For some it is cute, furry mice kept as pets. For others, its Mickey Mouse; the darling of Disney. Yet for others, it can be an unpleasant home invasion of mice in their walls; as well as critters running out from under the fridge.
Ohhh, did that last example tweak a nerve? Sorry about that!
The interesting thing about the latter is that the majority of home owners experience mice in their homes on more than one occasion, and they rarely seem to learn about how mice actually get in. Rather, homeowners place their focus on running to the hardware store for traps and poison. It’s a bit of a cyclical comedy or errors and it doesn’t have to be this way.
How Mice Get In
It is usually only after a stroke of luck that we as home owners are told by a friend, an astute home inspector, or pest removal professional about the various ways mice get in our homes. And from this knowledge we are liberated to take a better stand against the critters getting in. As it turns out, one of least know entry points, which also happens to be the most common entry point, is the weep holes seen in brick homes. These are designated air exchange and moisture releasing pathways required by the building code.
Why do the majority of homeowners not have a clue about this, and why do these common entry points not get properly secured by home builders?
In large part, home owners seem to have an innate understanding of most home maintenance issues; such as cutting the lawn, shoveling the snow, replacing the furnace filter, making sure the front door has a lock and key, shutting off the water if a pipe burstsâ€¦ and more. But when it comes to pest defenses we don’t have a clue. Since our parents bought traps and poison, is it possible we do what our parents did out of habit? Oddly, even when a home owner learns how to stop mice via these secret passages, this knowledge does not seem to get passed onto future generations let alone the neighbors.
It seems to me, homes built in the past 30 years (aside from their pleasing appearance) are truly great harbors for pests; and particularly mice. I have to think this is due to a combination of building code requirements and efficient quick install building products; neither of which are critter proof.
Take for example these weep holes in a brick home’s walls. Often sloppy with bits of mortar, these holes are created during the brick laying process and serve a mandated building code purpose yet leave the house open to assault by pests that become costly nuisance to the home owner.
We also see this when your home contractors install utility pipes through your walls. They are concerned with proper and safe installation to meet the building code. These installation practices don’t often take into account implications of pests passing through improperly secured pipe access holes and the home owner isn’t the wiser until the damage is done.
Then there is the issue of siding materials including soffit and facia. These are fantastic finishing materials to make our homes exteriors look pleasantly beautiful and weather storms, however it is not part of the installers job to ensure pest proofing of small spaces these pest such as mice and bats easily exploit. For the most part home building material manufacturers haven’t taken this into consideration. When you are a home builder or contract installer, like many industries there needs to be cost containment and process efficiency and when it comes to pest proofing its easier and cheaper to leave these up to the pros or you the home owner.
For example if it takes 35 seconds to click together 6 feet of soffit and then move the ladder to ready the next section, it’s going to take a great deal longer to stand there and empty a tube of caulking fill the gap between the wall and soffit. It is also going to be very costly to supply the caulking. This becomes a money losing proposition when your business is built on time standards, material efficiency and volume. It also delays completion times. Either way, since this part of the job isn’t mandated by building code standards and most of us don’t have awarenessâ€¦ it doesn’t get addressed.
When do-it-yourself home owners try to address these issues themselves they can often do more damage than good. For example, a home owner might think the only way to stop mice from passing through weep holes is to stuff them with copper mesh or steel wool improperly marketed through well know online selling communities and hardware stores. By sealing their weep holes they have just broken the building code and jeopardized their home for serious risks of excessive moisture build-up in the walls leading to mold and rot.
The good news is there is a weep hole solution that is both permanent and easy to install by homeowners and it doesn’t put your home at risk of clogging the weep holes. It is called Rid-O-Mice and it is a stainless steel weep hole insert that mice can’t chew through nor pull out. It also conveniently prevents wasps, scorpions, lizards and snakes from entering the home via these weep holes.
You might want to consider hiring a handyman who has the right equipment and business insurance to caulk your wall/soffit gaps. Getting up on a ladder can be physically demanding and risky for non-professionals. It will cost you but so will ridding of mice and bats from your attic.
To find out more visit www.ridofmice.net.