Here in Minnesota, mice typically enter the home in the fall, stay indoors for the winter to get fat and happy in your pantry, then meander outside once it is warm enough out for them to find food (and friendship) elsewhere.
Sealing up typical mouse entry points is a good idea. Loose joints in the cement block, poorly insulated outlets for pipes and wires, poorly sealed doors (mice can fit through spaces as small as ¼”!) are a few of the places that mice enter the home. Having vegetation, like decorative planting beds, right up against the house provides a summer habitat for mice and brings them closer to you house, where they’ll be drawn to the warmth once the autumn turns cold.
Once inside, the mice need a place to settle down for the winter. One location that provides them with the warmth and nesting material they need is your attic.
You can easily tell if you have mice in your attic by sticking your head up there with a flashlight and looking around. (Mandatory warnings: always have someone with you to hold the ladder, and wear eye protection if possible to avoid getting fiberglass in your eyes.) If you see what appear to be dented in lines running through the insulation, you’re likely seeing evidence of mouse trails. They will create burrows in insulation just like they’d create burrows in the snow.
Often times you can also spot the entrances to these tunnels, and will be able to note (and smell) urine and droppings in these areas.
If you do believe you have a mouse problem in your home, the most effective way to completely rid yourself of them is to call a reputable pest control company like Plunketts or Adam’s Pest Control. They have a trained eye to look for entry points and seal them up for you.
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