If you’re the person who’s considering capturing and turning those pesky mice into pets when they’re tearing up your garage, you may want to reconsider. These destructive little creatures can do a lot of damage, including chewing at the wires of your garage door opener, which could be dangerous for everyone involved. At the very least, they can do a lot of damage to wood and plastic in the space.
Mice can reproduce really quickly with proper access to food and a hiding spot. Their gestation period lasts 19 to 21 days, which isn’t long. Plus, the average female has between 3 and 14 pups per litter, which mature by about six weeks of age. Those two mice, in just one year, could easily multiply to more than 5,000 mice—that’s definitely not something to be taken lightly.
Exterminators are not cheap but think of all the damage that’s happening or that could happen. Before you call anyone, though, you’ll want to consider the other solutions that you have. We have a lot of ways to get started and probably even remedy the situation without harming a single creature or spending a fortune.
There are two very critical elements here: insulation and organization.
They fall into multiple categories, but we’ll get back to those. First, what if you have got mice already?
If There Is Already Mice in the Garage
So, you have already noticed mice in the garage—now what?
Well, before you mouse-proof, you’ll have to get rid of them.
Poison and deadly traps aren’t an option because your pets roam around? Or perhaps you just don’t want to harm the pests, even if they are troublesome?
Here is a tip: mice like to live outside if they can in the summer months. If you cut off their food supply, they’ll be even more likely to leave. Also, get busy in the garage—human activity will scare them off and deter them from returning. Here are some other friendly ways to encourage your tenants to leave.
You can use a humane mouse trap if it appears that there is only one mouse in the garage. This will not harm them; it will simply trap them. You can put peanut butter in one end (not cheese, they can get away with that too quickly). Then, once they’re safely captured, take them and release them at least a mile from your home.
Even when you think mice can’t get in, they probably can. And they definitely will.
Do you have a cat? If you want to hone their hunting skills and can let them out into the garage, this could solve your mice problem. Of course, this may not guarantee the safety of the rodents.
Mice can also be deterred by smells because they are very sensitive to them. There are even some things that they will avoid entirely, like white vinegar, peppermint, and others.
Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and stash them all over the garage in any place the mice might hide.
Of course, don’t take this as a permanent solution. Mice are eventually going to return. Even once they’re gone, you have to also prevent them from coming back. Let’s talk about pest-proofing.
Roll Up the Welcome Mat
The first step in prevention is creating an environment that is hostile and unwelcoming. Cut off their food sources and anything that could become one and get organized to give them fewer spaces to hide.
- Get organized and get clutter out.
Piles of junk and debris give mice plenty of places to hide and plenty to snack on.
- Keep all seeds, pet foods, and other “food” in a sealed container.
Speaking of snacks, mice eat often, and they eat almost anything. They could eat trash, grass seeds, pet food, and even insulation if it isn’t bitter in taste. Keep all things that could be mistaken for food sealed.
- Don’t store your garbage in the garage.
Garbage odor attracts all kinds of pests, including mice and raccoons, among others. Keep your garbage outside and away from any entries or doors to your garage or home.
- Firewood goes outside, too.
Firewood is another great place where rodents and small animals like to nest.
- Sweep and clean regularly.
Not only will this keep your garage in good condition, but it will give you the chance to inspect for cracks along the floors and walls, and in other places to make sure that pests have no way in. Don’t forget the exterior walls.
Preventing is Better Than Remediating
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the mice and all the potential hiding places and food sources, you can insulate the garage and prep it to prevent future infestations.
Cut any branches from trees that could touch the roof or get too close.
Squirrels can jump as much as nine feet, so you’ll want to keep branches far away to keep them from getting on or into your garage.
You’ll also want to insulate to prevent rodents from making nests.
Insulate Your Walls
There are several ways to insulate your walls, including foam and mineral wool. This is a sure-fire way to prevent mice and other animals from getting in and nesting.
We always recommend a polyurethane spray foam that fills the walls to prevent the mice from even thinking about getting in. plus, the polyurethane variety is different than traditional spray foam, offering different protective and insulating properties.
Spray foam isn’t rigid, but that’s not necessarily a deterrent either. The thing that matters is that this insulation has no real source of food, so there is no interest in gnawing the material. They might try to use it for nesting, but they have to get to it first.
Mice are known for liking sweet things and this foam is rather bitter. This will deter them from even trying to use it. Plus, there are some foams that can have a rodent repellant added.
Fill the Cracks
Small animals like mice can’t gnaw through aluminum and steel. They can, however, chew wood, plastic, and other materials. That’s why you have to keep an eye on the floors and walls of your garage.
For the not-so-handyman, spray foam is a great way to cover the holes as long as you ensure they’re covered completely.
Remember, it’s less about the stiffness than it is about filling the hole. Mice chew on wires and other hard surfaces like wood—insulation stiffness won’t stop them. The idea is to give them as little potential access as possible.
Speaking of which, if you’ve got an unlevel garage door that’s providing rodents access through a crack, it might be time for a change.
So, which garage door would work?
If you decide to change your garage door, you’ve got a few different things to think about. First, think about how you use the door and which model matches your home, but also the features that it offers, such as rodent protection.
Avoid wooden doors because those will easily get chewed by mice and squirrels who are determined. Stick with aluminum or metal when you are shopping for a new door.
Consider a door with premium insulation to make it even more protective. This can prevent nesting in the door and improve the energy efficiency in your garage.
All of our doors are made from galvanized steel, which mice cannot chew through. Plus, we have tons of doors to deter mice from making their way through in the first place.
Take a look at the R-16 and R-12 construction door models. The Standard+, Townships Collection, and Acadia 138, are also made with polyurethane foam injected at high pressure into the shell of the door. This prevents anything from nesting in the door.
Check out this image of our R-16 door insulated with premium polyurethane foam.
All the doors we sell are custom-made to fit your garage and include weatherstripping for a secure fit. You’ll get a comfortable, climate-controlled space that’s pest-free once and for all.
Ready to talk about a new garage door?
If your garage door is the problem, we’ve got the solution. Here at Nordoors Sudbury Ltd., our team will help you find the best new garage door for your needs, no matter what those might be. Feel free also to contact us at 705-675-3005 or via our website.
We’ll even deliver a customized quotation via email, so let us know what you need.