Five Tips To Keep Mice Out Of Your Chicago Home This Fall

An infestation of house mice in a pantry
If you’ve lived in Chicago very long, you may have noticed you see an uptick in mouse activity in your home every winter. Mice don’t hibernate during the winter, so that means they’ve got to feed and shelter themselves throughout the cold months. In places with frigid winters like Chicago, finding food and keeping warm can be especially hard. This makes mice even more dependent on humans than they are in warmer places or during warmer seasons. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lower your risk of mice setting up shop in your home. 

Are Mice In My Home Dangerous?

In a word, yes. Mice are no less dangerous than rats because they spread just about every disease that rats do. In fact, in some ways, a mouse infestation can be even worse than a rat infestation. Mice are a lot smaller than rats, so they can squeeze into places rats just can't. Mice are pickier than rats – preferring seeds and grains and dried fruits – so they’ll spend more time in your pantry and less time in your garbage. More time in your pantry means more time pooping and peeing in your food stores and walking over your kitchen and food storage surfaces with their filthy feet. This behavior can give you all kinds of horrible diseases, including hantavirus, salmonella, and rat-bite fever.

How Can I Minimize My Risk Of Infestation?

It’s tough to exclude mice from your home physically. While you can take measures to make it harder for mice to enter your house – such as filling holes in your home’s exterior and using rodent mesh to cover ventilation openings – if mice want inside, they’ll get inside. Your best bet is to make your home less attractive to mice. If you make it harder for them to feed themselves while in your home, they might move on to greener pastures. To make your home a more hostile environment, do things like:

  1. Cover all indoor and outdoor trash cans with tight lids.
  2. Never leave pet foods or pet bowls sitting out.
  3. Always store pantry foods in airtight, hard plastic containers.
  4. Get rid of as many water sources as possible, such as birdbaths, kiddie pools, clogged gutters, etc.
  5. Consider getting a cat or rodent dog (breeds like Rat Terriers or Jack Russells are bred to hunt rats and mice), as mice don’t like to share their homes with their natural predators.

What Should I Do If I Get A Mouse Infestation? 

If you see signs of mice – including droppings, gnawing damage, or actual mice – you need to act immediately. Mice breed at an almost unbelievable rate, and a few individuals hanging out in your basement can quickly blow up into a significant problem. Mice are also a tough pest to get rid of on your own. Grocery store rat poison isn’t a great option. It kills slowly, giving mice time to crawl into spaces like ventilation ducts and underneath appliances to die. If they die in a place you can’t reach them, they will stink up your house for days. Snap traps are also not a great choice because they only kill one individual at a time, and this doesn’t usually do anything more than make room for new individuals. 

The good news is that help is just a click or call away. Here at Aerex Pest Control, we offer a wide variety of rodent control options to fit every home and business owner’s unique needs and budget. If you want the mouse infestation in your house gone for good, give us a call at (847) 255-8888 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today. 

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