Chilly weather for us usually means holidays, harvests, and good times. For mice, it means finding the nearest warm place to hide. That place may be your home, shed, or garage. Mice and rats can carry a variety of diseases and parasites. Even worse is mice can cause property damage to your home by chewing on wiring, building nests, chewing holes into the walls and more.
So how do you keep your peace of mind, save your home, and get the mice out? Well, once you finish getting rid of mice in the garage you will then need to make some small home improvements.
Why Mice Prefer the Garage Life?
You would think by now mice would know better than to choose your garage as a safe haven. So why do they take the risk every fall and winter? Simple, when it gets cold outside small animals such as field mice and rats look for refuge. They use your garage to make a burrow of sorts that will protect them and their young from the elements.
Sheds, homes, garages, attics, and so on are all options to a field mouse. Any pet food lying around, unsecured food stores, lots of clutter, and exposed wall insulation will give any mouse a warm invitation to come live in your garage. Warmth, shelter from predators, and plenty of food are what mice and rats desire most.
To determine whether or not you have a mouse problem you will need to look for certain signs of an infestation. This will be important when trying to figure out how to get rid of field mice in the garage.
The common signs you should look for when checking for mice:
Field Mice Droppings
The biggest giveaway for any rodent problem is their droppings. Mice can leave up to 50-60 droppings in one night and if you add in multiple mice, well, safe to say that is a lot of evidence that you can’t miss. You will also have to take safety precautions when cleaning up the droppings due to the possibility of contracting parasites, bacteria and infectious diseases.
Field Mice Nests and Food
Typically, you will see little food stashes, partially chewed up pieces of food, and small nests in corners and dark areas of your garage. This along with other signs of mice will have to be cleaned up so as to avoid having more little invaders in your garage.
Field Mice Urine
To find the urine you can use one or both methods. One is using a blacklight and looking for streams of bluish to yellowish white along side your garage walls. The second method is to see if you smell anything unusual.
Sealing Your Garage to Prevent a Mouse Invasion
You would be surprised by just how creative these little critters can be when they are trying to get into your garage. Whether it be eating a hole through a section of the garage door or gaining access through the tiniest gaps in the seals for your vents, plumbing, air conditioner, and more.
To ensure you don’t get any more mice in your garage you will need to seal off any and all gaps, cracks, and openings around the interior and exterior walls of your home.
Preparing Bait and Setting Traps in the Garage
When it comes to setting up a baited trap in the garage you will have to exercise caution. Poison can be extremely harmful to children and other pets if accidentally ingested. Using baits like nut butter, instant mashed potato flakes, etc. to attract the mouse to the spring trap. If you set up a spring trap make sure you keep all children and animals away from the set traps to avoid injuries.
Placement of traps should be near the entrance of holes or gaps that mice are using to get into your garage. Other areas to place traps are along the walls, counters and other spaces where the mice creep along.
DIY: Build your Own Mouse Trap
Let’s face it mouse poisons, pre-made mouse traps, and exterminators can be expensive and in some cases dangerous for you, your loved ones, and the family pet. So what can you do? Well, make your own mouse traps of course! There are plenty of ways you can make a stellar mouse trap that will keep your garage safe from any more uninvited guests.
There are many methods of DIY mouse trap making. Typically it involves a container and bait method.
How to Keep Mice Out of Garage Using Natural Methods
For the faint of heart, there are some natural methods you can try when getting rid of mice in the garage. If you have small children, house pets, allergies to poisons or in general don’t want to kill the mice then natural methods are your best bet. Poisons can also be toxic to other wildlife too so it is often advised to use natural methods over the traditional poisoned bait traps.
How to get rid of mice in the garage naturally:
Using Spearmint, Peppermint, Cloves, or Anise Oil
Using any of these oils or spices will help deter any potential rodents. All you need to do is dab your choice of these essential oils on cotton balls. Place the cotton balls in all the places you found mice. You can also plant mint around your home’s exterior. If essential oils aren’t in your budget, you can use a cheap mint toothpaste!
Using the Mouse’s Natural Predators: Cats and Barn Owls
If you have a good mouser (cat), then you have the perfect mouse removal method. If you don’t have a reliable feline on hand, you can always purchase owl nesting boxes and place them in a nearby tree, pole, or your shed’s outer wall. Once the owls start to nest they will naturally hunt all the mice near your home.
Not only do these little smelly balls of poison ward of moths and bunnies, but they are also useful for keeping mice and rats away. Place some mothballs in vented containers near the areas you have found mice. For added protection, you can spread mothballs around your garden and home exterior as well.
Spread used cat litter in places you found mice. Mice will smell the cat urine and avoid the area. If you aren’t into the idea of having to smell cat urine constantly then you can always soak unused cat litter into peppermint oil.
Cocoa powder and Plaster of Paris
A combination you wouldn’t typically think of first but is very effective. Mix a few tablespoons of cocoa powder with Plaster of Paris together and spread it around the areas you’ve found mice. The cocoa will attract the mice and result in them ingesting the Plaster of Paris too. Once the mice finish they will leave to go drink water and die.
This method kills mice due to causing blockages in the mouse’s stomach.
A good deterrent against mice and you can plant them for a good onion/green onion harvest. Onions like peppermint, anise, and clove have a smell that will annoy mice and make them stay away.
Beware! Onions are also toxic for dogs and cats. Also, you will have to throw them away every other day to avoid rotting smells.
Instant Potato Flakes
Odd as this may sound but still effective. Instant potato flakes, when eaten by mice, will swell up inside the mouse’s stomach. This, unfortunately, will kill the mouse and should not be used if you have pets due to the same effect it will have on them as well.
Using steel wool to block holes or patch up any gaps will help prevent mice from chewing through the places you’ve fixed. Mice can’t chew their way through the material making it an effective and safe mouse repellent. You should seal any holes that are larger than 1 / 4 inches.
A safe alternative if you have pets and children. Just lay the sheets near the areas you have found mice. Mice don’t like the smell of the sheet and thus avoid the area. For an added boost you can combine peppermint oil with the dryer sheets.
When trying to figure out how to get rid of field mice in the garage it can seem like an endless battle of man vs. nature. But this battle is one that is easy to win when you use the right tactics and methods for getting rid of mice in the garage. Whether you choose the traditional route or a humane route there is always a way to get rid of a mouse in the house.
Now that you know how to get rid of mice in the garage you can avoid next year’s mice invasion.