This time of year, my customers are starting to get all their outdoor projects completed. The air is really getting cold, the snow is starting to fly, and it’s time to hunker down for the winter inside your home. Well guess what else wants to hunker down for the winter inside your home? Mice!
How in the heck do they get in your house? Mice can actually crawl through a hole the size of a dime. If you think about it, there could be a number of places around the outside of your home that they could gain entry. Take a close look where electrical wires, cable wires, plumbing, or natural gas pipes come inside your home. Even if it was caulked correctly when it was originally put in, it can deteriorate over time. And with a little chewing and digging by Mickey, access can be had. Cracks in your foundation and loose siding are other popular entryways for our furry little friends. How about your garage? Does your big garage door seal tight? Do you ever leave that door open for awhile? How about the door leading to the garage? Leave it open from time to time? You would be amazed at all the entryways that our little friends find.
So, what to do? First thing is to block those entryways. Start by removing any deteriorating caulk and other loose material from around those wires and pipes. There are a lot of fillers that you can then use, but it is hard to beat a tube of good quality caulk. Be generous, but be careful. Some caulks are easy to smooth out to a nice finish. But some, like a 100% silicone caulk, can be a little tricky to make it look good. We also carry a product called Great Stuff. It is best described as an aerosol can filled with a foam product that swells up when it comes out. It can be a mess to work with, but when it seals around those pipes it really makes a good seal. We even have a version of Great Stuff called Pestblock that has a bitter, non-pesticide ingredient to deter your visitors if they are a little hungrier than normal to get inside. Some customers will actually plug the holes with steel wool or SOS pads. That is definitely something that they can’t chew their way through.
Another easy and safe way to win the battle is with repellants. Peppermint oil and ammonia are two very aromatic products that might get them to turn tail. There is an ultrasonic, plug-in mouse repellent that uses high frequency sound waves to drive them out. We also sell a ton of moth balls for long life critter repelling. My friends toss a handful under their boat cover and inside their camper before closing them up for the winter.
And for those of you that the furry critters get in before you get a chance to keep them out, there are always good ‘ole mouse traps and rodenticides. The D-Con of old has been outlawed for a few years, but we have plenty of new versions that have taken its place. As far as traps are concerned, we have big ones, little ones, and plastic ones. We have traps that catch ‘em alive and traps that are just plain sticky. And if you are one of these people that just need to hear that SMACK of the old wooden mouse trap, we have those too!
So if Mickey is more of a nuisance in your home than a cute Walt Disney cartoon character, stop on in to your local hardware store and check out all the different ways we have to repel, keep out, our to, SMACK, catch those little critters!
From myself, my family, and the entire team here at Umber’s Do It Best Hardware, we hope your Christmas holiday is filled with family, friends, laughter, good food, and giving to others. And not forgetting the true meaning of this blessed day, celebrating Jesus’ birth.
Merry Christmas Everybody!