When temperatures begin to drop in the fall, mice start hunting for a warm place to spend the winter (and multiply!). Read on for tips on how to keep mice out of your home.

Now’s the time to get serious about plugging the cracks, gaps, and crevices that mice use to gain access to your home.

Look for Openings

Do a sweep of your home’s exterior, and look for openings a mouse could slip through—that means spaces as narrow as 1⁄4 inch. Likely locations include utility entry points, loose-fitting attic or exhaust vents, damaged weatherstripping, and the gaps beneath doors.

Seal Up Points of Entry

Once you’ve identified potential entries, close them up using mouse-proof material. Skip sealants and spray foams, which mice can easily chew through. Though they won’t gnaw on steel wool, it has a short life span as it dissolves into rust.

Instead, stuff cracks with a filler like Xcluder Fill Fabric, which is made from a mouse-unfriendly mix of stainless-steel and polyester fibers ($11 for three 1”x4′ rolls; Wildlife Control Supplies).

If rodents are coming in under doors, you can install door sweeps that contain the same gnaw-resistant material (Xcluder 36″ Pest Control Door Sweep, from $50; Wildlife Control Supplies).

Keep Critters Out of the Garage

Cold, hungry rodents may look to your garage as a warm place to wait out the winter. Discourage these unwanted residents with a few precautionary measures.

Eliminate prime hiding places by trimming back vegetation outside the door. Store pet food, garden seeds, and any potential bedding material in metal containers with tight-fitting lids.

And stop them from gnawing through the garage door seal by installing one that’s rodent-proof, like those made by Xcluder.

Bonus! In addition to keeping furry freeloaders at bay, closing up these cracks and crevices will stave off cold drafts, too.

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