Leaving This in Your Garage Could Be Attracting Mice, Experts Warn

Mice are looking for shelter as it gets colder and if you leave this out, you're inviting them in.

Just like the children's book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie explains, mice, like all animals, need shelter and food, and if you provide it to them, they'll likely take advantage. Sure, you know not to give them an Oreo, but there are many easy mistakes you might be making that make your home the perfect place for mice to settle in for the winter. When it comes to your garage specifically, experts warn that there's one thing many people leave around that could attract mice. To make sure that you're not inviting them in, read on.

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Leaving firewood in your garage could be attracting mice.

A pile of firewood

As we settle into fall and the air gets colder, many of us are eager to cozy up to a roaring fire with a good book or a new movie. But if you stockpile firewood in your garage so that it's ready to go when you want to get the fire going, you could be attracting mice.

"There are two main reasons why firewood piles attract mice: shelter and food," says remote veterinarian Jonathan Roberts, BVSC. "Firewood provides a protective and well-insulated area for mice to make nests, and there is an ample supply of food from the insects and bugs that are natural inhabitants of the firewood."

Pest control expert Ryan Smith also suggests using firewood right away as soon as you bring it into your house, or else you could soon be seeing mice inside.

RELATED: 7 Cleaning Habits That Attract Mice.

Keep your firewood far from your house, covered, and off the ground.

Man holding some firewood

It's imperative to keep your firewood outside and away from your house, experts say. "Avoid stacking firewood against exterior walls as it allows pests to access your home more easily," says Smith. "It also helps to keep firewood dry by covering it and elevating it by using some pallets."

Specifically, you should keep your pile of wood at least 30 feet from your home to "reduce the number of rodents seeking shelter in your home," a spokesperson from Eastside Exterminators advises.

Pet food can also attract mice to your garage.

person putting hand into bag of dog food

In addition to firewood, there are other items you may be keeping in your garage that could attract mice. Experts warn that they enjoy eating pet food, so if you currently store that in the garage, you should consider bringing it into your home and sealing it tightly.

Smith notes that mice aren't picky eaters, so they'll gnaw on anything available to them, including your garbage if it's not sealed properly. In fact, experts advise against keeping your garbage in your garage altogether. Smith suggests "removing any source of food and shelter. This means disposing of trash and waste properly."

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To prevent mice from making your home or garage their home too, close up holes and reduce clutter.

messy garage

To avoid attracting mice to your garage or home, you need to make sure of two things: 1) there's nothing they want in there and 2) they don't have easy access. Roberts says to "seal any gaps that lead directly to the outside." You should also look for any gaps around the perimeter of your home. A spokesperson for Miller Pest & Termite suggests that you "inspect the outside of your home and seal all possible entry points. Keep in mind that rodents can enter in holes the size of a dime."

Roberts also says to reduce any clutter on the floor of your garage and cut back any branches that are touching the roof or walls of your garage. As Smith explains, one of the best defenses against mice is "keeping a tidy home, [and] decluttering your basement and garage."

 RELATED: If You're Not Cleaning This, You're Inviting Mice Into Your Home.

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