7 Cleaning Habits That Attract Mice

These common habits could land you with a serious pest infestation before you know it.

Cleaning your home can often feel like a thankless task. It's tiring, frustrating, and the second you feel like you've finished one project, another mess rears its ugly head. However, if you're avoiding specific cleaning tasks—or doing them in certain ways—clutter and dust could soon be the least of your worries. According to pest control experts, certain cleaning habits could be attracting mice to your home. Read on to discover how your cleaning routine could be inviting pests into your space.

RELATED: If You Live in These States, Prepare for a Rat Infestation, Experts Warn.

1
You store food in plastic bags.

chocolate chip cookies in a plastic bag on a counter
Shutterstock/Teerasak Ladnongkhun

Sure, stashing a sealed sandwich bag of leftover snacks in your pantry may seem like a good way of keeping a potential mess contained, but that habit could leave you with a mouse problem before you know it.

"Mice are constantly looking for sources of food, so to avoid attracting them, it's crucial to ensure that you haven't left any food out in the open or stored in unsealed containers," says Scot Hodges, a certified entomologist and pest expert with Arrow Exterminators.

For the latest pest prevention tips sent to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

2
You don't vacuum frequently.

Vacuum
Shutterstock

Vacuuming may not be the most enjoyable chore you do all week, but it's an essential one if you want to fend off pests. "Keeping your floors clean, whether carpet or hard surface, is vital in preventing mice. The slightest trace of crumbs or food spillage on the floor can attract rodents, so be sure to vacuum frequently and clean up any spills in your home as soon as possible," says Hodges.

3
You leave dishes soaking in the sink.

dishes soaking in the sink
Shutterstock/Studio Light and Shade

Leaving your dishes to soak overnight in your sink may make them easier to clean the following morning, but it could also make your space more attractive to pests.

"An open water source is a factor that makes mice come back, so make sure to cover any possible water source," recommends Ethan Howell, co-owner of Florida Environmental Pest Management.

4
You leave your laundry in piles before putting it away.

Laundry basket with underwear and socks
NATTAPON JUIJAIYEN/Shutterstock

Sorting and putting away laundry can take a surprisingly long time, leading many people to leave their clean clothes in hampers or piles for days at a time—and doing so could be making your space a haven for pests.

"Whether it's garbage or clothes, as long as the clutter sits in an area, count a few days and you'll spot a mouse there," says Howell.

5
You use cardboard boxes to organize your basement.

white woman writing on cardboard boxes
Shutterstock/Milan Ilic Photographer

If you're using cardboard boxes to keep clutter at bay in your basement, it won't be long before mice make their way into your space.

"These dark spaces give rodents the opportunity to create a nest out of view of humans and make your home their own," says Richard Estrada, owner of ATCO Pest Control

6
You leave pet food out overnight.

brown and white dog looking up at camera with bowl of food in front of him on wood floor
Shutterstock

If your kitchen is an all-night buffet for your cat or dog, it's serving the same purpose for mice, too.

"If food is left on the ground, mice can easily seek it out and invade your home to try and get to it," says Estrada. "Make sure to keep pet food in an airtight container and to clean up animal bowls when they're not eating."

7
You don't take out your trash frequently enough.

A woman takes a trash bag in the kitchen.
lunopark / Shutterstock

If you think tying up your trash bag is enough to keep mice out, think again.

"Plastic bags offer no challenge to hungry mice. Make sure that your trash, especially food waste, is in a tightly sealed container and regularly dispose of it," says Nancy DeWitt, owner of Patriot Pest & Termite Control Co.

RELATED: 6 Things That Are Bringing Snakes Into Your Home.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •