Each fall as temperatures drop, mice look for places to keep warm. Here are ways experts suggest to keep your home from becoming a haven:
Secure food: Keep all food for humans and pets, as well as bird seed and grass seed, inside sealed containers.
Control garbage: Store trash in cans with sealable lids. Ensure cans are not stored near an entry to the home. Gather and discard all pet feces from the yard. Remove trash regularly.
Limit water: Drain standing water so it won't be available to drink.
Close entry points: Mice can squeeze in a hole the size of a dime. Close small openings or fill them with steel wool or foam, especially near gas and air-conditioning lines.
Check doors and windows: Ensure all seals are tight and close all doors, including storm and interior doors.
Watch the garage: Make sure there is no gap between the door and the concrete, especially near the sides of the garage. Close the door at all times.
Eliminate debris: Get rid of piles of brush or grass.
Inspect air conditioner: Check covers on air conditioners, as mice like to make homes inside.
Methods that don't workCats: Well-fed house cats might play with mice if they're bored, but they aren't dependable to hunt and remove mice from the home.
Oils, repellents: There is no science to back their use.
Sonic emitters: They may irritate mice, but the pests quickly get used to the noise.
Tips to remove mice:Try nontoxic traps: Look for snap traps or glue boards. Place them away from children and pets. Follow all directions carefully.
Seek the source: Look for droppings or bite marks and put traps there. The most likely location of origin is the basement.
Call in experts: Visit pestworld.org and enter your ZIP code to locate licensed local professionals. Mice and mouse droppings can pose health risks, so experts say it's best not to risk harm if traps don't work quickly.
Sources: Men In Black Pest Control Services, National Pest Management Association, Anderson Pest Solutions