As the weather gets colder, rodents will seek shelter in a cozy home, could it be yours this year?
Rodents are attracted to homes where the food is plentiful and the rooms are warm. Wood furniture is also among their favorites.
Mice have a very developed sense of smell and this helps them identify if there is any food around the house . If you don’t keep your food in containers the mice will detect it by smell.
Keep in mind that rodents aren’t only a nuisance, they carry many diseases that can be transmitted via urine, infested food and feces.
According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) there are over ten diseases you can contact by having mice in your home, five of them life-threatening.
To prevent this, follow a few simple rules to keep rodents away from your home.
Store your food in containers instead of bags
Most of us store our grains and breakfast cereals in boxes and bags, unfortunately, mice can chew through the bag fabric and reach to the food.
This also applies to sandwiches, or any type of food that we don’t usually store in airtight containers.Diseases such as Leptospirosis and Lassa fever can occur if you eat food contaminated by mice.
All rodents leave a specific smell and droppings everywhere they go, so if your kitchen is smelling a little bit off, you may want to check all of your food for teeth marks on the packaging.
Get rid of the clutter
Mice are attracted by crowded closets, storage rooms and forgotten corners of your home where nests can be easily built.
For example, your old boxes where you store plates, glasses or clothes you no longer use are the perfect hiding place for mice.
If you store piles of clothing in your attic or basement, look for small bite marks. Mice love chewing on clothing and newspapers. Rodents take these materials and they build their nest with it.
Cardboard boxes are also at risk since mice love to chew the boxes as well and your items won’t be safe.
Old sofas are also a good place for mice to build a nest since they can chew through the fabric.The rodents are usually more active during the night, you may not find them in your old boxes during the day but you can look for feces and urine traces.
Give repellents a try
There are certain scents that mice find unpleasant.
For example, cinnamon sticks are known to keep mice away if you place them strategically, in your drawers, in your closet and in places you believe mice might build a nest.
Mint leaves are also known to repel rodents, if you don’t have the plant itself you can by peppermint or spearmint oil and sprinkle a few drops around the house.
If you like the smell of mint, you can place a few drops in your washing machine as well, this way your clothes will smell unpleasant to mice.
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Consider getting a cat
This might sound a little bit extreme but can be better at keeping rodents away if not having their arch enemy around the house?
Before you get one, ask the previous owner about the behavior of the cat. Many cats never hunted down a mice in their entire lives. In a situation like this, taking a stray cat from the streets that had to hunt in order to survive is a better idea than buying a cat that was pampered her entire life.
Build a shelter for birds
Some prey birds such as owls hunt down mice.
If you are in an area where owls and other prey birds are plentiful, you should consider building a nest. The only disadvantage to this tactic is that prey birds are active only during the night and the mice must get outside the house for the birds to hunt them down.
However, make sure you don’t try to attract prey birds such as owls around the house if you have small pets or children.At times, owls attack humans as well. When in doubt hire a qualified Exterminator.
Don’t store in your home items that mice might transform into a nest
If you don’t want to sell or give away pieces of furniture, clothing or other items you don’t use, you should look into a self-storage service till you fix your rodents issue.
The more old furniture, clothes and card boxes you store inside the house, the higher chances of attracting mice. If there are pieces of furniture you don’t want to sell or give away or any other items that may be tempting for mice, consider use a self-storage unit temporary till you get rid of the mice.
If you live in an area where mice infestations happen yearly as the temperature drops, consider investing in furniture pieces made out of aluminum. Mice can’t chew on aluminum and no damage is made if you can’t always keep them away.
Contributed by: Natural Pest Solutions , Foremost experts in Rodent and all other types of pests.