If You Have This in Your Home, You May Be Attracting Mice, Experts Warn
This feature could be a hotspot for rodents in your house.
As the colder weather rolls in, you might find yourself spending more time in your home than outside. Unfortunately, you're not the only one. Mice may be active all year, but they're most likely to enter your home and seek out shelter when the temperature drops, according to the experts at Terminix. And you could be making your home even more of a target for this pest with one notable feature. Read on to find out what could be attracting mice to your home.
If you have a fireplace in your house, you may be attracting mice.
You're probably eager to light up your fireplace as the cold weather rolls in, but this in-home feature could bring you more than just warmth. Megan Cavanaugh, a pest control expert and co-owner of the pest control company Done Right Pest Solutions in Minnesota, says that your fireplace might actually be inviting mice into your home for two reasons: warmth, and safety from weather and predators.
"Mice are known to be attracted to warmth 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, confirms.
Mice might also be attracted to other warm areas in your home.
The room with your fireplace is probably not the only warm room in your house this critter is attracted to. According to Cavanaugh, mice might also seek refuge in other warm and cozy places. "Laundry rooms and furnace rooms are very popular with mice because they are typically warmer as machines running give off heat and the furnace or boiler gives off heat," she explains. "And because they are secluded—people don't typically hang out in their furnace or laundry rooms too much."
Clarissa Benny, a certified pest control technician and consultant for HouseGrail, says mice will particularly start seeking out warmth "during the late fall when it starts getting colder," so now is the most likely time for these rodents to get drawn into your home.
"They find water heaters and fireplaces to be the perfect nesting spots. Believe it or not, mice are very intelligent and can feel sources of warmth through wall openings," Benny warns.
If you think you have mice, check for signs near your fireplace.
Thankfully, just because mice are attracted to fireplaces doesn't mean they have gotten into yours. If you're concerned, experts say you should look for any signs of mice activity near your fireplace. Cavanaugh says you should first check for mice droppings, which could be located inside your home where the fireplace is or outside along where the fireplace is, as well as in the fireplace basin or the chute. You might also smell urine or stale urine, she says.
According to Horn, other signs of mice might include holes chewed through the drywall near your fireplace and scratching, squeaking, or gnawing sounds. "One of the primary reasons that mice want in your home is because they're hungry. So if you notice holes in your food packages, you have mice. You may also smell a strange musty order, and if they live in your chimney and start a fire, you may smell a stink, which may be their nest," Benny adds.
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There are ways to deter mice from your home, even if you have a fireplace.
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 fireplace, is to prevent them from coming in in the first place by sealing any holes you see outside of your home. She says that mice can actually fit through a hole that is as small as a pencil.
"You can prevent mice from entering your fireplace by putting on a mesh-covered chimney cap," Codey Stout, a pest prevention specialist and head of operations for TreeTriage, recommends. "Also, keep your firewood as far as possible from your house and above the ground, as mice can also make a nest on your stack of firewood."