In the winter, your house is warm and cozy. And that’s great! You know who else loves a warm and cozy house? Mice. And sharing your house with a mouse – or a family of mice – is less great. Luckily, you can stop rodent roommates at the door by sealing these five entryways to your home.

Tip: Bring a pencil with an eraser with you as you check these areas. If a hole or crack is wider than a pencil eraser, a mouse can comfortably squeeze through!

Foundation. Inspect your foundation, paying special attention to the areas near windows and doors. If you find a hole or crack that’s larger than a pencil eraser, seal it up! Mice can chew through weak material, so opt for a sturdy material like concrete patch mortar. Follow the instructions on your concrete patch package to ensure that your foundation is properly sealed.

Windows and doors. Mice are most active at night, so if you ever keep your window open while you sleep, triple-check your window screens to make sure there aren’t any holes. Also, check your weather stripping. If it’s loose, repair it! A mouse can sneak underneath loose weather stripping and get into your home.

Garage. Unfortunately, mice have a pretty easy time sneaking around garage doors. That means you need to be extra vigilant with gaps connecting your garage to your house. Check the interior and exterior of your garage walls for any cracks or holes and patch them in the same manner as your foundation. Tip: Pay special attention to the wall that separates the garage from the main house to prevent mice from getting into your warm home.

Chimney. To a mouse, a chimney looks like a hollow tree and seems like a great place to build a nest. This is not ideal. Prevent mice from entering your chimney by installing a mesh-covered chimney cap. As an added precaution, close your damper – the metal hatch located above the firebox – anytime there isn’t a lit fire. 

Utilities and pipes. Mice use your pipes like interstates, to travel into and through your house. Take the time to inspect the places where pipes enter your house. If there’s any space between the pipe and the house siding, seal it up with steel wool and then cover the steel wool with concrete mortar. Otherwise, these cracks are basically like neon lights that say “Come inside!” to mice.

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