How to get rid of mice and stop them coming back this winter

Unfortunately for us mice don’t hibernate in the winter, they stay active – building nests and scavenging for meals. As the temperature drops and food outside is in short supply, our homes become attractive sources for warmth, shelter and a snack.

If you have a mouse problem, or would like to avoid having one, here are our tips for getting rid of mice.

Keep your food sealed

Half-eaten packets of crisps and biscuits are heaven for mice. If you have an infestation you need to be meticulous about sealing food and cleaning up after meals or late night snacks – you don’t want to reach for a cereal packet only to realise there’s a mouse inside!

Brown mouse sitting on a jar

Store all cupboard food in containers that mice can’t chew through, such as metal tins, glass jars and thick airtight tubs. Mice will gnaw through paper or cardboard, so protect your food as soon as you buy it.

If you have a pet, keep your pet food sealed inside containers too – mice will be more than happy to munch on it!

Block all points of entry

Mice can squeeze through holes the width of a pencil, so you need to be thorough with sealing holes and gaps around your home. Use materials that mice can’t eat through such as wire wool, caulk and foam sealant.

Mouse appearing through a hole in a wall

Plaster up larger holes and fill in gaps around windows, cupboards, pipes and flooring – a builder can help you identify vulnerable spots and fill in those areas. Install door sweeps or vinyl seals to prevent mice crawling under door frames, these are also great for keeping cold draughts out.

Clear up your garden or outside space

If you have a stack of wood ready for cosy Christmas fires, make sure it’s stored far away from your house, or on an elevated shelf. Mice love to shelter in firewood, so if you can store it away from your home, it won’t be so easy for them to get indoors.

Mouse in a pile of chopped wood

Collect leaves, tidy shrubs and trim garden foliage that could act as hiding places for mice. Mice are clever and can use branches as a way to crawl into your house, so make sure to prune trees and plants near your property.

Clear up any rubbish outside your home that could be attracting mice. Move recycling, composting and waste bins as far away from your property as you can, especially around Christmas time when there might be a lot of waste leftover from festive meals. If you can, invest in bins that have a locking system, so mice can’t squeeze inside. When your bins are emptied, check there are no scraps left for mice to feed on.

Call in the professionals (of various types)

Cats are great at deterring mice. If you have a severe problem, think about getting a cat or borrowing one from a friend. Not all cats will kill mice, but the scent of a cat may put mice off enough that they find a home elsewhere.

Cat staring at a mouse appearing through a mouse hole

Getting rid of mice can be a frustrating and upsetting process, as it can take some time. At Rated People we have registered pest control specialists to help you get rid of mice during winter.

Find a pest control specialist here.

Read more winter tips for homeowners in our latest articles on:

Protecting your pipes from freezing

Keeping your home safe and sound while you’re away

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