Why Mice Come Into Washington D.C. Homes

Once upon a time, the Washington D.C. area was filled with field mice. As structures were constructed, and mouse habitats were replaced with man-made structures, mice discovered new places to live. They started living with us. These mice were so fond of living in our homes with us, they earned a new name. We call them house mice. And boy do they love living with us. You might think that this is because we have food in our homes. But that is not the main reason house mice like living in man-made structures. The world is a scary place for a mouse. There are many animals that want to kill and eat a poor, defenseless little mouse. If your home didn't have a single bite of food, or the tiniest drop of water, mice would still want to live with you. Your walls provide protection from many predators. Let's take a look at the journey a mouse takes to get into your D.C. home, and discuss a few ways you can deter it.

mouse eating cucumbers

Your Yard

Mice are timid creatures. They prefer to run around in bushes, brush, tall grass, and other protected places in nature. They'll get into a log or hide in a hole. They'll squeeze into a small space in a pile of rocks. When a mouse approaches your property line, there are some factors that can deter it from choosing to enter your yard.

  • If you have neatly trimmed grass, mice will feel exposed and won't run across your lawn.

  • If you don't have any toys or lawn clutter, mice won't have places to scurry to and hide inside.

  • If you don't have a swing set with an easily accessible hole for a mouse to get into a pipe, it won't set up a little den inside.

  • Protection and safety are important to mice, but hiding places and cover are not the only factors that attract them.

  • A puddle of water will offer a mouse a drinking hole.

  • Bird seed scattered on the ground will provide a sought-after food source.

  • Open trash can have many food options for mice.

  • Piles of leaves can have tasty bugs in them—well, tasty for mice.

Your Perimeter

Once a mouse has braved the journey through your lawn, it will come upon the perimeter around your home. In this area, it could find opportunities to get into your home. It may chew on some weatherstripping and squeeze through a tiny hole the size of a dime. It might chew through a door or window frame. It might chew through a screen and take advantage of a broken pane of glass. You can deter this by making mice feel exposed. A mouse is far less likely to chew a hole to get into your home in an area that offers no cover or protection. Consider these tips for resisting mice.

  • Trim your shrubs and bushes.

  • Put an eighteen-inch dry barrier between your mulch and your foundation wall.

  • Move wood piles to at least twenty feet from your exterior.

  • Rake leaf piles up.

  • Rake leaves out from under your deck.

  • Remove objects that don't need to be stored near your home, especially if they have a void inside.

Your Exterior Walls

When mice explore your exterior walls, it is important that they don't find easy access into your home. A common point of entry is a gap around plumbing. Pipes that pass through your foundation walls, and other foundation penetrations, should be properly sealed to keep mice out. Here are a few more tips.

  • You can bolster your defenses by applying metal flashing to locations that are being nibbled on.

  • Repair or replace door sweeps as soon as you see damage.

  • Use a caulking gun to fill in holes that have been created in wood structures, like the sill plates of your home.

Your Interior

If mice get into your home, it is best to contact a licensed pest professional to trap and remove them. Mice are difficult to get rid of without an education in rodent control and the experience to outsmart those mice. If you live in the D.C. area, contact Capitol Pest for advanced rodent control solutions. We are here to assist you with all your pest control needs.


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