Looking for a way to keep those pesky mice out of your garage, shed or barn this fall and winter?
There is nothing quite like the unpleasant surprise of opening a garage or shed door and witnessing a mouse scurrying across the floor. Not only can it be unsettling to the nerves, it can also be a sign of a much bigger problem.
The common field mouse may look cute enough, but it can create some serious issues. For starters, mice are a big carrier of disease. As a member of the rodent family, they spread salmonella, listeria and a host of other diseases via their manure droppings, urine and nesting materials.
But mice can also be extremely destructive. They quickly chew their way through boxes, fabric, baskets, electrical wires and more. Even worse, they can create large nests anywhere they can find a hiding place. That includes inside lawn mowers, tractors, cars and all kinds of equipment.
Unfortunately, in the process, they often cause serious damage that can be quite expensive to repair. We know that all too well. About six years back, we had a family of mice take up residence under the hood of our old farm truck stored in our barn.
Not only did they create a nasty, smelly mess, they also chewed through a slew of wires. And by the time it was all fixed, it amounted to about $300 in new cables and wires! It was then and there we knew we had to keep it from ever happening again.
How To Keep Mice Out
Keeping mice out any space involves having both a good defensive and offensive strategy. A good defense means creating an environment that is equally unattractive and impenetrable for a mouse.
And that good offense? Well that means having something in place to take care of any mouse that might make it through your defense! Do both well, and chances are you will keep mice from ever becoming a problem again.
Here is a look at some of the best and most effective defensive and offensive strategies when it comes to eliminating mice from getting indoors.
Keeping Mice Out – The Defensive Side
#1 Get Rid Of The Cardboard
For starters, avoid storing anything in paper or paper-related products, especially cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes may be inexpensive and easy to use, but they are a huge attraction for mice.
Not only can mice chew through cardboard with ease, the resulting confetti shavings make an excellent nest for their young. Cardboard also absorbs their urine and droppings, and intensifies that all-too familiar odor all throughout anything stored in the box.
Instead, store items in plastic containers that seal tightly. This is especially important when it comes to potential food sources such as animal feed, grass seed and garden seed.
Not only will storing these items in secure containers keep mice out, it also keeps any scents from filtering through and attracting them in the first place.
Seal Off Entry Points
This is huge when it comes to keeping mice out! When it comes to sheds, barns and outbuildings, mice can find easy access through gaps and holes in the siding and doors.
Weather stripping around door gaps will do wonders from keeping mice from sneaking in. As can sealing off holes in boards where electric or water pipes may come inside.
Take a minute to walk around both the interior and exterior of your outbuildings. Seal off gaps with a board, caulking or expanding foam. Check doors and windows for gaps and fill them as well.
If you happen to have a dirt floor in an outbuilding, put down a barrier of stainless steel hardware cloth. It will keep mice from digging under and inside. We used this is our chicken coop and it worked like a charm!
For garages with big garage doors, make sure your seal at the bottom of your garage door is in good working order. This is a prime entry point for mice in the early fall and winter.
And while on the subject of garage doors – keep them closed when not in use. An open door is an open invitation for a mouse to find a home inside your garage. Even worse, that mouse is now only one step away from coming inside your house!
How To Keep Mice Out – The Offensive Side
So now that you have your buildings sealed and the contents inside protected, it is time to prepare a good offensive strategy in case a mouse or a few mice make it past your efforts.
One of the safest ways of all to keep mice out of interior spaces is by using natural repellents. The best part, there is no need to worry about scary or toxic chemicals, especially if you have little children or pets around!
At the top of the list of natural repellents are peppermint oil and cinnamon oil. Both scents are highly offensive to mice and other rodents. By spraying them in areas prone to mice, the scent keeps them from sticking around. Dryer sheets have also been known to work as well.
There is one natural repellent on the market that we absolutely love, and it is called Grandpa Gus’s Extra Strength Mouse Repellent. The repelling packets are made from heavy concentrations of cinnamon and peppermint oils, and they really do work!
We started using them to protect the engine block of our old truck and tractor when storing for the winter. Ever since, not a single mouse has taken up residence inside. They can really come in handy when you are storing something outside and have no way to mouse-proof it. Product Link : Grandpa Gus’s Repellent
Electronic Pest Repellents
One of the easiest and safest methods for keeping rodents out of any structure is by using an electronic repellent device. Electronic repellents work by emitting sound waves that are inaudible to human ears, but drive mice crazy.
Even better, many models also work to repel other pests such as spiders, roaches and small insects. They are simple to install, just plug into an outlet and it goes to work! Product Link : Ninetails Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
Here is to keeping your garages, sheds and barns free of mice this fall and winter! – Jim and Mary.
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