When you think of fire hazards, there are probably some things that immediately come to mind. Perhaps you think of someone falling asleep with a lit cigarette, children playing with matches, or a toaster oven going up in flames. Maybe you think of pans containing cooking oil catching fire on the stove, Christmas trees going up in flames because of unsafe decorations, or things being set ablaze because a candle tipped over. Yes, all these can definitely cause a fire in your home, but they are only the beginning. Your house can catch fire because of a furnace or chimney that wasn't cleaned, flammable liquids that were stored improperly, overloaded power strips, lightning strikes, old wiring, fireworks, arsonists, mice… What? Wait a minute. How on earth can mice be a fire hazard?
Mice are rodents. And, as you probably know, rodents have incisor teeth that never stop growing. For this reason, they are compelled to constantly chew on things, in order to file those front teeth down. And, they will chew on anything! They chew on wood, plastic, plasterboard, vinyl siding, books, clothing, heirlooms, and also wires. Yup, mice chew on electrical wires, and this is what makes them a fire hazard.
How to keep mice out:
Carefully inspect the outside of your home for gaps or cracks and seal those holes. Note that a mouse can get through a hole the size of a dime, and if the hole is smaller than this, they can gnaw at it until it is big enough to squeeze through.
Check all your screens and door sweeps to make sure there are no holes or openings.
Put screens over your vents and chimneys.
Keep your attic, basement, and crawl spaces ventilated and dry. Mice prefer moist environments.
Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around your foundation and basement windows.
Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home, or as far away as possible. Mice love to nest in firewood.
Trim trees and bushes back away from your house. Mice and other pests use these as bridges to reach your house.
Make sure your home is clean and clutter-free. Pay special attention to areas where food is prepared, stored or eaten. If a mouse does find a way in, but doesn't find anything to eat, it will likely find another house to invade.
Fix all leaky pipes, sinks, tubs, toilets, or anything else that may be leaking water. Mice need a water source.
What if your home is already infested?
Mice are not something you want in your home. Besides being a fire hazard, mice are carriers of various diseases, they can bring lice, mites, fleas and ticks into your home, and they might keep you up all hours of the night with their chewing, scampering and scratching noises. While there are things you can do to try to get rid of a mice infestation, it is very difficult to get rid of them all without professional help. At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, we offer a FREE home inspection and will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about mice, or any other household pest for that matter. Don't live with the threat of fire because of mice. Get professional help today.