Mice are a small animal that can be cause a big problem for some homeowners. They typically enter the home through cracks and holes in the foundation, or where there are gaps or rotten wood where siding has begun to deteriorate. Another common place for them to enter the home is through the garage which can be more accessible than the house itself. Mice can fit through small gaps than you might think possible, so even very small openings can potentially lead to an infestation.
Stucco homes also can contain holes or gaps where the structure meets the garage, which can lead mice up into attic areas of some homes.
Typically homeowners will see infestations around the Fall as temperatures drop and can set up in a comfortable home rather quickly. We once had a report that a homeowner caught up to 36 mice in a single weekend once they realized they had an infestation! The primary health issue with common house mice is their droppings and urine as they venture out from their homes looking for food.
A more difficult common species found around Tucson however is the Pack Rat. These rodents in addition to creating a very unsanitary area where they set up their burrows, are known to cause an incredibly high amount of damage. They primarily damage electrical equipment including cars, vans, trucks, yard equipment and even interior wiring. They can do thousands of dollars of damage in a single night.
Prevention is primarily an exercise in vigilance and common sense. Routine inspections around your home to ensure there are no structural gaps, cracks, wood rot, or obvious entry points into the home or garage is crucial. Make sure also that trees and bushes do not create a logical pathway to the rooftop of your home.
Take the time to inspect your weatherproofing efforts, especially around garage doors in addition to ventilation sources. Check your attic spaces regularly for droppings or other signs that mice have created a home above you. Lastly, do not leave vehicles outside at night if at all possible. If you are using your garage for storage, it might be time to think about a yard sale or setting up a 3rd party storage solution. While there are gadgets that can help keep Pack Rats at bay, keeping cars and trucks inside your garage is the only way to absolutely guarantee you won’t wake up in the morning with an electrical nightmare waiting for you as you try and start the engine.