Keeping mice outside and preventing them from entering your home requires a combination of cleanliness, exclusion methods, and sometimes the use of deterrents. Here’s a comprehensive approach to keep mice from coming indoors:

  1. Seal Entry Points: Mice can squeeze through tiny gaps as small as a dime. Inspect your home for any cracks, holes, or gaps in walls, floors, and foundations. Seal these with steel wool, metal sheeting, wire mesh, or concrete. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  2. Keep Your Home Clean: Mice are attracted to food scraps and unsecured trash. Regularly clean your home, wiping down surfaces, sweeping floors, and vacuuming. Don’t leave food out overnight and store dry goods in airtight containers.
  3. Manage Your Trash: Make sure your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and are made of materials that mice can’t chew through, like metal or heavy-duty plastic.
  4. Remove Outdoor Food Sources: Bird feeders and pet food can attract mice. Keep birdseed off the ground and store pet food indoors. Clean up fallen fruits or nuts from any trees in your yard.
  5. Maintain Your Yard: Trim back shrubbery and branches away from your house. Mice can use these as pathways onto your home. Remove piles of debris, clutter, and any potential nesting sites.
  6. Store Firewood Properly: Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and elevate it off the ground.
  7. Use Natural Deterrents: Some natural deterrents like peppermint oil, clove oil, or cayenne pepper are said to repel mice. Soak cotton balls in these oils and place them in areas where mice might enter.
  8. Install Door Sweeps: Attach sweeps to the bottom of your doors, especially exterior doors, to prevent mice from slipping through the gap.
  9. Consider Predator Pets: Cats and dogs can deter mice. The smell of a predator can be enough to keep mice away.
  10. Use Humane Traps: If mice are a persistent problem, use humane traps to catch and release them away from your home. Avoid using poisons or glue traps, as these can be inhumane and dangerous to other wildlife and pets.
  11. Inspect Goods: Before bringing in packages, bags, or boxes, inspect them for signs of mice. They can hitch a ride into your home this way.
  12. Professional Help: If you have a serious infestation, it may be worth hiring a professional pest control service. They can identify and seal entry points you may have missed and suggest a long-term prevention plan.