Q: We have a problem with mice coming into the crawlspace. Are there certain areas where they tend to enter? How do we keep them out? Also, our acre of...
Q: We have a problem with mice coming into the crawlspace. Are there certain areas where they tend to enter? How do we keep them out?
Also, our acre of land has moles. Any ideas on controlling the problem besides trapping?
A: Mice can enter any hole that you can fit a dime through. That’s a lot of potential entry points.
The most common places are holes punched into vent screens or other areas for TV cables and air-conditioning equipment.
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Use a mirror to look up underneath your home’s siding where it hangs over the foundation. You may see gaps there, as well as at the screens and other points where the building’s shell has been opened (areas around exhaust vents, light fixtures, etc.).
Another area to check is the outside entrance to the crawlspace. You need to be thorough and diligent in searching for holes. Repair and seal any cracks that you find.
On the mole problem, you might want to know that those body-gripping traps are illegal. I visited this issue about two years ago, and readers offered every homespun remedy ever thought up.
Here are some of the more interesting suggestions (these are not advocated as safe, legal or effective, and should be considered for their entertainment value only): dog poop, rocket fuel, an earth vibrator, pitchfork, chocolate Ex-Lax, human urine, road flares, smoke bombs, garlic, hot peppers and moth balls.
Darrell Hay is a local home inspector and manages several rental properties. Send home maintenance questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, no personal replies. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.