How to Keep Mice Out of Garage
While winters bring new excuses to flaunt that expensive fur coat you got or drink as much hot chocolate you want, they also bring a few unwelcome guests to your home. Yes, we are talking about the pests that seek shelter in the warm, dry corners of your property. And while it is fairly easy to mouse-proof your personal space, keeping them away from the barn and garage area is a daunting task. All that clutter only gives the mice better breeding areas and more scope for destruction. Here is all you need to about keeping mice out of garages.
Why Do Rodents Prefer Garages?
The garage with all its junk is the ideal hang out a spot for the mouse. Dark, dingy, dry and isolated, the garage space provides enough warmth, comfort, and security to these pests for setting up their nests and breed. Also, rodents usually invade your garage sheds during winters, a time when food is scarce outside, and the temperature is not conducive for survival. In such hostile situations, it is your home that provides a safe haven to these small animals.
The cardboard boxes, bundles of paper, clothes, and other debris only make their nests warmer and comfier. The garage is also where people usually store the birdseed, dog food, and other edibles that these rats can feast upon. Plus, with all that clutter lying around, it is only easier for them to hide away.
Identifying an Infestation in A Garage
One of the biggest challenges that you might have to face is during the initial stages, i.e. identifying an infestation in your garage. It is very difficult to actually spot their breeding spots or see the exact number of mice living in your garage, but these telltale signs are enough to give you a vague idea of the problem.
- Look around for rat dropping, the smell of rat urine to trace their nests
- The sound of squeaking and scurrying from your garage
- Scratch marks on the garage floorboards and walls
- Bite marks and other signs of destruction around the garage, like torn rags, chipped paint, etc.
- Actual sightings of mice in garages and around the property
Sealing the Entry Points of Your Garage
The first and foremost thing you should do to keep the mice away is to seal the probable entry points around your property. And we’re not just talking about the door and windows. Rodents with their tiny, flexible bodies can squeeze their way in throughout the narrowest of spaces. Any hole larger than a quarter of an inch is enough for a mouse to fit through.
Block The Garage Doors
The garage doors are the easiest access points for the mice to get through. They often gnaw their way in by chewing on the weather stripping on the doors. Using steel, vinyl or rubber sweeps or thresholds are effective in keeping them away. Garage door rodent guards also regulate the temperature inside the garage and insulate the interiors by keeping wind and water away.
Take Care of Access Holes
The access holes for plumbing and ductways are another probable entry point for rodents to get in. Block and seal the gaps in-between vents, drains and pipes to keep the mice away. You can either use wire mesh or rubber sealings for the job. Remember to fill in even the slightest of gaps in between the walls, floors, and pipelines – mice can move in through the most compact of spaces.
Secure AC Ducts and Crawl Spaces
The lines between air conditioners, the electric connections and other areas of the garage. Poorly sealed connections are easy entry points for mice. A good way to identify mouse infestation is to check the electric wires in and around the garage. However, sealing your garage only keeps the rodents away. What about the ones already there? Here are some tips to exterminate the pests that have managed to enter your garage.
How to Get Rid of Mouse in Garages?
Now that you have identified the infestation and its source, the next step is to take up measures to get rid of them. There are multiple ways and means of controlling the pest population in your property. You can either get the over-the-counter repellents, make your own DIY mouse traps or call in a professional. There are also a few natural mouse control methods that we have discussed below that you would like to check out.
Use Traps and Baits
Mouse traps are the easiest and quickest ways of dealing with a rodent problem. However, only must apply the necessary precautionary measures to prevent any collateral damage. Spring traps and electronic traps, for instance, are dangerous for children. Also, using poison as bait is a risky choice if you have pets in the house. The glue traps don’t necessarily kill the mouse and are usually very painful for the vermin lying trapped in. You can even build your own DIY trap using cardboard boxes, cages, and buckets. For bait, the more popular and safer choices would be pieces of bread, cheese, chocolate, and other edible items.
Traditional and Natural Mouse Control
Using poisons and pest repellents are not only dangerous but also hazardous for the environment. Here are some simple, effective, affordable alternatives to get rid of mice naturally.
Use The Fragrance of Peppermint and other Oils
Peppermint is one of the most effective solutions for keeping all kinds of pests away from the house. Add a few drops of peppermint oil or essence around the corners of the garage to keep the mice away. You can also use other natural oils like spearmint, cloves, anise oil, lavender, tea tree extracts, eucalyptus oil, etc. The strong smell and flavor of these oils effectively drive the vermin away. For people who find these oils to be an expensive option can switch over to cheap mint toothpaste.
Good Old Mothballs
Mothballs are usually placed around the house to keep the moth and insects away. But what most people don’t realize is that the naphthalene balls are also effective in keeping pests like rodents and rats out of your property. Place some mothballs in a vented container near places frequented by the rodents. You can also place them around the corners of the house and the major entry points around the neighborhood in general to keep the mouse away.
Try Cat Litter
Mouse, for all their peskiness, are very elusive creatures and would actively avoid places that have the faintest traces of danger. Spreading cat litter in and around the garage is a smart way to keep them away. The smell of cat urine is enough to convince the mice to stay away for good. You can mix the litter with peppermint oil to reduce the strong smell of urine. Another effective way to keep rodents away is to actually get a tomcat or a barn owl.
Eliminate Rats Using Cocoa Powder and Plaster of Paris
This might sound like a weird combination but trust us when we say that mixing cocoa powder with plaster of Paris is an effective solution for keeping rats away. Mix equal parts of the two ingredients with water to form a paste-like consistency. Spread this mixture in and around the areas where you have spotted the rats. The cocoa powder will lure the rats into eating the mixture, while the plaster of Paris would block their stomachs and kill them when they drink water later.
Use Onion Slices to Keep Rats Away
Onions have a very strong smell and essence that while enhances the flavor of your cooking, is extremely repugnant to the pests. Like peppermint, even onions are something pests avoid at all costs. You can either place onion slices in and around the garage or spray some onion juice around to keep them away. However, you might have to clean up and replace the onions regularly to avoid having the garage smell of rotting onions.
Potato Flakes – A DIY Anti-Mouse Remedy
Instant potato flakes are another quirky but extremely effective mouse control hack that can help you get rid of them for good. Instant potato flakes are dry and have high salt content that tends to swell up when it comes in contact with water. The flakes, hence, will immediately inflate inside the mouse’s stomach, causing congestion and eventually a rather painful death. Beware, the flakes are also dangerous to other animals; keep them away from your pets.
Block Entries Using Steel Wool
Steel wool or wire mesh in and around the entry points prevent the mice from infiltrating the garage space in the first place. Mice often make their way in by gnawing and digging holes through the walls or making their way underground. With steel wool around, your property is protected against this invasion as rodents cannot break in through metal. Use steel wool to block holes larger than ¼ inches or gaps between walls and floorboards.
Mice don’t like the smell of sheets or detergent. Dryer sheets are hence the safest and most feasible mouse control options for people who don’t have to invest a lot of money in pest control. This is also an effective method if you have kids or animals in the house. All you have to do is lay the sheets near the areas where you have spotted the rodents. You can add a few drops of peppermint oil on the sheets for an added boost.
Post-Pest Control Clean-up
Now that you have rid your garage of the pests, the next step is to clear away the traces of the infestation. Usually, the pest control services you have hired take care of the clean-up and the repairing work at an extra charge. However, if you are doing it yourself then there are some points one must consider during the post pest control clean-up process.
- Clear away the droppings, wash the garage thoroughly to remove all traces and scent of the mice around
- Dispose of off the dead mice far away from the property so as to prevent the risk of an infection
- Ensure that there is plenty of air supply in the garage
- Always use a strong disinfectant to sanitize the space
- Also, cover yourself well and clean yourself thoroughly once you are done.
How to keep the Rodents from Coming Back?
Keeping the mice away is easy; preventing them from coming back is the tough part. Lucky for you we’re here to help:
- Remove all edible items or cover the food that you keep in the garage
- Seal the doors and entry points in and around the property
- Declutter the garage
- Add wire mesh and steel wool coverings around the gaps in between walls
- Caulk over the sealings, and ensure that the sliding is firmly attached to the drywall.
The Bottom Line
Having a mouse for a roommate is not exactly a comfortable experience for most people. A harbinger of disease and destruction, these pesky creatures are more than a mere menace. For most homemakers, they are downright nightmarish! Lucky for you, these tried and tested tips sure keep the rodents out of your home and garages.
Read here – Rodent Proof House Construction