Your fireplace could attract mice, experts warn – best life

When the colder weather hits, you may be spending more time at home than outside. Unfortunately, you are not the only one. Mice may be active year round, but according to the experts at Terminix, they are most likely to come into your home and take shelter when the temperature drops. And you could make your home even more of a target for this pest with some remarkable function. Read on to find out what might attract mice to your home.

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You’re probably eager to light your fireplace when the cold weather hits, but this home feature could bring you more than just warmth. Megan Cavanaugh, a pest control expert and co-owner of Minnesota pest control company Done Right Pest Solutions, says your fireplace actually invites mice into your home for two reasons: warmth and security from the weather and predators.

“Mice are known to be attracted to heat and we often see them in poorly ventilated areas around heaters and fireplaces.” Lovelia Horn, a veterinarian, pest specialist, and owner of Every Creature Counts in Springfield, Illinois.

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Old style laundry room with modern appliances and wicker basketsiStock

The room with your fireplace is probably not the only warm room in your home that this living thing is attracted to. According to Cavanaugh, mice could take refuge in other warm and cozy places as well. “Washrooms and boiler rooms are very popular with mice because they are usually warmer because machines that are running give off heat and the stove or boiler gives off heat,” she explains. “And because they’re secluded, people usually don’t hang out too much in their oven or laundry room.”

Clarissa Benny, a certified pest control technician and consultant to HouseGrail, says mice look for warmth especially in late fall when it gets colder.

“They find water heaters and chimneys the perfect nesting places. Believe it or not, mice are very intelligent and can sense sources of heat through openings in the wall,” warns Benny.

Rat in a cage that is catching a rat.  the rat infected the disease to humans like leptospirosis, plague.  Houses and apartments shouldn't have mice.  Concept of hygiene and health.  Animal controliStock

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean mice are attracted to chimneys that they got into yours. If you are concerned, experts say you should look for signs of mouse activity near your fireplace. Cavanaugh says that you should check for mouse droppings first, which could be in your house where the fireplace is or outside along the fireplace, as well as in the fireplace sink or slide. You might also smell urine or stale urine, she says.

Other signs of mice chewed through the drywall near your fireplace, and scratching, squeaking, or gnawing could be other signs of mice, according to Horn. “One of the main reasons mice want in your house is because they’re hungry. So if you notice holes in your grocery parcels, you’ve got mice. You can also smell an odd musty stuffy stuff and if they live in your chimney and if you are making a fire, you can smell a stench that could be their nest, “adds Benny.

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The playful cute cat is playing with the toy mouse in its owner's living room.  She walks past the mouse to pounce on it.  Shot in front of a stone fireplace.iStock

You don’t have to get rid of your fireplace just to get rid of mice. According to Benny, the best way to keep mice out, even if you have a fireplace, is to keep them from entering by sealing any holes you see outside your home. She says mice can actually fit through a hole as small as a pencil.

“You can prevent mice from getting into your chimney by putting a mesh-covered chimney cap on.” Codey Stout, a pest control specialist and TreeTriage operations manager, recommends. “Also, keep your firewood as far from your house and off the ground as possible, as mice can build nests on top of your pile of firewood.”

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