6 things that will attract mice to your basement – best life
Similar to garages, the basement of your house can be used flexibly. Some are finished and furnished like any other room in the house. Others are nothing more than a concrete sub-level that is used for storage. But whatever the case for your home, you could attract mice by keeping certain things in your basement. Read on to see what not to keep in your basement.
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Depending on where you live, you may need insulation to keep your home warm – especially underground where cold temperatures are difficult to control. However, if your basement is partially unfinished, it is important to make sure that the fluffy material that keeps the subterranean spaces of your home warm has not itself become a cozy place to stay for mice.
If you suspect you may have a mouse infestation, check any exposed insulation for signs of nesting or rodent droppings. Then replace any material that looks like it is buried and seal in the new insulation to ensure the pests don’t try to come back and take back their home. Experts recommend calling a professional to swap the fiber insulation for sprayable foam, which mice cannot dig into if the problem persists.
Just like attics, basements can become your preferred storage area for extra items that you may not need within easy reach. While there’s nothing wrong with tucking Christmas decorations or extra clothing down below, it’s important that you take good care of everything. Usually this means opting for plastic storage containers that can be stacked a few inches away from the walls so you don’t give mice a place to hide or at home.
Experts also warn that you don’t just have to watch out for general clutter in your basement. “If you keep cardboard boxes or unused furniture such as spare sofas or chairs in your basement, you are providing rodents with everything they need to build nests.” Daren Horton, Founder of Gecko Pest Control with offices in Marshall and Longview, Texas, told Best Life. “They will dig through these items, tear them up and use them as nesting material. They can even build their nests right in old furniture.”
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Basements can be a fantastic temperature stable place to store food and beverages that don’t quite fit in your pantry or upstairs cupboards. Unfortunately, this could also mean throwing a feast for mice or rats that managed to make it inside. If you use your basement to store replacement ingredients or snacks, make sure to keep your items in tightly sealed glass or rigid plastic containers and put them on shelves.
And mice aren’t just looking for human food: dog food, cat food, and bird food could also lure them into your basement. “Keeping pet food in open bags on the floor is a recipe for a rodent problem.” Denise Trad Wartan, General manager of Trad’s Pest Control in Jacksonville, Florida, to Best Life. “Pet food should be kept in plastic containers so that it blocks rodent odor and makes it difficult to access.”
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As the underground part of your home, basements are particularly prone to flooding, leaks, and general moisture build-up. And while mold, mildew, and damage to stored items may seem like the biggest problem associated with a damp basement, it can also provide rodents with the moisture they need to survive.
“Mice love dark, damp environments”, Mark Constantino, Owner of Arkadia Eco Pest Control, which has offices in Randolph and Hackettstown, New Jersey, to Best Life. “Any leak in a basement can create perfect conditions for mice and rats due to the constant source of water.”
If you accumulate water or moisture in your basement, be sure to look for cracks in the foundation or windows that could be causing the problem. These include built-in windows, according to Terminix, which allow water to pool during rainstorms and create flooding problems if not properly maintained.
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Sometimes it’s not what’s in your basement that can attract a mouse infestation, it’s what’s right next to it. Keep an eye on the shrubs, grass, and flowers planted next to your home near the foundation, and always make sure that any ground-covering, dense, or low-lying foliage is well cared for. Otherwise, mice may find their way into your home thanks to the hiding places in your yard that attract them.
Of course, you should also be careful not to plant anything near your home that might also attract rodents. “Common plants that attract rats and mice are ivy, cypress and palm trees, and juniper bushes.” Kent Edmunds, CEO of Paul’s Termite & Pest Control, with offices in Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Florida, told Best Life. “These plants provide shelter and food for them.”
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Even though the foundation of your home should be one of the most solid and durable parts of your home, weather and time can call for the concrete that keeps everything stable. Regularly check the perimeter of your home, both inside and out, and make sure that any gaps between the foundation and the ground, the foundation wall and the floor of your home, and any gaps around pipes or cables that could allow ingress have been sealed Terminix recommends.
And don’t assume that just gaping holes are problems. “Rats only need half an inch and mice only need a quarter of an inch to gain entry.” Timothy Best, Technical Manager at Terminix, tells Best Life. He recommends sealing off any cracks or crevices you find.
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