Store firewood outdoors, as far away from your garage and house as possible
Pictured Above: An entry point where the garage stairs meet the exterior wall was allowing mice to infest the garage.
One of the most important things you need to do to prevent mice from entering your garage is to completely seal entry points. Mice can squeeze through a gap as small as a dime. Dont underestimate a mouses determination to use these holes and enter your garage! Remember, just because you dont see actual mice doesnt mean they arent there in large numbers. Just one mouse can have between 25-60 offspring in a single year.
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Option Three: The Circle Of Life
If relocating your mice isnt really an option, or if its a recurring problem, it might be worth adopting a cat. Cats make excellent family pets, and their presence is an active deterrent to rodents. Mice tend to avoid nesting in areas where they know active predators are present, but its important to remember that cats are simply a deterrent and not a solution to why you might have pests. Having a cat can be a wonderful addition to your family, but if youre not ready for the commitment of a pet, its better to revisit the preventative solutions.
What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like
If you see something similar to dark-colored rice in random places in your home, you may have a mouse in your house. Mice defecate often and have small feces that may have a slight sheen or glisten and are usually black in color. Mouse droppings gray with age, so if you find hard, crumbly, gray droppings, youve found the area where a mouse used to live.
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Do Mice Nest In A Garage
Yes mice will happily set up a nest in your garage! It offers them a secure environment away from predators to rear their young.
Not only that, but it also offers warmth and protection from you!
Mice are scared of humans, so they will want to stay out of your way!
Ultimately, if they have a nest in there, then not only do you need to get rid of a mouse in your garage, but you need to get rid of a nest of them too!
What Causes Mice In A Garage
Mice are a common problem in a garage because these spaces typically have many dark places to hide and nest, they often have good food and water sources, and there are usually plenty of cracks and crevices that allow them to come and go easily. In other words, if a space was designed to shelter mice, it would look a lot like a typical garage. On the other hand, spotlessly clean, well-lit, and airtight garages will not be very attractive to mice and other rodents.
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