Did That Just Squeak? Check These Unusual Places for Mice and Rats
While Stuart and Remy are cute, iconic characters, dealing with their real-life counterparts isn’t so endearing. Mice and rats have no problem moving into your home, invading your pantry, and leaving a few droppings behind to let you know they were there. When this happens, you probably already know to check the usual hiding spots for these resourceful rodents. But if you can’t find them in your attic, cupboards, or garage, where should you look next?
It turns out there’s another hiding spot in your home that often goes overlooked — your appliances. They’re sheltered, warm, and usually provide easy access to food, making them the perfect place for a mouse or rat to call home. Here’s how to tell if your appliances have been turned into an apartment and what you can do to evict these unwanted tenants.
Heat Up the Hunt
The story goes that if you give a mouse a cookie, it’ll ask for a glass of milk. No one ever said it would move into your oven for more chocolate chip crumbs.
Unfortunately, an oven may be one of the best places for a mouse to hide. Check the oven drawer for droppings. If you find some, there’s likely a nest in or under the oven. It goes without saying that you should clean out all droppings and crumbs from your oven, but it doesn’t stop there. Giving your entire kitchen a deep clean will eliminate as many food sources for mice as possible.
Once your kitchen is clean, check for holes and fill them with caulk or another sealant to keep additional rodents from getting in. If your stovetop runs on gas, pull your oven away from the wall and make sure there isn’t a gap around the gas intake hose.
While your oven makes for a great spot for mice to hole up, it also has a built-in way to kick them out. Place a few sticky traps around your kitchen, turn the oven on, and let the heat drive them out. With a little luck, the mice will run out and get caught in the traps, and you can finally give them the boot.
Dirtier Than Your Laundry
Love the feeling of taking warm, clean clothes out of the dryer? You’re not alone. The laundry room hosts two more appliances that mice and rats like to live in. Most of the time, mice get into your dryer through a hole in the vent hose or a loose connection to the wall. Mice also love using lint to build nests, so make sure you empty the lint trap and pick up any pieces off the floor.
In addition to droppings, a strong urine smell is another sign of mice or rats in your home. If your washing machine smells bad even after you wash a load, there could be a rat living in it.
Because these appliances are so bulky, it can be hard to disassemble or move them. If you suspect a rodent in either appliance, luring them out with baited traps is the best course of action. If you think a rodent may have chewed on the electrical wires, call an electrician. The last thing you need while dealing with these annoying invaders is an electric shock.
Hot Rod Rodents
Has your car been making a squeaking noise, but your mechanic insists nothing is wrong? You may have a hitchhiker under your hood. While not exactly an appliance, mice like to hang out around your engine for similar reasons — shelter, warmth, and things to chew on.
An engine compartment is full of small nooks and crannies for a mouse to make a nest, so be thorough when looking. If you find droppings or pieces of shredded material, there’s likely a nest nearby. Closely inspecting wires is also a must. As if mice need any more incentive to chew, newer cars use soy-based insulation on wires, making for an even tastier treat.
If you park in your garage, leave your hood up overnight to get rid of the shelter and warmth. Mice and rats prefer the dark, so leaving lights on will help keep them away. Placing cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil near your engine can also deter rodents, as they hate the smell.
Is your mouse or rat infestation making you feel like Cinderella in all the wrong ways? Give us a call for a quick and efficient removal.