If you see mice in your kitchen and you can't find holes anywhere in the room or rest of the house, check your home's vinyl siding for damage. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime. Mice have a keen sense of smell and can pick up odors from cereal boxes and other stored food. Mice will also invade your home if it's not mouse-proofed properly. Here's more information about mice and siding, and what you can do to keep mice out of your kitchen walls and home once you find them.

Can Mice Really Use Your Siding to Enter Your Home?

When you mouse-proof your home, you try to eliminate every possible way a rodent can enter the structure. This includes removing and replacing damaged gutters from the roof and covering openings around your chimney's flashing. But there are several other places around your home you might not think to rodent-proof, including your home's siding. 

If your clapboard siding is old and worn, it may eventually come loose from the walls of your house. Siding can also buckle, ripple and bend over time. You may worry about rain leaking into your home because of the damage. However, you should also be concerned about mice taking advantage of the damaged siding and using it to enter your house.

Mice can jump and climb objects at almost any angle, including vertically. If wire hangs from the side of the home, mice can use it to reach openings between your siding. It's also possible for mice to navigate smooth surfaces to enter places. They can do so from the ground or from your roof. It's important that you don't assume that your siding's smooth surface will keep the rodents at bay.

Once they pass through your siding, the rodents can chew tiny holes in your attic, beneath your sink cabinets or floorboards to enter the walls of your kitchen. The rodents can also squeeze through cracks between your plumbing pipes other structures in the kitchen. The rodents will generally use their sense of smell to locate food in your kitchen and pantry, even if you keep it in sealed cardboard containers. Be aware that mice can chew through plastic if they're hungry enough.

You can take steps to stop the problems above with the right tips.

What Can You Do to Keep Mice Out of Your House?

The first thing you might do is examine your home's siding for the problems mentioned above. It's a good idea that you wear protective gloves before touching the siding during the inspection. Mice can leave trails of urine and feces on the surfaces they touch. Rodents carry a number of potentially dangerous pathogens that harm humans directly and indirectly, so staying safe is a priority. 

If you find issues during your inspection, mark the locations with a dark-leaded pencil or marker to help you locate them easily later. If you feel comfortable doing so, repair any mouse holes you find beneath the siding with caulk. Sealing up the holes will temporarily keep new mice out of your home until you repair your siding. Be sure to fill in the holes completely to keep the rodents from squeezing past the caulk.

For mice still hiding inside the house, place small live baited traps beneath your sink cabinets and inside your pantry. You can find traps at your local home and gardening store. The traps contain some type of food and usually feature one-way doors that prevent rodents from leaving once they pass through them. You can release the rodents at least one mile away from your home to keep them from returning to your home, such as in a wildlife park. 

You also want to contact pest control services to help you mouse-proof your home even further. Contractors may also locate any nests in the home or siding that contain young mice. Young mice may die without their mothers, so finding them as soon as possible is essential.

For more details about mouse-proofing your siding or getting rid of your pests, contact a service provider today or click for more information.