The Trick To Keeping Rodents Out Of Your West Palm Beach Home
September 08, 2023
House mice didn't get their name because of any domestic prowess, but these invasive mammals do have their hearts set on taking over your household. As one of the most common home-invading pests in West Palm Beach, house mice are almost completely dependent on human activity.
Mice love our constant food and garbage output, along with the warmth and moisture in our homes. Unfortunately, they'll reward your hospitality by damaging your home and belongings.
If you spot a tiny rodent with large round ears, a sharp-pointed snout, and a fuzzy tail that measures only a few inches long, you may have found a house mouse. Seeing these little critters can be unsettling, to say the least, but we've put together some tricks for keeping mice away from your West Palm Beach home.
What Attracts Mice in West Palm Beach
Mice cause plenty of problems in West Palm Beach homes. They can gnaw through anything and everything in search of food, and have been known to chew through drywall, wooden beams, cardboard, and even some types of concrete. Mice also quickly contaminate the food items they break into, rendering them inedible.
Before you can effectively keep mice out of your home, it's important to understand what lures them in the first place. Here are some common factors that attract mice in West Palm Beach:
- Food Sources: Mice are opportunistic eaters and can thrive on the crumbs and food scraps we leave behind. The warm climate in West Palm Beach encourages outdoor dining, which can accidentally attract rodents. Make sure to clean up food thoroughly, both indoors and outdoors, and store food securely.
- Water Supply: Just like us, mice need water to survive. Leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and even pet water bowls left outside can serve as water sources for these unwelcome guests. Fix leaks and regularly empty outdoor water containers to keep from attracting mice.
- Shelter: Mice find shelter in any small, dark cracks and crevices around the house. This includes between walls, in attics, and in sheds.
- Nesting Materials: Mice can use overgrown vegetation, cluttered storage areas, and piles of debris to build their nests. Keeping your yard well-maintained and organized can deter them.
Once mice have access to these four components, they can quickly establish a colony and begin to breed. Removing these factors will prevent mice from being attracted to your home, but how are they getting inside in the first place?
How Do Mice Get in Your House?
Mice are notorious for their ability to squeeze through tiny openings. In fact, they can fit through gaps as small as a quarter of an inch — that's only the width of a pencil! Here are a few ways mice can get into your home:
- Gaps and Cracks: Mice commonly enter through cracks and openings in walls, gaps in windows and door frames, and holes in the roof. Seal any gaps you find with caulk or weather stripping.
- Vents and Chimneys: Mice can enter through roof vents and uncapped chimneys. Install mesh wiring over these openings to deter them.
- Garage and Basement Doors: Make sure that your garage and basement doors are well-sealed with weatherproofing strips and door sweeps.
- Utility Lines: Inspect utility lines that enter your home. Even small gaps around these lines are potential entry points. Seal them with steel wool and caulk for added protection.
- Foundation Cracks: Cracks in your home's foundation can be an invitation for mice. Repairing these cracks not only keeps out mice but also helps with overall home maintenance.
- Hitchhiking: Another way mice can get in the house is by hitching a ride on items that are brought in from outside, such as boxes, furniture, and even firewood. Check outside items for any signs of mice before bringing them indoors.
The Difference Between Mice and Rats
We often get calls from West Palm Beach homeowners claiming to have seen a mouse, only to find that they were actually dealing with rats. While mice and rats may seem similar at first glance, they have distinct differences that can affect how you deal with them.
The easiest way to figure out whether you're seeing a mouse or a rat is by size. Many people don't realize that mice are a lot smaller than we think they are. Most mice are only about 2-4 inches in length from nose to tail — and the tail makes up most of that length!
Rats, meanwhile, are typically 7-10 inches long. They also have smaller, less noticeable ears than mice do. Mice and rats also have a distinct difference in behavior — mice tend to be curious and exploratory, while rats are more cautious and avoid unfamiliar environments.
How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally
As with all pests, the best way to keep mice out of your home is through prevention. Unfortunately, these tiny critters can manage to find a home in your house even with prevention measures in place. If mice have already found a way into your home, here are some ways to get rid of mice naturally:
- Peppermint Oil: Mice dislike the smell of peppermint. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in areas where you suspect mice activity.
- Mouse Traps: Purchase humane mouse traps (or make your own) and set them near areas where you've seen mouse activity. Make sure to release any mice you catch away from your home, or else they may come back.
- Vinegar: The sharp smell of vinegar also works to repel mice. Clean areas where you've seen mice activity with vinegar to cover their pheromones and deter other mice from following them in.
Professional Rodent Control in West Palm Beach
Do-it-yourself solutions may help if you're only dealing with one or two mice, but unfortunately, a colony is nearly impossible to get rid of once it's established. Mice reproduce quickly, grow up quickly, and eat through the house and home even quicker. If you suspect you have a colony of mice in your home, it may be time to consider professional rodent control.
Our team at Native Pest Management is more than ready to address your rodent concerns with a free inspection, custom treatments, and guaranteed protection from future rodent infestations. Our services involve pet safe and eco-friendly procedures that will quickly and effectively eradicate the mice in your home.
Give us a call today to schedule your free rodent inspection!