Mice are one of the most common household pests in America. These furry little nuisances infiltrate homes, garages, and sheds, leaving behind unsanitary droppings, eating unattended food, and chewing through personal belongings. One of the best ways to keep mice out of your home is to keep them out of your garage, especially if you have an attached garage.
Why Mice Choose Garages
Mice enter buildings looking for the resources necessary to maintain a mouse nest. These resources include:
- Food: Mice will eat most types of grain and grain-based food, including dog food and bird seed commonly stored in garages.
- Hiding Places: Mice prefer small, protected spaces, particularly those that are dark without being damp. Mice may take up residence in storage containers, walls, or even unattended car engines.
- Nesting Materials: Many mouse species build nests out of soft materials that can serve as insulation. For example, mice may chew up cardboard or paper to create nesting materials.
- Warmth: Most mouse infestations in urban areas happen during the cold weather months. These mice enter a building as shelter from the cold and decide to stay when they find the space comfortably warm.
- Water: While mice do not infest damp spaces, they tend to nest in places where they can find both food and water nearby.
While mice may infest any building, these rodents often stick to garages and sheds because they observe fewer humans and less intrusive light there. When left alone with enough resources, mice can create large nests and reproduce quickly, making the severity of an infestation worse.
How to Keep Mice Out of Your Garage
Once mice get into your garage, getting rid of them can be a chore. If you live in an area with mice, especially if you live near a field, vacant lot, or unoccupied building, take precautions. Keep mice out using the following methods.
Close Access Holes
The average mouse can fit through a hole that’s just a quarter of an inch in diameter. Inspect your garage for holes and cracks that lead outside or into your home. Seal any cracks in your flooring or wall materials.
Place a vent cover over all access points to your plumbing and HVAC system, such as your dryer vents and duct openings.
Eliminate Desirable Resources
One of the best ways to discourage rodent infestations is to make the space inhospitable. Clean and organize your garage regularly.
Limit the amount of storage in your garage and keep any food items you store in airtight containers. You may also want to keep other storage items in plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes.
If you can, keep the garage chilly throughout the winter. Keep your trees and shrubs trimmed back from around the garage so rodents don’t have any cover to help them get closer without being seen.
Fortify Your Garage Door
While many rodent infestations come through a crack or crevice, other mice simply enter through the garage door. Maintain your garage door and handle necessary repairs quickly to ensure that it isn’t vulnerable to rodents.
Pay particular attention to the weatherstripping under and around your door. Determined mice may chew through weatherstripping to get into your garage.
Check that your door closes completely and responds to your controls as it should. Take care of any necessary garage door repairs promptly.
Consider installing a Rodentblock on your garage door.
If your garage has a particularly vulnerable area, consider laying traps there. If you use a toxic or spring-loaded trap, be sure to keep any children and pets out of the garage while the traps are in use.
If you choose to employ humane traps, you’ll need to release the mice at least one mile away from your home to keep them from turning around and coming back.
Use Scent Deterrents
Mice rely on their sense of smell to tell them whether a space is safe. Your first scent deterrent can be yourself. Simply visit the space often so your garage smells of humans.
For a stronger defense, place items that smell like a cat or dog near vulnerable areas of your garage. If you don’t have a pet, use mothballs or peppermint oil.
Place scent deterrents near access points and along the walls of your garage. Mice use the walls to navigate in the dark, so making the walls unappealing can discourage nocturnal rodent activity.
Keep Your Garage Clean
Mice are attracted to clutter and debris, so keeping your garage clean is key. Sweep regularly and remove any piles of leaves, papers, or other debris. If you have a lot of items in your garage, consider organizing them into plastic bins or shelving units.