Mice flock to homes, garages during cold

CREATED Feb. 11, 2014

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RACINE - We're told it doesn't matter if you live on a farm or in the inner city. This chilly winter, mice all over are looking for refuge.   And you're looking at one problem - attached garages. They're just what those little guys need to drive you crazy.

"There's some heat involved in that attached garage. It's attractive to 'em," said Wally Ross with Critter Gitters.

The uptick in rodent problems is an unexpected result of the extreme cold. Exterminators like Wally Ross have had quite a few calls for mice and that's unusual.

"Usually January and February hardly has any activity at all if any but this year is different," said Ross.

Ross suspects it's because we had a mild winter last year, so more mice survived.  He walked us through a basement to show us what homeowners should be looking for.

"I've seen em come through that area," said Ross.

The electric box, and sump pump should not leave any gaps.

"If it's not sealed up tightly around where the pump goes through the wall they get in alongside the pipe and use the pipe as a highway alongside the pipe and climb down." said Ross.

Check around your air conditioning unit too. Use copper wool and either putty or cement to seal it shut.

"It's nice to have a new system and all that but then when you get a bunch of mice in, it's kinda like no good deed goes unpunished," said Ross.

And mice can sneak in, with very little space. A baby mouse can fit through a hole as small as the diameter of a pencil while an adult mouse would need the diameter of a nickel or dime.