‘Twas about two weeks before the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not… Eeek! Is that a mouse?!?
That is NOT how the poem is supposed to go. But as the moon waxes gibbous and the days get colder (hey, 72 is cooler than 85!), not to mention seeing lots of new construction, there’s a decent chance a scampering rodent or two might make its way into your house.
While they’re cuter than their larger hairy cousins, rats, mice should not be a welcome guest in your home, as they spread – and spread hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and even the plague.
What Attracts Them
The best defense is a good offense – or in this case, making sure you’re not giving mice an offer they can’t refuse. Cereal, grains, oats and wheat are a mouse’s favorite snack. They’ll also be happy to grab any bean, nut, grain or crunchy veggie. Bird seed and animal feed are also targets. Instead of storing your cereal, dry good and baking ingredients in cardboard or plastic sleeves, transfer these products to airtight containers. Mason (canning) jars or ceramic containers work, but you can also use recycled pickle or mayonnaise jars – after you’ve run them through the dishwasher, of course.
Like us, mice are also fans of those higher cholesterol items: anything high-fat, high-protein, high-sugar is appealing. Bacon, butter, grease, dried fruits, chocolate, and of course, peanut butter and cheese are quick to attract mice. Store these in the fridge or airtight containers. And make sure you keep your floors clean.
Not so much dinner as comfy confines, mice will chew and gnaw through burlap, paper, clothing, paintings, wall décor, cardboard and more. We see this more in garages and storage units. When the mouse starts turning to mice, they use all the materials at hand to build their nests. And even what they don’t use is shredded or otherwise damaged or dirty. You can’t even donate them. If you’re storing anything long term, we recommend swapping out those cardboard file boxes for plastic bins with tight fitting lids. Tissue, toilet paper and dryer lint are also good nesting materials.
Keeping Your Cool
The other place mice love to dig around in is in insulation. That pink fiberglass stuff might be itchy and toxic for us to breathe, but mice love burrowing into it, whether it’s in the walls or overhead. You’ll want to seal up any possible entry points, including gaps in your soffit and fascia. And the best preventative besides that is to invest in TAP.
Thermal Acoustical Pest Control (T·A·P™) is insulation with highly-effective natural pest control. T·A·P is 32% more energy efficient than traditional fiberglass insulation, adds a sound barrier to your attic, and kills pests like roaches, ants, and silverfish, in addition to acting as a deterrent to rodent infestation.
TAP is generally the final step after we do rodent exclusion, removal and extermination. But it’s also effective even before you need our Premier Rodent solution.
Christmas Mice Candy
Since we are in the Advent season, we thought it’d be nice to also share a mouse that you probably would welcome into your house.
For these sweet little critters, you’ll need
Of course, it’s easy to scale this one up or down, depending on the quantity of your house guests or appetites. For each additional 5 mice, just add an eighth of a cup more chocolate chips. Start melting the chocolate chips according to the instructions on the package.
While it’s melting, line a baking sheet with wax paper. Stir the melted chips for better consistency of chocolate. You’ll want to do each mouse separately. Holding the dried off cherries by the stems, dip them in the melted chocolate and place it on its side on the wax paper.
Press the bottom of an unwrapped Hershey’s kiss on the the cherry on the opposite side of the stem. Tuck two peanut halves up top for ears. Use a dab of melted chocolate to “glue” a red hot on the tip of the kiss, making a nose. Then add eyes with the black icing.
Repeat the process for each mouse you build. It’s that easy!
We hope you and your family enjoy these sweet rodent treats, and if you’d like to know more about our Premier Rodent Program or TAP insulation, just give us a call!
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