Mouse-Proof Your Garage
By: Rita Stadler
Garages are often overlooked. They provide a place to park your car or storage for items you don’t use that often—but it’s not usually a place you spend a lot of time. This makes garages the perfect place for rodents to hide, nest, and infest. Let’s look at why rodents love garages, how they get inside, and what you can do to keep them out.
Rodents love garages
Mice survive and thrive by living near people. Just like us, they need food and shelter to survive, so sharing our homes—usually without our knowledge or permission—is an easy choice for rodents. This works best for mice when we don’t know they’re there, so hiding out in the garage is even better!
Your garage stays relatively warm and dry in the winter, providing shelter from extreme weather. A garage offers protection from predators that threaten rodents like hawks, owls, stray cats, and large dogs. You probably don’t even spend that much time in the garage, so you may not notice a mouse until it’s had time to move in and invite its friends and family over.
If you store food items in your garage mice will be even happier. Rodents have a highly developed sense of smell so they will be able to pick up on these scents—making your garage and home even more attractive.
How do mice get inside garages?
An average house mouse is pretty small, only about 5-8 inches long including its tail. Mice can enter through the tiniest of openings; they only need to fit their little head through, and the rest of their body will squeeze in too. Cracks, gaps, and holes that are only ¼ of an inch wide—about the size of a pencil eraser—are wide open doors for mice.
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You may think, “The garage door is closed, my garage is safe.” However, most garage doors have small gaps under them that do not seal tightly. If there are drains, pipes, electrical, or utility lines passing through your garage, those areas may also have openings big enough for a mouse to pass through. Dryer vents create opportunities for rodents to get into homes as well, so inspect those areas carefully.
Once inside, rodents will find many places to hide in your garage. Most garages have a little (or a lot) of clutter. Holiday decorations stored in cardboard boxes, seasonal tools or toys, and that load of old stuff you’ve been meaning to donate to a secondhand store create plentiful nesting opportunities for rodents.
Get rid of mice inside garages and keep them out for good
The easiest way to get rid of mice in garages and make sure they don’t come back is to follow these three steps:
1. Clean up clutter that attracts rodents
Clear the clutter that lets mice hide and nest in your garage. Mice love chewing on cardboard; get rid of cardboard boxes in exchange for hard-sided totes with tight fitting lids. If you store extra food, large bags of pet food, bird seed or garden seed in the garage; make sure it’s stored in air-tight, chew-proof containers to prevent mice from using it as a food source.
2. Seal up openings that mice can enter through
Inspect your garage for places where rodents may be able to enter; pay extra attention to the areas mentioned above like doors, dryer vents, and utility lines. Make sure the garage door has an intact seal or door sweep along its bottom. If you see small cracks, fill them with silicone caulk. Fill small holes and gaps with steel wool; use hardware cloth for larger openings.
3. Use a natural rodent repellent
Remember the highly developed sense of smell mentioned earlier? You can use that super sense to your advantage by overwhelming little mouse noses with a fresh smelling botanical rodent repellent such as Stay Away® Rodent. If a mouse cannot rely on its nose to let it know where to find food or how to tell if a place is safe from predators or not, it will avoid the area and go somewhere else.
EarthKind’s Stay Away® Rodent repels rodents from treated areas without dangerous traps, harmful chemicals, or expensive pest control bills. Just place a few pouches in your garage and the rodents will take off and stay away.
Learn more about Stay Away® Rodent now.