Commonly Asked Mouse-Proofing Questions:
Why do mice climb roofs to enter into attics, while Norway rats do not?
Take into consideration that Norway rats are semi-aquatic rodents. They are burrowing creatures. They have adapted to living below ground level. Additionally mice do not necessarily need to drink water. They get it from their food. Brown rats need to drink everyday. Attics do not have much water in them. On the contrary, roof rats commonly infest attics. These rats are not found in Cleveland, Ohio.
How do mice get under siding?
Mice get under siding when the bottom lip of siding is not properly sealed flush against the house. There are layers of board and insulation behind the actual siding. Sometimes the section that the bottom piece latches onto is damaged or missing. There are many reasons for this. Some examples being: Poor construction, lawnmower damage, deterioration of backing material, and damage from running cables into the home.
Is There Mouse-Proof Caulk?
Caulk is not rodent resistant and should not be used for exclusion purposes. Yet if caulk must be used, it is possible to dust white pepper onto the caulk before it cures. This will act as a deterrent once a mouse starts gnawing on the caulk.
Only true sealants should be used for mouse-proofing. There is a difference between sealants and caulk. When sealants have cured they will be bonded to the connecting material. Sealants harden unlike caulks which remain elastic to some extent. Caulks also have the tendency to shrink and crack which is not beneficial when making structural repairs.
For instances where we feel that our repairs will be put to the test, we will use a bio-repellent. For example, Rat-out gel is used outdoors to detour squirrels. This contact irritant is applied dynamically, in order to drive rodents away from infested areas. Tracking experience is required to effectively utilize these green rodent control products. Pepper bio-repellent products produces a stress response within trap shy rodents. Problem rats are finally catch-able.
Can Steel Wool Be Used For Mouse-Proofing?
Steel wool should not be used to mouse-proof homes long term. While this material works initially, it will eventually begin to rust and corrode. When used on the exterior, the rust tends to drain down the home, staining the foundation. As it rusts, it shrinks, losing its effectiveness. If you use steel wool, specially purchase stainless steel.
Do Cans Of Expanding Foam Work To Seal A Home For Rodents?
Expanding foam should only be used to fill large gaps and voids. It should never be used alone. Mice can chew through closed cell foam.
It is only used as a backer in our exclusion repairs. We will use sealant over top of the spray foam. Alternatively we will impregnate Xcluder fabric, quarter inch hardware mesh, or copper mesh into outer layer of uncured foam. Then we will sandwich this second layer by adding sealant as the outer layer.
Expanding foam is not a true sealant and should not be used in kitchens. The foam is porous and catches dirt, debris and bacteria. We do not recommend the use of spray foam exclusively for mouse-proofing.
What Kind Of Rodent Screen Material Do You Use?
Half inch hardware mesh can be used for large rodents like Groundhogs. Otherwise we use quarter inch hardware mesh. Mice cannot pass through this size screen. It is also durable enough to resist gnawing from rodents.
Aluminum and fiberglass window screen is not effective to seal mice and other rodents out. Aluminum insect screen can be used to stuff holes but is not a good screen for vents long term. Eventually these smaller size mesh screens will become brittle and fail to keep pests out.
Can You Stuff Copper Mesh In Weep Holes?
Copper mesh will still allow for air circulation into the crawlspace. Therefore it is a suitable material to plug weep holes.
When stuffing any exclusion material into a hole it should be secured in place. Rodents have a knack for pushing copper mesh out of weep holes. The mesh should be secured with sealant on the outer edge, while still allowing the weep holes to weep.
Can Mice and Rats Climb Siding?
Yes mice and rats can climb siding and enter a home from the roof level. Therefore, potential entry points on all levels should be sealed for mice and rats.