MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — As the cold creeps into our homes, the mice could follow.
"The amount of mice we're removing this year is much higher than in previous years from homes. I don't know exactly why that is but it's been pretty consistent since we've been trapping, especially this fall and winter," said Matthew Eickman, owner of Abra Kadabra Environmental Services.
To keep the mice out, Eickman said it's best to seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home using anything but foam.
"When they enter a home, they leave a pheromone trail that is almost like Google Maps for the rest of the mice to come into the home. Because of that, if you're using those materials that aren't going to withstand chewing and scratching, they're going to get right into the same general area," Eickman said.
People can plug up holes with steel wool but Eickman recommends adding an extra step and putting a type of sealant over the top to waterproof the area.
"That will stop not only the mice from feeling the air draft and the heat that's coming out of that gap but it'll also make that steel wool last much longer," he said.
For a more long-term solution, Abra Kadabra custom bends and installs metal to seal up homes.
Mark Settergren, owner of Settergren Hardware in Linden Hills, said if you're going to use mouse traps, the modern ones work better than the wooden traps.
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"The new mouse traps catch the mouse a lot easier and they're just better baiting systems on them. They're reusable and for the homeowners, they're a lot easier to dispose of that actual mouse," Settergren said.
Settergren's favorite spot to place a trap is under the kitchen sink because it's a dark, quiet area. He also recommends storing pet food in an enclosed container mice cannot get to.
Often we hear of people using scents mice try to avoid, like peppermint or dryer sheets, to keep mice away. There are also products available that do the same thing.
Settergren said that method works best in smaller spaces.
"They help but they are also moving the mice to another spot so you have to be careful with that," he said.
Eickman added that if you're using a rodenticide, store it locked up where your pets and children cannot get to it.