Mouse-Proofing FAQ

//Mouse-Proofing FAQ

Mouse-Proofing FAQ

Commonly Asked Mouse-Proofing Questions:

Why do mice climb roofs to enter into attics, while Norway rats do not?

Take into consideration that Norway rats are semi-aquatic rodents. They are burrowing creatures. They have adapted to living below ground level. Additionally mice do not necessarily need to drink water. They get it from their food. Brown rats need to drink everyday. Attics do not have much water in them. On the contrary, roof rats commonly infest attics. These rats are not found in Cleveland, Ohio.

How do mice get under siding?

Mice get under siding when the bottom lip of siding is not properly sealed flush against the house. There are layers of board and insulation behind the actual siding. Sometimes the section that the bottom piece latches onto is damaged or missing. There are many reasons for this. Some examples being: Poor construction, lawnmower damage, deterioration of backing material, and damage from running cables into the home.

Is There Mouse-Proof Caulk?

Caulk is not rodent resistant and should not be used for exclusion purposes. Yet if caulk must be used, it is possible to dust white pepper onto the caulk before it cures. This will act as a deterrent once a mouse starts gnawing on the caulk.

Only true sealants should be used for mouse-proofing. There is a difference between sealants and caulk. When sealants have cured they will be bonded to the connecting material. Sealants harden unlike caulks which remain elastic to some extent. Caulks also have the tendency to shrink and crack which is not beneficial when making structural repairs.

For instances where we feel that our repairs will be put to the test, we will use a bio-repellent. For example, Rat-out gel is used outdoors to detour squirrels. This contact irritant is applied dynamically, in order to drive rodents away from infested areas. Tracking experience is required to effectively utilize these green rodent control products. Pepper bio-repellent products produces a stress response within trap shy rodents. Problem rats are finally catch-able.

Can Steel Wool Be Used For Mouse-Proofing?

Steel wool should not be used to mouse-proof homes long term. While this material works initially, it will eventually begin to rust and corrode. When used on the exterior, the rust tends to drain down the home, staining the foundation. As it rusts, it shrinks, losing its effectiveness. If you use steel wool, specially purchase stainless steel.

Do Cans Of Expanding Foam Work To Seal A Home For Rodents?

Expanding foam should only be used to fill large gaps and voids. It should never be used alone. Mice can chew through closed cell foam.

It is only used as a backer in our exclusion repairs. We will use sealant over top of the spray foam. Alternatively we will impregnate Xcluder fabric, quarter inch hardware mesh, or copper mesh into outer layer of uncured foam. Then we will sandwich this second layer by adding sealant as the outer layer.

Expanding foam is not a true sealant and should not be used in kitchens. The foam is porous and catches dirt, debris and bacteria. We do not recommend the use of spray foam exclusively for mouse-proofing.

What Kind Of Rodent Screen Material Do You Use?

Half inch hardware mesh can be used for large rodents like Groundhogs. Otherwise we use quarter inch hardware mesh. Mice cannot pass through this size screen. It is also durable enough to resist gnawing from rodents.

Aluminum and fiberglass window screen is not effective to seal mice and other rodents out. Aluminum insect screen can be used to stuff holes but is not a good screen for vents long term. Eventually these smaller size mesh screens will become brittle and fail to keep pests out.

Can You Stuff Copper Mesh In Weep Holes?

Copper mesh will still allow for air circulation into the crawlspace. Therefore it is a suitable material to plug weep holes.

When stuffing any exclusion material into a hole it should be secured in place. Rodents have a knack for pushing copper mesh out of weep holes. The mesh should be secured with sealant on the outer edge, while still allowing the weep holes to weep.

Can Mice and Rats Climb Siding?

Yes mice and rats can climb siding and enter a home from the roof level. Therefore, potential entry points on all levels should be sealed for mice and rats.

By |2018-02-06T09:24:17+00:00January 2nd, 2018|Wildlife Articles|0 Comments

About the Author:

The Owner of Lakewood Exterminating is Shawn Payne- a formally educated Horticulturist with nearly two decades experience. Shawn began his career in the Green Industry in Autumn 1998, when he was just 15 years old. He has a Certificate in Horticulture from the Polaris Career Center, where he was named Outstanding Student his senior year.  During Spring of 1999, Polaris Career Center provided Shawn the opportunity to work at Sunset Memorial Park under the care of Wayne Jewell. Wayne trained Shawn in advanced pruning techniques and how to apply pesticides properly. Shawn graduated with a 3.11 GPA in Nursery Management and Landscape Construction and Contracting from the Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute in 2003. During his time at the Institute; Shawn balanced studying for his dual degrees with tutoring a Student in Entomology (insects), and mentoring the School's Botany class. Shawn also traveled abroad to Myerscough College to study horticulture in the United Kingdom. Since graduation, Shawn has worked for the Davey Resource Group and as a Gardener for the City of Cleveland. He took care of the Cultural Gardens and the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse while working for the City of Cleveland. Shawn was hired in September 2008 to be mainly responsible for the pest control, animal trapping, and weed control at NASA Glenn Research Center. He multi-tasked grounds-keeping duties: Landscaping, heavy equipment operation, snow-removal, lawn mowing, tree removal, pruning, general construction, street repair, water line repair, and much more on site from 2008-2016. During his time at NASA Glenn Research Center Shawn and his former Partner brought their two wonderful daughters into the world. After the birth of their first child, Shawn started his business- Advantage Landscape Services. This was to provide security to his family due to multiple threats of budget cuts at his full-time job. After his former Employer lost the maintenance contract in late 2015- Shawn's Supervisor was let go, and his main duties as the Lab's Pesticide Applicator were outsourced to two separate companies. With a wife, a 2 year old, and 4 year old daughter to provide for: Shawn transformed his part-time landscaping business into a full-time pest control business. Since business has been established, they have gained over 50 reviews on Google- everyone of them 5 stars.