Princess Bride fans may fondly recall the “rodents of unusual size” that gave Princess Buttercup and Wesley a run for their money in the fire swamp. (If you read that and have no idea what I’m talking about, then I, perhaps, just dated myself. lol) Seeing packs of rodents scampering here and there in a motion feature film is one thing. Finding them in your house is quite another! Anyone who has ever had mice problems at home understands how cringe-worthy it can be.
Upon discovering evidence of mice problems at home, a concerned homeowner might set straight away to Googling for swift solutions. While most people focus their attention on how to get rid of mice, not many take time to consider what might be attracting them into the house in the first place. That’s what this post is about. If you have one or more of the things we’re about to mention in your yard, then that might be the cause of your current rodent problems.
Outdoor bird feeders often spark mice problems
Watching birds flock to feeders in the yard is such a pleasurable activity. You might also have enjoyed building your own bird feeders for craft times with your kids. If you have mice problems, however, you might want to re-think having bird feeders around the yard. It just so happens, according to pest control experts, that mice love to eat nuts and seeds as much as birds do! Birds do not prey upon mice. So, your bird feeders will not only attract beautiful birds but rodents like mice that are also hunting for food sources. Since the birds won’t kill the mice, they’ll keep coming back and may eventually work their way into your home.
Composting is good for your garden but can also cause mice problems
If you’re a home gardener, you no doubt understand how expensive fertilizers and soil amendment products can be. Building a compost pile is an economically feasible way to nurture your soil. It also helps reduce waste in landfills. Composts are great; that’s why I hate to be the one to tell you that they are also major mice-attracters. Not only will those fuzzy little rodents find lots to eat in your compost pile, they might take up residence there, as well!
You can keep your compost pile and prevent mice problems at the same time by using a heavy-duty container to hold your compost. It’s even better if you use the tumbler style bins, which raises the container off the ground. Unless your local mice population has learned to jump, a raised bin will help keep them from entering. Here are a few more ways to keep mice out of compost.
Give your house a once-over for holes and cracks
Do you know that a mouse can squeeze its body through a hole the size of a nickel? If you’re having mice problems in your house, walk around the outside of your house to check for cracks and holes. Patch as many as you can. You can use things like wire mesh (similar to what you’d put in a chimney to deter raccoons and squirrels), or seal cracks with caulk. If you have a garage, check that, too, especially if it’s built-on to your house!
Keep your yard clutter-free
Especially during autumn, if you live in a place with a lot of deciduous trees, it’s fun to rake the leaves into piles so kids can jump in them. (Make sure you check them for ticks, if your kids do this!) Piles of leaves are pretty to look at, as well. The only problem is that they attract mice. In fact, any type of strewn or piled-up debris or clutter around your yard is like hanging a big ol’ welcome sign out for mice! Stacked lumber or firewood, bricks, piles of toys, etc., all help to create a mouse-friendly environment. One of the first things you can do to resolve mice problems is to de-clutter your yard and indoors, too.
Mouse plus mouse equals TONS of mice
Once you have mice problems, it’s tough to get rid of them. One mouse may have up to 10 litters per year. You might not think that sounds so bad, until you learn that there are typically as many as 12 baby mice in a single litter! This means that spying a couple tiny mice under the kitchen sink can quickly turn into a whole-house infestation!
If you’re thinking that having mice in the yard isn’t as bad as having them in the house, think again. Any mouse that’s within scampering distance of your home will eventually find a way inside!
The good news for mice problems
In addition to being contortionists that can squeeze through eensy-weensy cracks and holes, mice also have a keen sense of smell. There just so happens to be numerous scents that they appear to strongly dislike. By spreading these scents around your house and yard, you can prevent mice problems. Mouse-deterrent aromas include the following: cinnamon, vinegar, dryer sheets, peppermint, tea bags, mint, cayenne pepper and cloves.
If you have mouse problems, hopefully this post will help you solve them; unless, of course, the mouse you’re having a problem with is a computer accessory — then — not so much. lol