Why Is It So Hard To Keep Mice Out Of My D.C. Home?

In the D.C. area, there are two types of rodents that can be serious indoor pests. You probably don't need us to tell you that they are rats and mice. Of the two, mice are far more frustrating to deal with and much harder to keep out. This has mostly to do with their size. An adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. So, while they can't chew through some of the hard building materials rats can chew through, they don't have to make as large of a hole to fit through. That's why they're so hard to keep out. Let's take a look at some of the ways mice get into our homes and, more importantly, discuss some ways to keep them out. If you're already dealing with a mouse infestation in your D.C. home, you can skip to the bottom section on how to get rid of mice.

house mice up close

How Do Mice Get In?

Mice are excellent climbers and jumpers. They can scale a tree or work their way up through a downspout to get on your roof. That means your entire home is vulnerable, from the bottom to the top. Here are a few places you should inspect:

  • Doors and windows, especially basement and ground floor doors and windows. Look for gaps or damage to weatherstripping, door sweeps, frames and seals.
  • Pipes that pass through your foundation wall. These can have gaps around them. If this gap is unsealed or the seal is damaged, mice can squeeze in.
  • Unprotected vents. Mice can scale your walls and get to vent openings.
  • Holes in the sills of your home. These are also called sole plates. When wood-damaging pests attack the wood of your home, they can create holes that mice make larger. Often, this will happen to sills that are softened by excess water.
  • Roof penetrations, such as the rubber seal around skylights or exhaust pipes.
  • Roof and soffit intersections. At the point where a soffit of one roofline is close to another roof, mice can chew a hole and climb up inside.
  • Cracks in chimney stacks. These give access to your attic spaces.  

Do Mice Leave On Their Own?

Common house mice get in and stay in. There are very few reasons for them to leave your home. Your home has lots of options for food; a mouse can feed on crumbs in your kitchen, tiny grains sprinkled onto your pantry floor, and bugs inside your walls. They're also equipped to chew their way into your food packages. But, even if they couldn't find the tiniest of morsels in your home, they would still prefer to live in your temperature-controlled environment, rather than outside in a tree or a hole.

What Attracts Mice To A House?

Before mice get into your home, they are lured to the foundation perimeter of your home. If you know what attracts them, you can reduce mice activity.

  • They eat birdseed on the ground.
  • They eat garden vegetable seeds and grass seeds.
  • They eat green, leafy vegetables.
  • They eat insects.
  • They drink from puddles of water.
  • They hide in dense vegetation and objects in the yard.

How Can You Tell If You Have Mice?

  • Droppings in the cabinet under your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or sprinkled about in attic spaces.
  • Grease marks on baseboards.
  • Holes in baseboards, sheetrock, stored furniture, and food packages.
  • The strong smell of urine in your attic.
  • Odd behavior from your dog or cat, especially in the kitchen.
  • Bumping and scratching in your walls at dusk or at night.

How Do I Keep Mice Out?

  • Work to seal the entry points listed above.
  • Apply metal flashing to vulnerable areas that mice are trying to chew through.
  • Put wire mesh in your downspouts to prevent mice from climbing up.
  • Trim tree branches away from your roofline.
  • Remove attractants that lure mice to your home.

How Do I Get Rid of Mice in My D.C. Home?

Once mice have gotten in, it is best to hire a licensed pest professional to remove them. Mice have behavior patterns that help them elude traps. And mice are typically quiet pests. If your DIY mouse control efforts fail, you probably won't know it. This can leave you exposed to health issues and property damage. Reach out to Capitol Pest for control of rodent pests in the D.C. area. We can help you make sure all those mice are dealt with.


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