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Mice in the attic ?

Attic mice, not the kind of visitors you desire?  A harmless solution!  We have owned our home in the Endless Mountains for five years, we have lived here for about two.  After our 27' by 56' manufactured home was placed on the foundation we quickly learned we had mice in the attic.  In fact at first we had them move into the house.  They are good at hiding at first, but their little brown "rice" droppings give them away.

Attic mice, prevent scratches in the night !

The biggest "mice in attic" discovery was the "mousecalator" a portion of our home, and probably yours too, that seemed perfectly suited for our attic visiting mice!  Harmlessly stop mice from entering your home!  I will get back to the mousecalator a little later.  

The attic mice, quickly discovered a very hidden entry point.

Our kitchen stove hood exhaust pipe was not properly assembled by the builder.  The mice from the attic were persistent and came down the pipe and chewed through the stove hood filter screen, poof, they are in the kitchen.  I climbed up on the roof and checked the exhaust port and found it to be well protected; How are they getting in?  Next I pulled down the exhaust hood motor and looked up the pipe, not easy!  I could see a joint between the hood assembly pipe and the exhaust pipe down from the roof was not properly sealed or even well joined.  I corrected this, and to be doubly sure the mice could not enter, I got some quarter inch wire screen shaped it into a plug I could slide up the exhaust pipe from below.  I pushed this up just below the joint that I had corrected the best I could.  This screen stopped the mice from getting into the house proper from there on out.

For mice in the house or mice in the attic I use mouse traps.

These are the traps I use.  These traps are vastly superior to the simple wooden trap, more sensitive and safer to handle and set, and they last! Please review the reviews.  About 8 of them just setup on any wood runner above the  insulation, all simply around the attic access point.  (If you feed the mice they will come!)  For a while I kept a small jar of peanut butter in the attic!

Mouse traps are reliable, the price is right, they capture the poor little critters and prevent them from dieing in places like your walls; you do not want that!  I think poison anywhere near a building is a bad idea for many obvious reasons.  Before I solved the problem of the mice in the house proper, I did use poison because we were not around enough to man the traps.  I think relocating any pest is a bad idea.  There are usually laws against relocated ground hogs, I am uncertain about mice.  Please review your local ordinances!

So now the mice are just in the attic.

So how do the get in the attic?  Well I found our builder did not properly nail down one end of the roof cap vent and I mean 6 feet a one end wasn't nailed.  Here is a question, they nailed the cap vent right through the shingles, is that right?  Oh well.  So now the mice cannot possibly get in.  This is a modern, tight, well assembled home, correct?

Not; I have still got mice scratching in the attic

Months later, more traps, and back up on the roof again.  When I check the other end of the roof cap vent it is nailed properly but not on center.  Being off center the end plug for the roof cap was not sealing the end of the roof vent, a mouse could easily get through it.  So I fastened that down.

?#@%!, still mice droppings in the attic, mice too.

How are they getting in?  I know my eaves are a weakness.  The vinyl soffit vent material does not really seal the eaves against insect penetration, and I am sure a mouse could get in there but it would have to be spider mouse!  The wasps still get into our eaves but they no longer live in our vinyl siding!  Please see my write up on preventing wasps in vinyl siding.

There's really no way for mice to get on my roof, no way!  There's no trees within 75 feet of the house!

I do not believe mice can climb vinyl siding or aluminum siding.

I once saw a squirrel climb up a two story brick wall though.  I could not believe it.  But our house is entirely vinyl siding.  So now if the only possible entry to the house is the eaves, how are the mice getting in the eaves?  I have heard scratching noises in our eaves usually in the evening.  It sure sounds like they are sneaking in.  I wish I could just catch one in the act once!  I am pretty sure they are not getting into the bottom of the exterior walls, and I am also confident there is no way to the attic from the basement even through the walls.

I see the problem, it is the Mousecalators!

Mice, how do the get in the attic?Do you see the Mousecalator in this photo?  No I do not think they could climb the gutter pipe.  Well at least I hope not.  Maybe like Batman they could climb between the siding and the pipe, that might get them to the eaves.  But why should they work so hard when they have the Mousecalator!

Mice path to atticDo you see the Mousecalator in this photo?  I hope I do!  This is a photo from below one of my vinyl siding corner posts.  What a thruway!  Nice exposed wood, probably oriented strand board, with rough sawn corners.  Those little paws could climb right up this.  And the vinyl siding corner post is like a safety frame on a ladder going up a stand pipe.  A perfectly invisible tunnel to the eaves of my house.  Like I said, if the mice can get to the eaves of my home they are in.  See the eaves at the top of the photo?

An attic full of mice?Here it is, the top of the mousecalator.  Look where the vinyl siding corner post leads, right to a groove in the ventilated vinyl soffit panels.  I know from examining the house that not all these panels are wide enough to completely fill the "J channel" into which they are fitted.  Some are very loose.  So the grooves in these soffit panels lead right into the eaves and  into the attic!  Attic mice!

Attic mice, solution? The secret solution to keeping mice out of your attic

And above you see my hopeful fix, a half inch block of wood cut to a 2 1/8" square.  This fitted quite snugly into the vinyl corner post.  It is important to slide it up to the point where it meets the wood structure of the house so the mice cannot sneak in from the side.  Also a perfect fit is not truly desirable.  You want to make sure this will drain easily and also allow air to flow up the vinyl corner post for cooling in the summer.  Some caulk could lock it in, but mine were quite snug so, no caulk.  I suppose this area would really never get damp enough to worry about using treated lumber.  It seemed like this plug was snug enough that it would stop most any mouse.  Now I hope it can stop spider mouse too!

I have since upgraded all of my corner posts to Kritter-Caps.  In the past the mice did manage to squeeze by one of my wooden inserts.

So hopefully this ends my mice in the attic saga.  I will let you know.

(It has been about 11 years now and no more mice!  Could be just lucky, but I do think the open corner posts are a big problem.)

Please also check out John Stouffers Kritter-Caps at miceintheattic.com  A more flexible and durable solution to the mousecalator

Hope this helps with your attic mice problems!








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