Mice are determined, little creatures! Once they find their way into your home, it can be difficult to get them out and keep them out. What materials can they chew through to gain access to your house? What materials will keep them out? Read on to find out!
- About Mice
- What Can Mice Chew Through?
- What Can’t Mice Chew Through?
- Mouse Proofing Tips!
- A Word of Warning About Mice
Mice are rodents with long front teeth called incisors. Their incisors continue to grow throughout their lives. They need to chew in order to wear down those teeth. They also chew in order to gain access to food and shelter.
Mice’s teeth are strong and durable. The incisors curve inward, which makes it difficult for them to chew on hard, flat surfaces. These tough, little rodent teeth can do a lot of damage to a home!
Mice can also squeeze through tiny openings of the size of a dime. They will view any small opening in your home as an invitation to enter.
What Can Mice Chew Through?
Mice do not gnaw on wood to gain nutrients, but to gain access to shelter or food. Sometimes they will use the chewed wood fibers to build their nests.
Mice can chew through plastic. Thin plastic is no match for mice teeth, especially if there is food inside! While some heavy-duty totes may be more mouse-resistant, a mouse on a mission can eventually chew its way inside.
Mice can make their way through vinyl, such as vinyl siding. Once they are through the siding, they will then make a tiny opening to allow them into your home. If you have mice in your home, and cannot figure out how they are making their way in, check your vinyl siding for bite marks.
Yes, mice can even chew through rubber! Some people may use rubber sheeting to seal mouse holes, but even rubber is not a match for those sharp, little mouse teeth.
Fiberglass, like the material in insulation, or in some screens, can also be chewed to shreds by invading mice. Mice may even use fiberglass insulation as nesting material.
Low Gauge Aluminum
Mice can chew through aluminum. Some pest control specialists suggest using wads of aluminum foil as a mouse deterrent. You can try to stuff mouse holes with wadded-up aluminum foil. While it is true that the foil may deter mice due to its sharp edges, there are better materials to use to block mouse holes.
Insulating foam may be a great way to keep water and air from seeping through cracks, but it will not keep the mice out! Mice can chew through insulating foam easily.
For some reason, wires are especially tempting to mice. It seems that mice are attracted to the shiny appearance of wires. Unfortunately, chewed wires can cause horrific damage to your home. Damaged wiring can cause power outages and even start a fire.
If you have wires that have been chewed on by mice, it is important that you contact an electrician to repair the wires immediately. Wire damage is a safety hazard.
Mice use fabric as nest material. It is easy for them to chew and shred. A fabric barrier will not keep mice out.
Mice can gnaw on water pipes which may cause leaks and damage in your home.
What Can’t Mice Chew Through?
Concrete that has been properly cured is mouse-proof! However, old or brittle concrete could be broken down by a determined mouse. Concrete is a great material for patching large cracks or openings near the ground.
Sheet metal is another great, mouse-proof way to patch up large openings.
Mice cannot chew through bricks. Bricks are a great way to block off openings near the foundation of your home. Bricks are too heavy for mice to move as well.
Copper gauze can be used to stuff into small openings. Mice will not be able to chew through the copper, but they may be able to pull it out of the opening. Copper can be expensive.
Mice will not chew on steel wool! Steel wool is inexpensive and can be used to block small cracks and openings. You may need to seal or adhere the steel wool to the edges of the opening so that the mice cannot pull it out.
Mice do not chew on rocks. Large rocks may be a good way to block entry to your home.
Glass is also mouse-proof. Keep mice out of food by storing anything tasty in glass food storage containers. Mice are always on the lookout for food. Food stored in plastic or cardboard packaging is fair game.
Mouse Proofing Tips!
If you have mice in your house, the best way to catch them is with a mouse trap like this. Bait traps with peanut butter, raisins, or seeds. Place them near any known openings, or where you have seen mouse activity.
Mice are attracted to the scent of food! Thoroughly clean your kitchen and eating areas. Keep counters, floors, and food prep areas clear of crumbs and spills. Limit all food activities to the kitchen. Store food in glass containers.
Seal It Up!
Search your home for all potential mouse entry points. If you find an opening, seal it with steel wool, copper gauze, concrete, or one of the other mouse-proof materials listed above. Try a mouse-proof sealant.
Mice are also drawn to sources of water. Check your home for leaky pipes. Seal all leaks thoroughly.
Install Gutter Guards
Open gutters provide mice with a convenient path straight to your home. Gutter guards not only keep leaf build-up out of gutters, but they may also keep mice out of your attic!
Trim Back Plants
Bushes and shrubs next to your house may look nice, but they give mice a convenient hiding place right next to your home. Trim or remove any bushes next to the house.
Ultrasonic Pest Deterrent
These convenient ultrasonic pest repellers emit a high-frequency noise that will deter mice. The noise will not bother humans or most pets. This is a safe, chemical-free way to keep mice away from your home.
A Word of Warning About Mice
Mice may be small, but they are far from harmless. Mice can carry parasites and diseases, like hantavirus, Salmonella, and Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV). These diseases can be very dangerous! Always follow safe practices when handling or disposing of mice or mouse waste.
Avoid inhalation of dust from mouse feces or nests by wearing a mask with a filter while cleaning or handling mouse waste. Protect yourself with rubber gloves. Clean all areas that have been affected by mice with a disinfecting cleaner.
Dispose of any food that may have come into contact with mice. Mice can track salmonella and other bacteria from their nests into your food.
If you are an unfortunate host to a group of mice, don’t give up! There are materials you can use to keep those mice out! Make sure you seal all the openings thoroughly with one of the mouse-proof materials listed above. Take back your home from a rodent invasion!