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The No. 1 Sign There Are Mice in Your Garage

Experts warn that rodents can easily get comfortable in your car's designated shelter.

Just like our attic or basement, there's a decent chance your garage is home to a lot more than just your vehicle. By its very nature, it's the one room where a workbench and spare refrigerator are as common as excess storage boxes. But besides your belongings, it may also be home to other things you never intended to be there, such as pests, thanks to its easy access to the outdoors. And according to experts, there's one easy-to-spot sign that you've got mice in your garage. Read on to see what could indicate you've got rodents.

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Your garage is likely more inviting to mice and rodents than you realize.

A mouse hiding behind items on a workshop shelf in a garage

Besides housing your vehicle, you can use your garage for various activities. And for most people, keeping the space tidy can be just as much of a priority as keeping your basement or attic organized. But according to experts, certain items can be all too inviting for mice. This includes stacks of firewood, which many homeowners often choose to store inside for convenient access and to keep it dry.

"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."

But it's not just a cozy mini-habitat mice enjoy: If you happen to feed your pets in the garage, their food can be just as enticing to rodents as it is to canines and felines. Experts recommend keeping the bowls indoors, cleaning up after your four-legged friends, and stashing their kibble elsewhere. "The safest place to store pet food is on a high shelf in the pantry or the refrigerator, where it can't be exposed to the outdoors," Jill Sandy, a gardener and founder of Constant Delights, told Best Life.

The first sign of mice in your garage may not be something you notice with your eyes.

House mouse feeding in urban house garden on seed meant for birds.

Unlike your kitchen or basement, your garage is likely free of any funky smells, thanks to the abundance of fresh air it can get. Of course, this is doubly true if you don't store your trash there. But if your nostrils ever pick up a peculiar scent, it could be the first sign that mice are making their home there.

"If you have mice in your garage, you will probably be able to smell them," Alex Altizer from Eastside Exterminators tells Best Life. "Mice urinate frequently and all over the place, so if you start smelling ammonia, it's most likely rodent pee."

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You should inspect your garage for another major sign of mouse infestation.


But it's not just urine mice are bound to leave behind. Just like any other animals, you're also likely to find their excrement nearby anywhere they've turned into a home, too.

"Mice leave behind droppings wherever they go," Trent Ragar of Natural State Pest Control tells Best Life. "If you find small, black pellets in your garage, it's a good indication that mice are present."

Altizer also adds that you should check in corners and along walls where mice are more likely to scurry along and defecate, describing the droppings as "about a quarter of an inch in length and look like dark grains of rice."

There are simple ways to ensure mice can't easily get into your garage.

A mouse or rat standing in a yard

When it comes to tackling issues with mice in your home, experts always advise prevention as the most effective and easy tactic for keeping them at bay. Besides reducing clutter, make sure to use rigid plastic storage containers instead of cardboard boxes to store your items, and avoid storing gardening supplies such as grass seed in the open. And of course, you can always add an extra line of defense.

"If you are trying to keep mice out of your garage, make sure to seal it off as much as possible," Carley Church of Getem Services tells Best Life. "Add weather stripping to your garage door and any other windows or doors that may open to the outside. If you see any holes through which they may enter, make sure to fill them with steel wool and caulk."

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Plants Attracting Mice to Your Home.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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