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seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 11, 2021 10:18AM
I have an older home and on a somewhat regular basis I catch mice in the basement. I've had some luck using spray foam to seal potential entries which has greatly reduced the number of entries....okay, okay, I mean kills.

I had one spot, about a month ago, where I caught a mouse a day for more than a week. NO GOOD. My sill plate is insulated with fiberglass batting which I've come to see as nothing but mouse house material. There are a couple of spots where the insulation backing was in place but all the insulation had been removed. Removing the insulation almost always reveals signs of mice (mostly mouse poop).

I'm about ready to rip down (nearly) all the fiberglass batting in my basement as its mostly a mouse refuge. On two occasions I pulled out dead mice. I think the long term plan is to insulate the sill plate with closed foam spray insulation. That wouldn't happen until next spring at the earliest.

I've been thinking about what I can do to seal up the house from the outside. There's little in the way of foundation cracks - although the previously mentioned entry that I sealed was an awkward intersection of materials. I'm wondering if there's a way to seal where the shingles meet the foundation.

I don't expect to completely keep them out, but hopefully it could become an occasional occurrence.



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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: clay
Date: September 11, 2021 10:37AM
spray foam mixed with steel wool can help sometimes. mice don't like chewing through steel wool.
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: September 11, 2021 10:50AM
agree smiley



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 11, 2021 10:51AM
Yes mice will go though regular foam.

I have also seen spray foam with poison in it, although never tried that.
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 11, 2021 10:55AM
Quote
clay
spray foam mixed with steel wool can help sometimes. mice don't like chewing through steel wool.

Yes, I’m doing this, at least where I can see holes.



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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 11, 2021 11:07AM
Try reasoning with them.

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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: graylocks
Date: September 11, 2021 11:20AM
I had a couple of Norway rats a few years ago. Though I caught one myself - not realizing what it was at the time and simply relocated it to a park a few miles away - I called in a professional to finish the job. Cost me $800. Had estimates as high as $1500. 1400 sq ft house. I chose the cheaper guy. Haven't had an issue since.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: andypie48
Date: September 11, 2021 11:22AM
I've plugged mouse holes with steel wool and they haven't come back.
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: Microman
Date: September 11, 2021 11:45AM
Had a problem with Mice/Rats , mostly rats.

Look for every entry point.

Take the chicken type wire that only has openings about a 1/4". Not sure what that is called. But its about the same size as the Air Vents to the raised foundation on our homes in Southern California.

Use that wire and cut and fit in any location, you think they could enter.

Seal is a must. Cable Company entry points for their Wire entry, etc.

Then I used those simple Victor $1.99 rat or mouse traps from Home Depot and set them with Peanut Butter. Watch you hands, when loaded, and always hold by the safe end when placing.

[www.homedepot.com]
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: blooz
Date: September 11, 2021 04:02PM
I live on a river and often get mice, tho lately not so much. This past year i had a problem with river rats. Never saw more than one at a time, but there seemed to be one always around. The have a heart traps stopped working (I can take them miles away into the woods) so i got a big rat trap. That stopped the night I had to go to the loo at 2 AM and found a dead rat in a pool of blood next to the sprung trap.
Called an exterminator and after a couple weeks no more rodents. Since my house is porous, dirt floor, stones for foundation in some parts, i got a plan with the company so i can call if i see a problem again. I know I'll never be rid of the pests bu tleast they won't get any further than the basement. I hope.



And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
—Friedrich Nietzsche
Western Massachusetts
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 11, 2021 04:44PM
Quote
blooz
Called an exterminator and after a couple weeks no more rodents.

did the exterminator do something in particular or was the phone call sufficient to deter the vermin?



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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 11, 2021 04:50PM
You got something against cats????
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 11, 2021 05:08PM
Quote
testcase
You got something against cats????

We have two cats that were quite good in their prime but are now retired from hunting. That said, it would take a special cat to hunt mice that scurry along sill plates.
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: Rolando
Date: September 11, 2021 05:36PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
testcase
You got something against cats????

We have two cats that were quite good in their prime but are now retired from hunting. That said, it would take a special cat to hunt mice that scurry along sill plates.

Pretty unusual. Most rodent's will avoid anyplace that smells of cat. My last cat adopted me a few years ago. One day as I came home from work, he was happily coming from the neighbors house with a mouse in mouth. I used to see him hanging out by their garage, waiting for his next snack.

I've read that a cat finds mice comically easy to catch. I suppose the cat would need to be young and healthy.



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: Carm
Date: September 12, 2021 08:32PM
Have you tried foam board insulation with expanding foam along the edges?
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 12, 2021 09:35PM
Quote
Carm
Have you tried foam board insulation with expanding foam along the edges?

Thats what I'm going to try, but still working through a choice of materials - [forums.macresource.com]



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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 13, 2021 11:53AM
Quote
Carm
Have you tried foam board insulation with expanding foam along the edges?

That's what I did last year. Amazing improvement. The basement is no longer drafty, and we no longer need the loud dehumidifiers running all the time. Those were always a bad idea since they just pulled moisture into the basement before working to get rid of it. Durrr.

If you have basement vents and the house has HVAC, seal those vents too. Otherwise it's just an air leak in the wall. You must seal the air if you care about sealing out water. Air brings moisture, always. It's why and when fiberglass goes bad in so may old houses. People think (or used to think) comfort = temperature and ignored airflow/moisture.

I'll post a pic later, but all I did was rip out the nasty fiberglass from the rim joists and replaced with rigid foam and sealed it in with spray foam. Here's a list of things we have not seen since last year:

1) Mice (they can still get in in other areas I haven't been able to tackle yet, but the rim joist was their highway.)

2) Wasps

3) Lady bugs, including upstairs after they got into the wall and out a poorly-sealed window frame above
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 13, 2021 04:54PM
Quote
Rolando
I've read that a cat finds mice comically easy to catch. I suppose the cat would need to be young and healthy.

Seems true. Our cat once caught 3 mice within 24 hours, and left each one in the same spot for me to find.
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 14, 2021 08:08AM
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Re: seeking advice on sealing up my home from mice
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 18, 2021 10:39PM
You answered your own question when you mentioned your cat’s mousing abilities when they were younger. Can you “borrow” a younger cat? Let them spread their scent while they explore and hunt. With “fresh” cat scent in place, the mice should move on to a “safer” location.
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