Cleaning our home is not an easy task, especially in storage areas such as garages or basements. Plus, pest infestations can quickly start there. So, how could you find a mouse nest in your garage or basement to avoid a more invasive infestation? In this post, we present our research to assist you in avoiding a pest issue and keeping a clean home.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Mice build nests close to food and shelter. They like comfortable, confined, dark areas where they feel safe enough to breed. They usually nest in unspoiled enclosed spaces such as:
- Drawers: An untidy drawer is an ideal location for a mouse nest, especially if it contains paper, cloth, mattress stuffing, sticks, and other materials.
- Voids under walls or floor-to-ceiling cabinets: Mice will chew on drywall to gain access to these quiet, secluded areas.
- Suspended ceilings: Filthy-smelling mouse waste will drench and disintegrate ceiling panels when the pests' nests are inside these places.
- Motor/engine compartments: Areas such as the inside of a washing machine motor, riding lawnmower engine cap, or beneath the hood of a car near a warm engine are prime nesting areas.
- Clutter: Underutilized, clutter-filled hidden areas are prime targets for mouse nests.
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to keep our home clean and free of pests. So, if you want a mouse-free house, read on and learn more about this topic!
How do I get rid of a mouse infestation in my garage?
Before beginning any type of rodent control, you must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from their excrement and to avoid leaving your scent on any rodent control products.
Here are several methods of eliminating mouse infestation:
No matter how small the gaps or holes leading into your home are, seal them up. Aim for foundation openings, utility pipes, vents, and openings in the walls. Prevent mouse access by enclosing the entry point.
Traps are one of the most successful means of eliminating mice and rats.
Set various traps in your home. Use a variety of traps, including glue traps, wood traps, bait traps, and multiple catch traps. Using a variety of traps ensures that mice that are familiar with a particular type of trap can still be caught.
Catch and release mice using humane traps, safe for homes with children. Get a set of humane traps on Amazon.
Fill the traps with mouse baits such as peanut butter, dried fruit, chocolate, or the type of food they like in your house. If the bait doesn't seem to work, you can change it.
You can bait wooden traps with any of the recommended foods. Get a set of wooden traps on Amazon.
Install the trap in a location where it can detect signs of mice, such as droppings. Place the traps exactly in the route of the mice so that they run into the bait rather than over it. Every two days, rotate the trap positions.
Make use of a Bait Station
A bait station is a poisonous food item wrapped in plastic, paper, or cellophane that rats can bite through. Mice that eat the bait will eventually die. The downside of this procedure is that it can be dangerous for pets or children.
Good Sanitary Habits
Keep your garage clean by eliminating build-up and throwing uneaten pet food from pet food bowls stored in the garage into an outdoor trash receptacle. Items that touch the ground are stored against the wall and stacked in mounds allowing the rodents to go undetected.
Placing items on the shelf will lift them off the floor and away from the wall. The more exposed places you have in your garage, the fewer paths rodents use to get around, and the less likely they are to go foraging.
If you store firewood in your garage or basement, stack it on a shelf or keep it outside at least a few feet from the house's foundation.
Remove any food or plant residue from your car. Vacuum and wipe down the dash, seats, steering wheel, floor, carpet, door sides, and cup holders. To prevent rodents from nesting inside the engine, you might also decide to change equipment or vehicles from time to time.
After performing these tasks, you can disinfect the area to ensure that pests, particularly mice, won't return to your basement or garage and cause trouble again.
How do you know if the mice are gone?
There are signs that mice have vacated your home. They are easy to identify, so here are some strategies that can help you determine the status of your home's mouse problems.
- The obvious sign that you no longer have mice in your home is not seeing them anymore. To be sure, check out areas of your home where you know mice might live or where there could be mouse nests.
- Mice can be dangerous because they can damage your home or belongings. If you start not noticing minor damage or no additional damage, you might have eliminated the mouse problem.
- The most common places to find mice droppings in a garage or basement are along walls or floors. If you notice there's little to no droppings, then it is a good sign that the mice have moved on from your home.
- Mice make occasional noises, especially at night when they are most active. If the problem is severe, mouse sounds will get louder; otherwise, you won't hear scratching sounds or any noises on the walls.
- Similar to their droppings, mice often leave foul odors in their urine. If the foul ammonia smell is no longer evident, you can be sure that rats are no longer running around your house.
- The time of year is the ultimate indicator of whether mice are no longer a problem in your home. In the first place, mice come into our homes primarily to find shelter throughout the winter. Once the weather starts to warm in April or May, the mice will stop using your home as a habitat.
How can you tell how many mice you have?
The amount of food and shelter available at any given time will determine how many mice can live in your home.
Unfortunately, finding a mouse on your property is like looking for a needle in a haystack. These little rodents stick together and are relatively quiet. Because their main predators are skilled hunters, they instinctively know to be good hiders and how to move about without being spotted.
So, if you've seen a mouse, especially during the day, it's likely that there are (at least) a few more that you're not seeing. Mice are nocturnal, so spotting them during the day usually indicates that their nests have become crowded and they are looking for a new home.
Mouse Reproductive Cycles
This fact leads us to the next point: a female mouse can have up to eight babies in a litter and has six all the time.
In addition, the gestation period of mice is very short. A female mouse can give birth to at least 30 pups a year. Females can mate immediately after giving birth, and a second litter will appear after 25 days.
Again, the indoor atmosphere encourages increased reproduction. Mice infestation can quickly become a major problem. Females will continue to reproduce until they die.
Multiple mice in your home can do quite a bit of damage, and before you know it, you may be inadvertently feeding more rats than you can track.
What happens when you disturb a mouse nest?
When you find a nest, your first instinct might be to destroy it. This idea is not a good approach for several reasons.
To begin with, it is simple to make a mistake. Handling the nest can get you sick if you don't wear a face mask and gloves. If you dispose of the nest nearby, mice might return to your home.
Second, eliminating a mouse nest does not always imply removing all of the mice. One mouse could already be in your home hunting for food and try to return to the nesting spot.
These are some essential reasons to avoid doing nest removal yourself. As soon as you discover a nest in your home, contact a specialist in your region. You might also check out your state's plans to eradicate and prevent rodents.
It's also a good idea to follow this strategy if you uncover a nest outside. Mice may enter your home, especially if the weather is cold. Your house can quickly become home because they need warmth and food to survive.
Having mice in your basement or garage can be a problem because if an infestation has already started there, the rest of the house will undoubtedly be the next stop.
Mice and other rodents can spread disease, contaminate food, damage your belongings due to constant chewing, and even bring other pests into your home, including fleas and ticks. The best approach to prevent diseases spread by rodents is to exercise effective rodent control in and around your home.
Looking for more great pest prevention tips? Check out: "How To Stop Mice From Getting Under Siding."