Home Remedies to Repel Mice in Winter

A mouse crawls along a foundation of a home

As winter approaches, temperatures drop and everyone is just looking for ways to stay warm. This is true for local homeowners as well as pests, particularly rodents. Mice can enter your property through cracks or holes that are even just 5 mm wide (that’s less than ¼ inch) surrounding your property. Although they seem cute, mice are dirty, destructive animals that can harm your property and carry disease. 

If you have mice in your home, Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control has a group of skilled rodent exterminators who can get rid of your mouse infestation. But if you never developed a rodent problem in the first place, that would be preferable. Here are some methods and tools you can use that may help keep mice away. One word of caution: DIY pest repellents are not as effective as professional rodent control. If you have a rodent infestation, you should contact us for an estimate.

Non-toxic DIY Mouse Repellents

There are several types of simple-to-use DIY mouse repellents. They have the added benefit of being non-toxic. Here are four common strategies for attempting to keep mice away using items you might already have around the house:

Peppermint oil: Mice don’t generally like the strong aroma of peppermint. In order to prevent them from entering, you can put a few drops of the oil on cotton balls, and then scatter them about any potential access sites. Even better, plant mint throughout the perimeter of your property as a mouse-repellent barrier!

Another odor mice detest is that of apple cider vinegar. To preserve the repellent effect, mix it with vinegar and spray it once a month along the perimeter of your home and around potential access points.

Mice are unable to tolerate the scent of fabric softener sheets. Put one of the sheets inside any openings you find that you believe could be entry locations. 

Steel wool: Mice can chew through a variety of materials thanks to their strong incisors. But research has shown that they are unable to bite through steel wool. Therefore, if you use the material to cover potential access points, it will prevent them from entering your home.

How to Keep Mice Out

The likelihood of developing a mouse infestation is strongly influenced by whether or not your home is a desirable environment for rodents. When it’s chilly outside, mice want the same things any mammal does: food, shelter, and warmth. They’ll look for any means to sneak inside and stay there if your home has those attributes. This is why it’s important to start your mouse prevention efforts before it starts to get cold. Let’s look at some techniques you might adopt to deter rodents from entering your home:

  • Check the dark corners of your home’s interior frequently for evidence of mice.
  • Locate every potential point of access into your home and seal or close it
  • Keep food covered, sealed, and stored.
  • Remove clutter from your home, both inside and outside.

Mice won’t want to stay for very long if there isn’t easy access to food or a quiet, dark location to nest. 

When DIY Approaches Fail, Turn to Inman-Murphy

Even if you take all of these precautions, rodents might find their way into your house. If they do, we can help. Since 1999, we have offered rodent extermination services to homes and businesses in the Mid-South TN area. Our rodent pest control technicians are ready to get to work making your home rodent-free. Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today!

Is Something Scratching? What to Do if There are Mice in Your Attic

get rid of mice in your house memphis tn

Think mice scuttle in your attic?

It’s not uncommon and rodents are among the most prolific pests in a home. The most common happens to be the house mouse. A female house mouse can give birth to half-dozen babies every three weeks.

While they look cute, mice are devastating as they can damage your home with holes and chewed wires.

They are also capable of spreading diseases. Among the health risks associated with such rodents include salmonella, leptospirosis, and even Hantavirus.

To prevent such health risks and property damage, you need to get rid of these mice. Here are the ways on how you can get rid of mice in your attic space.

1. Identifying If Mice are in the Attic

Before you get into the business of getting rid of the mice in the attic, you need to know if there are signs of them at all. Here are some signs to look out for to know that there are mice in your attic.

Listen for Noise in the Attic

Take note of the scratching of tiny feet against the attic floor. The scuffling, scurrying, and squeaking are clear signals of their presence. There would be times when you don’t hear anything but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that mice are in your attic.

This is true during the daytime, as mice sleep during these hours. At night, it becomes a different matter. This is the usual time when you hear movement and activity from mice.

Look for Visible Signs

Remember to be vigilant when looking, in this case. If you suspect that there are mice in the attic, be on the lookout for any visible marks. Take note of these markings and signs in your attic:

  • Urine-stained marks
  • Mouse droppings
  • Greasy rub marks
  • Chewed items
  • Shredded paper or fiber formed as nests

Are you suspecting that everything became quiet? These markings are enough to tell you that you have mice in your home. However, these are not the only things that you should look out for.

Look for Possible Entryways

Look for holes that would act as their passageways or burrows. These may lead to other areas in your home and could lead to more problems. These holes may end up going through the insulation.

Not only that, take note of possible entry points in your home that mice use to access the attic. Among possible entryways include window or door gaps, as well as vent and pipe openings.

Cracks in the foundation can also act as possible entry points for mice and rodents. This is thanks to their size that they can squeeze through the smallest of pathways.

2. Possible Reasons Why Mice Nest in Attics

The reasons behind mice nesting in the attic boils down to these possible factors: food source, shelter, and insulation.

Mice gather in areas where food is within reach. While it’s unlikely that food gets stored in the attic, there might be edible everyday items that mice consume or gnaw at.

Shelter surfaces as a primary reason, preferring isolation from predators and threats. It is also to shield them from the elements, especially from the harsh cold. These critters also make use of your boxes and insulation to create tunnels and passageways.

3. How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Attic

We have laid out the signs and the reasons why they want to be in your attic. Let’s look at these methods on how to get rid of mice in the attic. These range from preventive measures to direct solutions that you can use:

Seal the Entryways

After identifying the possible entry points that the mice used to nest in the attic, the best course of action is to seal and block off these areas.

The first items you should seal up are the holes. Start with the ones that are bigger than a quarter of an inch.

Make use of caulk and steel wool scouring pads to seal up the smaller holes. Meanwhile, use concrete mortar, flat metal, or even hardware cloth for the larger ones.

Gaps found between windows and doors are open game for mice to pass through. Be sure to have a tight fit on your doors, windows, and screens. If you have loose-fitting doors, you can also make use of weatherproofing strips to keep the mice out.

Trim the Trees and Bushes

After sealing up the entrances, make sure you remove all possible entry points for mice to enter from.

Due to how small and nimble mice are, they can also use branches to reach the roof. Have trees and bushes with branches reaching towards your home trimmed.

This way, you can ensure that they have no means of entering the attic.

Secure your Food Storage Areas

Since mice go towards food sources, make sure your storage areas are mouse-proof. Store items like dried grain and meats in sealed containers. These can be metal containers, glass jars, and so on.

Make use of materials that prevent mice from chewing through. This keeps your food safe from such pests.

Rid the Attic and Basement of Clutter

Another way is to clean up and de-clutter the attic. This helps you clear out items and prevent mice from nesting in the attic. Also, this helps you from checking for unwanted items that need disposal.

Regular Garbage Disposal

This is one preventive measure that needs reprisal. Aside from cleaning up and ridding the attic of clutter. A regular garbage disposal ensures that it does not attract any rodents into your home.

This particular chore can ensure a load of preventive measures. It pays to continue this act without any second thoughts.

Lay the Mouse Traps

At this point, we are past the preventive steps as we veer towards pest control. One of the tried and tested methods against mice is through the use of traps.

In fact, there are various types of traps that you can make use of. These can range from the humane to the downright lethal.

Cage traps are perfect for a catch and release method. They work as a humane means of capturing mice. However, certain mice and rats end up being more of a pest to bother capturing for release towards the outdoors.

Glue traps are also effective in capturing mice and rats. This ensures that they have no means of escape once they touch the adhesive surface. Snap traps are also effective in capturing these small creatures.

In luring the mice into the traps, we discourage the use of cheese as bait as it becomes rancid as time passes. Instead, use long-lasting food bait like peanut butter or chocolate as bait for the traps.

The use of mouse bait stations would work as well. These poisoned items work wonders when placed in areas that are out of children’s reach but easy access for the mice.

One word of advice when using traps: always remember to check on the traps and dispose of the mice, especially the dead or dying ones. If left unchecked, the stench may spread and cause more problems.

Call for Professionals

Now, if all the DIY methods backfire or end up not working for you, call the experts to do the job. You will need expert pest control services to help you get rid of these rodents.

Our professional technicians have the training and the right tools for the job.

This ensures a high success rate when it comes to getting rid of the mice. They know the right placements as well. This ensures the issue gets resolved in a safe and effective manner.

4. Cleanup and Repair

Once the mice are no longer in your attic, what should be the next step?

At this point, check for any damages that the mice inflicted. Patch up the holes on the walls and floor to prevent possible entryways. Repair the wirings if those got damaged, replacing them when possible.

Other areas to inspect include leaking pipes and cracked areas. Repair them as much as you can to prevent future incidents of mice infestation.

Also, de-clutter the attic to prevent other pests from nesting. Spiders and mice are among the creatures that thrive on clutter.

Whether it’s during the winter or the heat of summer, make sure your home is pest-proof.

Make Your Memphis Home Mice-Free Today!

Despite their size, the mice in your attic are capable of fitting through any kind of opening. Also, despite their size, they are capable of destroying property.

To prevent any of these circumstances, exercise preventive measures and address the problem. With a professional, you would know where to look and what tool to use.

We offer those services to aid you with eliminating pests. Whether it is residential or office-based, we have the right means to get rid of your pests.

To know more about how we can assist you, feel free to contact us today.

How to Protect Your Home and Family from Roof Rats

get rid of roof rats in memphis

The thought of rats lurking inside your home is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. As roof rats travel in search of food and shelter, they may stumble across an opportunity in your home or neighborhood. To avoid roof rats coming inside and getting comfortable, learn more about their habits and how to keep them out of your home.

What Are Roof Rats?

Roof rats can grow up to 10-12 inches and are brown, black, or gray. The distinguishing feature of roof rats compared to other rodents is their hairless and scaly tail which extends the length of their entire body.

Roof rats are both a health and a safety risk to your home and family. These rodents should be removed from homes immediately.

In addition, roof rats can cause severe damage to homes. They are capable of:

  • Ruining drywall and insulation
  • Chewing through wires which can cause house fires
  • Destroying your property and belongings
  • Leaving contaminated droppings in your home
  • They may die in your walls resulting in a foul odor

Where Do Roof Rats Roam?

Roof rats commonly live in U.S. coastal and port areas. However, inland states and cities can also experience infestations. Memphis, TN and other cities in California, Texas, and Arizona are on the list for the worst communities affected by roof rat activity.

Root rats can enter new regions by trucks, ships, or train. This can explain why Memphis, America’s Distribution Capital, ranks as one of the top cities experiencing roof rat infestations.

How Do Roof Rats Get Inside My Home?

These cratures are always hungry. Neighborhoods are perfect for finding a whole feast of delicacies such as fruits and nuts on the ground or in trees.

While your yard may be clean, your neighbor’s may not be. Roof rats can travel several hundred feet at night in search of food. They could end up in your basement or attic overnight through cracks and crevices in your home.

What Are Common Signs of Roof Rats?

You may have roof rats if you notice these common signs:

  • Gnawed materials: They leave gnawing holes about two inches in diameter with rough edges. They prefer wood but can also damage property including electrical wiring and food packaging.
  • Urine stains and odors: You’ll likely smell their urine before you see it. Their line of fine urine drops or streaks can only be seen under an ultraviolet flashlight or black light tool.
  • Sights and Sounds: Roof rats are nocturnal and live secretly most of the time. If you see them out during the day, you have a serious infestation problem. You may hear sounds such as scratching, gnawing, and digging noises.
  • Droppings: Typical roof rat droppings are 1/4-1/2 inch in length and shaped like a capsule with blunt ends. Rat droppings are shiny black and three times the size of mice droppings.

How Can I Get Rid of Roof Rats?

Because they can be carriers of disease, it is recommended to seek the help of professional pest control exterminators. Pest control professionals are experienced with roof rat habits and can take care of the issue safely and effectively.

To keep these rodents out of your house, homeowners should follow these precautions:

  • Remove Food/Water Sources: Food and water should be sealed to prevent availability and contamination. Keep dog food sealed in plastic containers overnight.
  • Sanitation: Remove clutter from your home, including paper, cardboard, and overgrown vegetation from your yard. Keep areas clean to reduce the opportunity for rats to stay and make a home.
  • Seal Gaps: Roof rats only need a ½ inch gap to sneak indoors. Seal any cracks or gaps with caulking or mesh, and repair windows, doors, screens or air vents that aren’t in working order.

At Inman-Murphy Termite and Pest Control, we specialize in helping residents eliminate their roof rat problems. Contact us today for a free estimate or call (901) 388-0852.