Preventing a mouse infestation is far easier than getting rid of one. Regularly checking your home for infestation risks and proofing against them will save you from discovering an unwanted furry guest in your home.
By far the most important step to mouse proofing your home is making sure there’s no food available to them.
Mice are omnivores and opportunists who will eat just about anything, but their favourite foods are grains, pasta, bread, cereal and pet food.
Investing in gnaw-proof food containers and not leaving food (including pet food) exposed is an easy way to significantly reduce your risk of mouse infestation.
You should also make sure no food is falling behind your stove or beneath your fridge, both common locations for unwanted build-up of scraps. If these spots are too difficult to reach with a hoover, seal up any gaps to make cleaning easier.
If you there are children or – even worse – teenagers in the house, check their bedrooms to make sure there’s no forgotten food stashed away beneath their bed. Unfortunately, their promises to clean their room aren’t always kept – if ever.
Unlike rats, which need a constant water supply, mice can get most of the moisture they require from food. This is why rats are more likely to nest in sewers or damp voids beneath a property, while mice are more likely to nest inside the home.
At Environ, we use ultraviolet tracking powders to follow mouse prints back to their holes, but you can achieve a similar result by scattering flour or talc across floors or surfaces where you suspect mouse activity and leaving them overnight.
Hopefully, by morning you’ll see a clear trail showing where the mouse are crawling, which you can follow to their point of entry.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find an obvious hole that you can fill in. However, mice often crawl through voids beneath floorboards or inside walls, and blocking up one hole will just result in them making another.
Complete proofing requires a full inspection of the exterior of the house. As mice are skilled climbers, this inspection needs to be from basement to roof – which is why proofing often requires professional help.
Common entry points for mice are air bricks, gaps beneath doors and windows, holes for pipes and service lines, cracked drains and even the chimney.
Mice can squeeze through a hole the width of a ballpoint pen, so you need a keen eye to spot all potential points of entry.
There’s no point filling mouse holes with a material the mice are just going to chew straight back through again.
Expanding foam is often used to fill mice holes but is entirely useless, while wire wool is a fire hazard – so flammable it can be used as kindling. You should only use gnaw-proof fillers, such as those produced by Rat Pak, our preferred supplier.
Gnaw proof brush strips are also available to seal up the gaps beneath doors, while micromesh grills can be placed over airbricks to block mice from entering without stopping airflow.
If your home is too difficult to proof by yourself or if you simply don’t have the time or equipment, your best option is professional mouse proofing from Environ.
Our BPCA-certified pest experts will mouse proof your home from top to bottom, and our detailed report will tell you risks we identified and how you can prevent them.