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

Mouse in an attic - Inman-Murphy Termite and Pest Control serving Millington, Tennessee

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.

Have you been hearing scratching and rustling sounds in your attic space? Unfortunately, you might be dealing with a mouse infestation in your attic. As you local pest control experts in Memphis TN, we want to help you stay informed. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through recognizing the signs of a mouse infestation specific to your attic, understanding the unique risks involved, exploring why mice choose this space, and providing practical strategies to regain control of your attic.

If you have any questions or need help with your mouse problem, give us a call!

Signs of a Mouse Infestation in Your Attic

If you’re wondering if you have a mouse infestation in your attic, here are a few distinct audible and visual cues to watch out for:

  • Unusual Sounds: One of the first indicators of a mouse problem is the sound of scratching or scurrying in the attic. Mice are nocturnal creatures, so these sounds are often more noticeable during the night.
  • Droppings: Mouse droppings resemble small pellets and are usually found near nesting areas. If you come across these, it’s a clear sign that mice have taken residence in your attic.
  • Gnaw Marks: Mice have a constant need to gnaw on various materials to keep their teeth from growing too long. Look for gnaw marks on wires, insulation, and wooden structures in your attic.
  • Nests: Mice create nests using shredded materials like paper, insulation, and fabric. Discovering these nests is a definitive sign of an infestation.

Risks Associated With An Attic Mouse Infestation

A mouse infestation in your attic brings with it not only the inconvenience of unwanted guests but also significant risks that can impact your health and property. Here are the key dangers associated with a mouse infestation:

  • Health Risks: Mice can carry diseases and bacteria that pose health risks to humans. Their droppings, urine, and saliva can contaminate the air and surfaces in your home.
  • Property Damage: Mice are notorious chewers. They can damage insulation, wiring, and wooden structures in your attic, leading to potential fire hazards and costly repairs.
  • Increased Population: Mice reproduce rapidly, and a small infestation can quickly turn into a larger problem if not addressed promptly. They could even spread into the rest of your home. 

Reasons for Mice in Your Attic

Understanding the motivations behind why mice might choose your attic as their refuge is essential for effective prevention. Here are the primary reasons these rodents may find their way into your attic space:

  • Warmth and Shelter: Attics provide a cozy and secluded environment for mice seeking warmth and shelter, especially during colder months.
  • Food Sources: Though you may not have food in your attic, mice usually use attics as entrances into homes in search of food. Leftover food in improperly sealed containers is the main attraction to mice. They can survive on small crumbs and food remnants. 
  • Easy Access: Gaps or openings in your home’s exterior, such as vents, cracks, or unsealed entry points, make it easy for mice to enter and establish a presence in your attic.

How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Attic

Taking a proactive approach to eliminate mice from your attic involves a combination of strategic measures. Follow these steps to address the issue effectively and prevent further infestation:

  • Identify Entry Points: Inspect your home for potential entry points and seal them to prevent mice from entering. Use steel wool or caulk for small gaps, and consider reinforcing larger openings with metal.
  • Set Traps: Use mouse traps strategically in areas where you’ve noticed signs of activity. There are various types of traps available, including snap traps and humane traps.
  • Professional Pest Control: Dealing with a mouse infestation on your own can be extremely difficult and risky. Hiring professional pest control experts who specialize in rodent control can save you a lot of time and hassle. 

Do You Need Help Getting Rid of Mice in Your Attic? Call Us! 

Facing a mouse infestation in your attic can be a daunting challenge, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Here at Inman-Murphy, Inc., our team is ready to assist! We provide comprehensive residential and commercial pest control services in the Memphis TN metro area. Whether you’ve noticed signs of mice or want to proactively safeguard your space, our experts can assess the situation and implement effective strategies to ensure your attic remains rodent-free. Don’t let mice compromise the safety and comfort of your home—call us today for a free quote!

How to Protect Your Home and Family from Roof Rats

Rodent hiding in an attic - Inman-Murphy Termite and Pest Control serving Millington, Tennessee

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.