If you are like most homeowners, then you do not like pests in your home. These pests surely include mice, and you likely know how to make sure that indoor food is not available and how to set up traps if there is a need. However, your home still may be hospitable to mice around the exterior. This may attract mice around your home where they can find a way in. You should try to prevent this, and the following tips can help you to get rid of both food and water sources around your house.
Get Rid of Food Sources
Mice are considered omnivores, and this means that they will eat both meat and plants. Typically, wild mice will eat a wide variety of things like fruit, nuts, seeds, oats, and corn. Mice will sometimes eat tree bark and flower buds when food is scarce. To make sure that food is scarce around your home, consider removing any blackberry or raspberry bushes that sit near your home and eliminate strawberry plants as well as any other fruit baring plants you see.
Also, be aware of the apple or other fruit bearing trees near your house. Mice can and will climb trees to get to food. However, since mice are prey animals that are sources of food for hawks, cats, snakes, barn owls, wild cats and a variety of other animals, they do not like to stay out in the open for long periods of time. This means that a pruned apple tree that has few low branches may not be attractive to mice. Pruning is best completed in the early spring, and you should use a pruning tool to get rid of downward-growing branches as well as short stubs that stick out from the trunk of the tree and make access to apples much easier. Also, collect the apples that release from the tree in the fall so mice cannot easily reach them.
You should complete similar pruning on any tree that releases seeds on a regular basis. The seeds that mice will eat will come from trees that do not use flowers or fruit for growth purposes. These trees include pine, maple, and ash trees that release exposed seeds.
Look for Water Sources
Mice, like every other animal, need water to live. However, mice need very little water, and the vast majority of the water they do consume comes from food sources. Mice do prefer to live in areas where there is water though, since a lack of water can reduce a mouse's ability to breed effectively. Making sure that a water source is not located near your house is a good way to drive mice away and to also limit the amount of new mice that may enter your house at a later date. Remove items like bird baths, dog dishes, or old flower pots that collect water. Also, look to see if the ends of your gutter spouts or sump pump drainage lines hold water. If so, place a large rock underneath the end of the drain so it angles down and drains properly.
Getting Rid of Puddles
You should look for any areas on your property that form pools or puddles after a heavy rain as well. If these puddles form in dips or low areas of your property, then filling them in will help to eliminate the issue. Soils that contain a great deal of sand drain well, so consider buying some sandy soil from your local gardening center to fill in the indentations. Spread grass seed when you are done so the growing grass can pull up some of the excess water as well. If possible, consider a type of grass that requires a great deal of water to grow. Bahia grass, bluegrass, and ryegrass are three options to choose from.
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