Most homeowners stress over an indoor mouse infestation; however, an outdoor infestation can become just as much of an annoyance. Outdoor mice can wreck havoc on your lawn and garden. They also leave droppings that can spread disease, and their urine has an unpleasant smell.
It’s important for homeowners to understand why mice are drawn to their lawns so that they can take the necessary steps to get rid of them. An outdoor mouse problem can also quickly lead to an indoor infestation, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs.
If you suspect that there are mice taking up residence on your property or inside your home, contact a pest control expert.
Why Do Pests Like My Lawn?
The first step in getting rid of outdoor mice or any type of outdoor pest is to make your lawn inhospitable to them. There are several reasons why mice may be attracted to your lawn, including:
- They can access a food source, such as a bird feeder or pet food
- You have an uncovered compost pile
- Your yard is full of clutter that they can use for shelter
- You have holes and cracks in your fence
- You have unsealed trash bins
To deter mice, you need to make sure that they can’t easily access food, water and shelter in your yard. If you have an outdoor pet, only leave their food out when it is their meal time. Otherwise, seal it up in an airtight container so that mice cannot help themselves to it.
Composting is great for the environment and makes an amazing fertilizer for your lawn. Unfortunately, it also makes a perfect place for mice to hide. A compost heap is also full of mice’s favorite food scraps: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
If you want to maintain your compost pile, consider using an airtight compost tumbler made from a heavy-duty plastic. A tumbler will elevate your compost heap off the ground so that it doesn’t become an easy nesting place for mice.
Mice also like to nest in fallen leaves and other outdoor clutter. Keeping your yard pristine is an effective way to deter mice from taking up residence. Rake your leaves regularly and clean up debris. Additionally, do not stack wood on the exterior of your home. Mice can use it for shelter and it may lead them straight to your door.
Mice are excellent climbers, and they can squeeze through extremely small holes, so it’s hard to deter them from your yard completely. However, inspecting your fence for holes and cracks is worthwhile. Seal up any tiny openings to eliminate as many possible entrances for mice as you can.
Lastly, your trash bins are like a food court for mice. Keep them tightly sealed and make sure they are made of a durable material, like metal or heavy-duty plastic, so that mice cannot chew their way into them.
Signs of an Outdoor Mice Infestation
An outdoor mouse infestation is harder to identify than an indoor one because you do not hear them scurrying through your walls. It’s more common to see mouse droppings outdoors than it is to actually see or hear one.
Mouse droppings are dark brown and have pointed ends. They are only a quarter of an inch long. You will see mouse droppings near or in their nest or along the pathway from their nest to their food source.
If you have pets, their behavior can also inform you of an outdoor mouse infestation. They may become fixated on their nesting spot or seem more anxious than usual.
Another common sign of outdoor mice is discovering burrow holes in your yard. Random dirt piles can point you to their holes. Damage to your plants and garden is another indication that you have a pest problem.
If you notice any of these signs, contact a pest control expert. Mice are rapid breeders and spread several diseases, so you don’t want to wait to control an infestation.
How to Get Rid of Mice Outdoors
If you already have an outdoor mouse problem, you can still follow the above tips to make your lawn less welcoming. Mice like to nest where they can easily access food, water and shelter to stay safe from predators. The more you eliminate those accommodations, the more likely they are to find a new place to live.
In addition to those methods, you can also set outdoor baits to trap mice. Try to determine the most likely runway from their nest to their food source and set snap traps along the path.
However, be extremely careful when setting traps. Make sure they are not in areas where pets or children could accidentally set them off and hurt themselves. For the most effective bait strategy, contact a pest control professional to help you.
Some plants are natural rodent deterrents. Try planting daffodils, lavender, garlic, alliums and mint to make your yard less appealing to these creatures.
If you see burrow holes in your lawn, contact a pest control expert to help. They can fully inspect your property to identify all the entry points and seal them up.
How to Get Rid of a Deer Mouse in the House
If you have an outdoor mouse problem, the chances are that you may also have mice indoors. Some mice, like deer mice, prefer living indoors during colder months. A home also provides a consistent food source and keeps them out of sight from predators.
Deer mice are small and round rodents. Their bodies range from two to four inches long, and they have tails that are roughly the same length as their bodies. Their primary fur color is light brown or gray, and they have a white underbelly and white feet. Their legs are smaller in the front and longer in the back.
Deer mice and house mice can be mistaken for each other, but you can tell them apart by their facial features. Deer mice have bigger eyes and ears, and they have pointier noses than house mice.
Another easy way to identify deer mice is by their tails. Unlike other common types of mice, deer mice have hair on their tails, and it is bi-colored to match their body. The top of their tail is darker to match their primary fur and the bottom is white to match their underbelly.
If you see signs of deer mice in your home, contact a pest control specialist right away. Common signs include spotting their droppings or gnaw marks on your walls and smelling their musky urine. You may also hear them running through your home at night.
Along with contacting professional help, you should also follow some of the same tips as above to make your home less hospitable to the mouse population.
Remove their access to food and water by keeping your kitchen clean. Keep your pantry food in airtight containers and do not leave food out on the counter overnight. If you have a pet, only leave out food during their eating times, and keep their kibble container completely sealed.
Baited traps are also a great indoor solution; however, consult with a pest control specialist first. It’s important to be strategic about how and where you use traps to make them as effective as possible.
How Small of a Hole Can a Mouse Fit Through?
Due to their small size, common mice can fit through extremely small holes and cracks. The opening only needs to be a quarter of an inch wide for them to squeeze through it. That size is only the width of a pencil.
It’s difficult for homeowners to discover all of the potential holes and cracks that mice could use to enter their lawns and homes by themselves. Calling in professional help is the best way to conduct a thorough pest inspection.
Get Rid of Outdoor and Indoor Mice
Whether they are indoors or outdoors, mice infestations are an annoyance for homeowners. They disrupt the peace in your home, cause damage and spread diseases.
The first step to kicking mice off your property is knowing the signs and making your home inhospitable to them. Along with taking your own steps, you should also call a pest control specialist to rid your property of rodents.
An expert can help you set traps and identify the tiny holes that mice can squeeze through. Contact an expert today.
ABC Can Help Get Rid of Pests
Dealing with a mouse infestation is an exhausting experience. Fortunately, the professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services can help. We can identify early signs of rodent infestations and can create a plan to get the problem under control. This way, you and your family members can be comfortable.