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5 Surprising Ways Rodents Get In Buildings

Have you heard the rumor of the mouse that could fit through a space the size of a pencil? Well, it might be true.

We recently saw a video circulating on social media where an expert demonstrates just how tiny of a hole a mouse can actually squeeze through. Rodents get into homes and buildings in more ways than you may think. And rats can be inside your home for days or even months before you detect them since they regularly search for food overnight.

There are any number of entry points on buildings, especially within older homes like the ones we have here in College Station. Dorms and small unit apartment buildings are also common here in town, and those make for easy access too.

How do mice get inside buildings?

1. Through the AC Unit

Check the sealant around the pipe outdoors that connects the AC unit to the inside of your home. It only takes a small space for rodents to sneak right in. They can slip through a crack as larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.

Check any holes around doors and walls and seal them.
For possible entry points around cables and pipes, place stainless steel pads that mice can’t chew through and then seal the hole with caulk.

2. Under the garage door

Mice sometimes sneak in through the slight space between the driveway and the garage door. The area between your home’s exterior walls and the garage door may also have small crevices. Rodents can chew through many types of rubber, which means that weather strips are fair game for entry.

Inspect the wall connecting your garage door to the rest of your home for any potential entry points and rodent bite marks.

3. They Come In Through the Bathroom Window

Mice are exceptional climbers and won’t hesitate to slip in through an open window on the second floor of your home. If you have tree limbs touching your house, rodents will use that as a ‘ladder’. For windows without screens, check that everything is closed and locked. If you already have window screens in place, check for any holes. Sometimes, pets may chew these screens, weakening the metal and creating holes.

If a window doesn’t close 100% or if gaps are present between the window and the frame, seal the spots with steel wool or hardware cloth.

To replace a window screen you’ll need:

  • screen wire
  • a flathead screwdriver
  • a spline
  • a spline rolling tool
  • a knife

4. Toilets

Yes, it is true. On rare occasions, rodents can swim up through a toilet. Rats are not just great climbers and chewers. Sewer rats are excellent swimmers. If they end up in the plumbing, they will look for a way out. A plumber can close the lid and install screens inside pipes.

5. The foundation and the roof

Use a ladder to see if the chimney and vent flashings are tight. Cap chimneys with animal guards, which rodents cannot chew through. Also, we recommend people with older homes review corrugated metal or Spanish tile roofing for proper seals once a year.

Take a look at the foundation for any holes or cracks that mice may easily enter through. We recommend using sturdier materials including concrete mortar, sheet metal, or hardware cloth to seal any entry points. Mice can chew through less durable mediums, like rubbers and plastics.


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