Whether detached or connected to your home, garages are often used for storing more than just cars and lawnmowers. Garages can house all sorts of miscellaneous items: tools, outdoor furniture, yard and pet supplies, boxes that you just can’t seem to get rid of, and PESTS!
Yes. That’s correct. In addition to housing spiders, stinging insects, boxelder bugs, and other pests, your garage may be providing the perfect hideout for mice. And, if they’re living in your garage, your home could be next.
Why would mice be living in my garage?
We are so glad you asked. Notorious for causing damage to homes, vehicles, belongings, and threatening the health and well-being of humans and pets, the presence of mice living in your garage can be attributed to a number of things.
Boxes stored in your garage provide convenient hiding places for mice, and cardboard makes for great nesting material. Consider using plastic bins that have tight sealing lids instead.
Cushions from outdoor furniture can also be inviting to mice, offering warmth and plenty of soft nesting material. Mice will gnaw through the fabric to build their nests inside. Storing cushions away from walls, off the ground, and in plastic bags will make them less accessible.
Any seasonal items stored in your garage such as patio umbrellas, folding chairs, hammocks, and pots offer shelter for mice and other pests to hide. Eliminate these hiding spots by storing items in plastic storage bags and hanging them off of the ground and away from the walls.
2. Birdseed or pet food
Several pests are connoisseurs of birdseed. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the only thing you attract is your intended feathered friends, not rodents.
If you start seeing rodents around your bird feeders, you may want to stop feeding the birds or move your feeders further away from your home to prevent rodents from eventually moving inside once the temperatures drop. It’s also important to ensure that any birdseed stored in your garage is stored in a rodent-proof container.
Rodents such as mice and rats have sharp teeth that allow them to gnaw their way through just about anything. However, if you make it difficult enough, by storing birdseed in a metal container with a tight-fitting metal lid, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of them gaining access.
The same rules apply for pet food. Avoid leaving pet food outside or in your garage. Storing it inside is best, but if you don’t have room, ensure it’s protected in a rodent-proof container.
Finding a dry place to store your firewood can be tricky. The majority of homeowners either store it close to their home or garage, piling it under the awning where it will stay semi-dry or in their garage. Seems like a wise choice, right? Not exactly.
Firewood can attract all sorts of pests, and the closer it is to your home or garage, the more likely you are to encounter an unwanted pest. Not only do wood piles provide excellent shelter for mice, they also house an assortment of tasty insects, which provide a steady supply of food.
To avoid mice living near your home, store firewood on a wood rack at least 20 to 30 feet away from your garage and home. Also, keeping it covered and elevated off the ground helps keep it dry.
4. Food or trash in your car
When we’re on the go, sometimes so are our meals. However, leaving remnants of those meals in our cars can actually attract mice. It’s hard to believe that a forgotten chicken nugget, granola bar, or even a single pack of dipping sauce, can lure a mouse into your car, but it can. And once inside your vehicle, mice can cause a great deal of damage—gnawing on wires, upholstery, carpeting, and more.
To prevent your car from becoming a hotel hideout for mice, remove any garbage or food debris, especially over the winter months.
5. Seed or mulch
At this point, you’re probably wondering, ‘What can I store in my garage without worrying about mice getting into it?’ Unfortunately, mice are creative when it comes to surviving and will take advantage of anything they can to make it through another winter, making bags of grass seed and mulch fair game as a source for shelter and food.
Our advice is to store them in a plastic or metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
Stop pest and rodent entry
Overall, preventing mice from moving into your garage is not impossible. In addition to knowing how and where to store items, it also involves taking the time to make sure that when your garage door is closed, mice cannot enter at will.
Even the smallest space under your garage door can be inviting for mice. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime and under a space ¼ inch tall. Prevent mice from squeezing under your garage and exterior doors by installing rodent-proof weather stripping and make sure any windows are sealed tight and that your screens are not damaged. On the exterior of your garage make sure to seal or plug any cracks and crevices using a wire mesh material and waterproof caulking (Note: foam sealer is not rodent-proof).
Keeping rodents and other nuisance pests from living in your garage will decrease the risk of them moving into your home. Learn more about our rodent exclusion services.
For help with rodent control or other pest issues, contact an Ehrlich Specialist today!