If your house is currently undergoing a mouse infestation, there is a high likelihood that the creatures are making themselves at home within insulation, particularly in the attic. Mice tend to prefer dark, small corners and covering far away from human eyes, which makes insulation a prime target since they feel protected by its layers, especially because insulation is rarely in plain sight in a household.
However, among other annoyances, mice in attic insulation will inevitably damage it by burrowing through it, eroding the functionality of the insulation and costing you some serious money in the long term.
Should you discover mice in attic insulation, there are a number of steps you can undertake to not only eliminate the current problem but to ensure that the mice will not return sometime after the infestation.
Steps to get rid of mice in attic insulation:
1. Seal off all possible points of entry for the mice.
The mice are not magically appearing in the attic, even if they have taken up a long-term residence there. The mice will have certain entry points through which they travel to obtain food, which they are obviously unable to obtain in the attic.
As you are working on setting traps and inspecting the area to see where the mice have been, you should also inspect carefully for any holes that would allow mice passage. These holes can be surprisingly small, so even if you are unsure as to whether a mouse has been using it, it is best to seal it off with caulk, expanding foam, or even concrete (if the holes are in the foundation) just to make sure you have covered all your bases.
2. Strategically set up traps in the path of the mice.
While having mice in the attic can pose an annoying and costly problem, there are also many which the attic is not the worst place to find mice. In fact, placing traps can be a pretty simple affair, since mice tend to stick to the same kinds of environments and paths.
Even though the mice have officially housed themselves within the insulation, they still need to venture out of their homes to find food. Therefore, you can place traps in these areas without further damaging your insulation:
- In all the corners, since mice like places that are as dark and hidden as possible.
- Where you see mice tracks. Tracks are dark areas created by the oils on mice’s feet that mark their usual path of travel. Mice are creatures of habit, and tend to take the same route every time to get places. Therefore, plant traps wherever you see unexplained dark tracks across any wood paneling in your attic.
- Any gaps between the insulation. If there is a gap between a wall of the attic and the insulation, it can be very effective to fit a trap there to catch the mice in the attic insulation.
- Outside former entry points. Even though you have already sealed off the entry points that the mice use to come into the attic, they are still used to following a certain path in order to access the outside world. Therefore, you should definitely place traps outside of these former holes in order to trick mice who have used that entry point every day.
Retrieving the traps can be a whole other problem, depending on how accessible your attic is. However, it is important to check the traps often and replace them as needed. There are many services that will check, remove, or even install the traps.
If you have a kind of attic that is difficult to get into because it is too small, or maybe even too dangerous to explore, then you may have to set up traps close, but not inside of, the attic to lure them out. This might not always be as quick of a solution, but luring them into accessible places by using peanut butter or other homemade traps can still prove effective.
3. Create an environment that will reduce the possibility of future mice.
This is ultimately the most important step, since it is doesn’t make much sense to cleanse your attic of mice only in order to have them reappear. While maintaining traps in the attic can help, there are many other things you can do to make sure mice will stay out of your attic in the first place:
- While you have hopefully done this already, sealing up all possible points of entry prevents mice from having easy access to your attic. Seal up holes, gaps, and places where pipes may not connect correctly.
- Consider adding lights or windows to the attic space. The more light there is in a space, the more likely they are to feel uncomfortable and exposed. Generally, getting rid of dark corners will drastically reduce any mice population.
- There are many ways to transform your attic space so that it is not only unappealing to mice, but appealing for you and your family. While converting your attic into a living space is not necessarily the easiest solution, it will also save you a lot of unpleasant work in the meantime and will save you the costs needed to repair damaged insulation. Not only adding light, but transforming the space from a storage space full of things you don’t need into an extra room will definitely benefit you in the long run.
- In general, tidying up space near the attic and making sure you take out your trash, do dishes regularly, have a clean space, and don’t leave food out in the open frequently ensures that mice will not have a cozy stay in the house. Providing easy access to food and plenty of places to hide among the laundry will make it more difficult to get mice to leave your house for good.
While there are many things you can do to reduce or eliminate this problem by yourself, there often comes a point where you should contact professionals. This could be because the infestation has gotten out of control, when it is difficult to gain access to the infected space, or if you feel you are in danger at any point during the process. In the event of damaged insulation, which is almost inevitable when there are mice in attic insulation, the you most likely want to contact a professional eventually to get it repaired as soon as possible so you can return to having a fully-functional and properly heated living space.