by Derrick |Last Updated: August 18, 2022
Mice are terrible “houseguests” – leaving pee and bits of poop all over the place, gnawing on all your stuff, carrying diseases into your home, and birthing tens of children. Having mice in your house is not a pretty sight, plus an infestation can start if they get into your house from under the siding. It’s crucial to keep mice out of your home, so you have to protect this vulnerable area.
How to get rid of mice at home?
Here are steps on how to stop mice from getting under your siding:
- Understand how mice can get under your siding.
- Inspect the siding and map out all the openings.
- Choose your sealant.
- Block the openings in the siding.
- Paint over the sealing.
- Use rodenticides and mice repellents.
This article will explain in detail how mice can get under your siding and how you can stop them. Keep reading to also find out how to keep mice out of your home for good!
1. Understand How Mice Can Get Under Your Siding
The first step in your “battle plan” to stop mice from getting under your siding and entering your house is to figure out how they get there. To do that, you have to understand why your siding may have spaces large enough for mice to get in.
When you install the exterior siding in your home, you need to leave some space where the siding meets the foundation. For wood siding, this space helps ensure that little bits of water can get out after rainfall, and the wood can dry properly without getting damaged.
Sidings made of metal, on the other hand, expand when the temperature rises. The space helps to give room for the metal to safely expand without getting so tight that it begins to buckle.
As you set up your home, you’ll need to install utilities for your comfort. The pipes and vents for utilities like furnaces, water, heating, or cooling will often need to pass through the siding. For the pipes to pass through conveniently, the holes drilled in the siding have to be larger than the pipes/vents.
Because of this allowance, there’s usually a tiny extra space left after the pipe is inserted. In some cases, these holes are large enough for mice to get in right away. Cracks can also form over time to widen the spaces, letting in the mice.
Mice are extremely well-equipped to take advantage of all these spaces, no matter how tiny they are. These animals are excellent climbers and can jump as high as a little over one foot, so the short trip up the foundation of your house won’t deter them.
They also have flexible rib cages that they usually collapse to make their bodies small enough to squeeze through super tiny spaces. If a mouse’s head can get through a hole, the rest of the body is usually a breeze.
Because of these capabilities, mice can fit through cracks as small as a quarter-inch. A common rule of thumb to figure out if a mouse can get through a hole is to put a pencil through it. If a pencil can fit through, mice can!
2. Inspect the Siding and Map Out All the Openings
Now that you know what to look out for, you should start to inspect your siding as soon as possible. This is gritty work, but it’s a super important part of stopping the mice in their tracks because it helps you determine which openings need to be blocked.
To inspect your siding, wear house-chore clothes that you won’t mind dirtying, and bring these tools with you:
- A bright flashlight
- A small inspection mirror
- Latex gloves
- A pencil
- A marker
- Eye protection gear
- Arm protection gear
You need to wear gloves, get on your knees and slowly crawl all around the outside of your house while running your fingers through the siding. The part of the siding where mice are most likely to find a way in is the area behind the bottom row and just above the foundation. Shine the flashlight on this part of your house and inspect it very carefully.
If you notice any hole, it might seem much smaller to you from above than it actually is. You need to use an inspection mirror like the Ullman HTC-2 Pocket Size Telescoping Inspection Mirror (available on Amazon.com) to inspect the hole properly and figure out how big it actually is.
To gauge the size of the hole and figure out if mice can get in, you can put the pencil through as noted earlier. If the pencil can slide through the hole, it’s a possible entry point for mice to get under your siding.
You can also look around and sniff the hole if you can stand it. If you can spot mice droppings or perceive an ammonia-like smell (mice-pee), then it’s definitely an entry point. The gloves will help keep your hands safe from any germs that the mice pee and droppings may have attracted.
Use a marker to put a spot on every one of the holes, so you don’t miss any of them when you start blocking.
3. Choose Your Sealant
After marking out the holes in your siding, you will need to fill them up to block mice from entering your house. There are several sealants you can use for this, and they all have their pros and cons. The two sealants that are most popular for filling holes in sidings are spray foam and caulk.
Caulk is a flexible, semi-liquid, moisture-proof sealant that can be used to permanently seal holes and cracks. There are many different types of caulk, but only a handful of them are useful for filing siding. The types of caulk used in sealing siding include:
- Acrylic latex caulk – This is a cheap, fast-drying DIY caulk that you can paint on. Acrylic latex caulk works for general-purpose caulking, so it can be used for wood, metal, cement-board, and vinyl sidings.
- Polyurethane caulk – This is a heavy-duty caulk that is resistant to moisture and corrosion. It usually needs mixing before use but has excellent flexibility if used right. Polyurethane caulk is best for filling holes in metal siding.
- Silicone caulk – This is more flexible, longer-lasting, and more expensive than latex caulk. It’s excellent for caulking damp places because it has chemicals that are mildew-resistant and can slow down discoloration. Silicone caulk is the best option for filling gaps in wood, cement, and vinyl siding.
Before choosing your type of caulk, carefully read the properties of the product you intend to buy. For filling gaps in a siding, the caulk you opt for must be resistant to mold and mildew. The product label will also have information about what materials the caulk is recommended for filling. This information can help you make the best choice regarding type and brand.
Most types of caulk come in various colors, so you want to choose a color that’s the same as your siding or as similar to it as possible. A similarity in color helps ensure the sealing isn’t obvious enough to ruin the aesthetics of the siding – especially if the hole you’re filling is in an open part. If you can’t find a similar color or shade, the next best option is to use clear caulk.
Spray foam is also quite popular for filling siding holes because it’s cheap and pretty easy to use. The issue, however, is that it’s not quite as effective in keeping mice out.
If you block holes with spray foam, mice can easily gnaw or dig through the foam to reopen them. These rodents won’t just get into your house; they’ll also make a huge mess, leaving bits of foam everywhere. This feature of spray foam can be helpful if you’re trying to tell whether or not rodents are getting into your house through the siding, though.
Some types of spray foam have repellents or bittering agents to keep mice away. However, most of these are only strong enough to keep mice from chewing through the foam, not from scratching through it. This is why spray foam alone isn’t sufficient for blocking gaps in your siding.
4. Block the Openings in the Siding
This is even more gritty work than the inspection, so you should gear up in house-chore clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting dirty or even throwing away. You’ll also need these tools:
- Caulking gun
- Safety goggles
- Cleaning rags
- Mineral spirits
- Siding cleaner
- Siding zip tool (only for a large hole or tear)
Filling a Small Gap With Caulk
For a hole no wider than the width of your finger, wipe the area with a rag to get the dust, mold, and debris off. If you have some mineral spirit or siding cleaner, pour some on a rag and carefully wipe the hole with it. An alternative is to mix a bit of cleaning agent with water and use the mixture to clean. Wipe the spot again with a dry rag, then leave it to air-dry completely.
It’s usually best to clean all the holes that need filling, or at least all holes in the same area at once. This way, all the holes will have enough time to dry properly before caulking. As you leave the cleaned holes to dry, start to fill your caulk gun.
When the hole is completely dry, use the gun to slowly squeeze caulk into the hole until it fills it up. After the hole fills up, use the scraper to smoothen the surface and wipe off the excess caulk, then leave it to dry.
Filling a Large Gap With Caulk
If you’re dealing with a larger hole or long tear, a caulk filling may not do. You need to get a siding zip tool to unlock the siding at the bottom. If the piece is still usable, put some foil tape on the back, and lock it back in place. With an unusable piece of siding, you’ll have to replace it with a new part altogether.
Filling a Siding Hole With Spray Foam
Spray foam is much easier to use than caulk. Still, it’s advisable to clean out the hole like you’d do when caulking. Hold the can of foam over the hole and spray it directly. Unlike caulk, spray foam is not colored and expandable, so you can’t fill the hole with it. Leave the foam to harden over time, and cut off the excess later, if need be.
5. Paint Over the Sealing
Filling holes in your siding can leave the exterior of your house disfigured, even when you use one that’s tinted to the color of the siding. If the repairs are apparent enough to visibly affect your home, you can splash some paint over them to give an aesthetic boost.
Before deciding to paint over your sealant, you should confirm that it’s paintable. You can use any effective paint, but waterproof paint is less likely to be affected by the elements, so many people prefer it.
6. Use Rodenticides and Mice Repellents
Blocking the gaps in the siding can stop mice from getting into your home, but it may not stop them from trying. Because mice pose a health hazard and are just plain annoying, it helps to use rodenticides or repellents after filling your siding to get rid of them for good.
Rodenticides are effective, fast-acting chemicals for killing mice. These poisons can kill any rodents already in your house or those that try to get in. However, the downside is that they can also pose a health risk to adults, children, and pets.
A safer alternative to rodenticides is using natural mice repellents. Mice are averse to strong-smelling substances, so you can ward them off by placing natural repellents at their entry points. While these repellents are safe for you, they may take much longer than the harsher rodenticides to show results. Some natural mice repellents you can use are:
- Peppermint plants or oil
- Cayenne pepper
- White vinegar (soaked in cotton balls)
- Hot sauce
You’re all set to keep the rodents out of your house. Remember, mice are attracted by bits of food and warm, dark places of shelter. With food off your floors and clutter out of the way, they don’t stand a chance!
- Rentokil Pest Control: Mouse in the house
- Abarb Pests: How Mice Find Their Way Through the Tiniest Holes
- Terminix: House Mouse – Mouse Hole Characteristics & Tips for Removal
- Hunker: How to Seal Siding to Keep Out Mice
- Elegant Painting: Caulking – What should and should never be caulked
- Today’s Homeowner: How to Repair Holes in Vinyl Siding
- Lakewood Exterminating: How To Mouse Proof A Home
- Daily RX: Natural Mouse Repellents: 13 Fantastic Ways to Get Rid of Mice
Seal up gaps and holes inside and outside your home
Seal any holes you find to stop rodents from entering. Fill small holes with steel wool. Put caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place or use spray foam. Use lath screen or lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix larger holes.
The only real, permanent solution to mouse-proofing a home is to do a careful inspection for holes and cracks where mice are getting in and to block those openings with the right materials. One of the best times to do this is when replacing windows, doors, siding and addressing attic insulation problems.How do mice get under siding? ›
On the outside corners of vinyl siding, there are corner tubes. These hollow tubes give rodents a vertical runway up the house. From there they enter the soffit and attic space.Can mice get behind vinyl siding? ›
Additionally, mice can climb vinyl siding and get an access to your attic and other areas of your house. There a video of mouse climbing a wall inside of the house.What is the best sealant to keep mice out? ›
Silicone sealant has a number of advantages. It is non-toxic and safe for the building's residents, and can be used to keep rodents away because it is difficult to chew through. Mouse-proofing silicone sealant may be the best solution depending on where the entry points to your home are.How do I keep mice out of my house ASAP? ›
- Get a cat. If no one in your family has a cat allergy, getting a cat might just be the easiest way to get rid of mice. ...
- Use essential oils. ...
- Set humane traps. ...
- Try a hot pepper solution. ...
- Build your own humane trap. ...
- Pack spaces with steel wool. ...
- Block with duct tape. ...
- For a severe infestation.
Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and cloves.
Mice are said to hate the smell of these. Lightly soak some cotton balls in oils from one or more of these foods and leave the cotton balls in places where you've had problems with mice.
Spray foam insulation is completely rodent proof due to the air tight barrier it creates, but also because it does not act as a breeding ground or source of food. This makes spray foam insulation the number one choice for mice or rat proofing your home.What do house mice hate? ›
Mice can be kept away by using the smells of peppermint oil, cinnamon, vinegar, citronella, ammonia, bleach, and mothballs.Can Flex Seal keep mice out? ›
Flex Paste can be used on windows, doors, vents, thresholds and so much more. It will create a watertight barrier that seals out air and moisture. Use Flex Paste to help prevent flood damage. It can even be used to fill large voids to help keep insects and rodents out of your home.
When you find mouse access points in your home, seal them with steel wool, metal sheeting, or other material mice can't chew through. A combination of caulk and steel wool also works well.Should you caulk under siding? ›
The bottom of siding boards should not be caulked
While paint does tend to somewhat glue these pieces together, caulking them is never advised and can cause permanent damage.
Vinyl siding can be installed over common wood sheathings such as plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), or other materials (e.g., foam plastic insulating sheathing). The thickness of wood sheathing counts toward the total thickness that the fasteners must penetrate into nailable material, usually 1 1/4” (32mm).Do you need house wrap under vinyl siding? ›
Generally, if you're installing vinyl, aluminum or wood siding, you will likely need to use a house wrap. Wood siding, for instance, benefits from house wraps because it usually has several seams with overlapping boards.Should you put foam under vinyl siding? ›
By adding a continuous layer of insulation under new siding, you are able to wrap the home in a complete blanket of energy savings. In addition, flat foam insulations can help level out inconsistencies in the wall for a more perfect siding appearance.Why won t mice eat spray foam? ›
Generally, rodents are not attracted to spray foam, as it doesn't resemble food. It's not something that they will chew on or eat, as opposed to other forms of insulation that is more easily penetrable. The thing is, spray foam is an insulation product.Can you spray anything to deter mice? ›
Ammonia and Vinegar Spray
Another natural rat and mouse repellent is ammonia. These rodents hate the smell of ammonia because it's similar to a predator's urine. Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup ammonia and 1 cup vinegar, then mix it.
Tomcat Repellents Rodent Repellent Continuous Spray is engineered to safely and effectively deter mice and rats from entering homes. Featuring a no stink formula that is long lasting and rain resistant, this easy-to-use, continuous spray formula is tested and proven to prevent rodent entry, nesting and foraging.What scares mice out of hiding? ›
A great way to bring mice out of hiding and steer them in the direction you want them to go is to sprinkle potent scents they find particularly unpleasant. Mice don't like the smell of garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, cloves, ammonia and alcohol.Does Irish Spring soap keep mice away? ›
The bottom line is the perfumes in this soap tell mice, rats, chipmunks, and other critters to stay clear. Irish Spring comes in different scents and varieties, and I have found that as long as it is Irish Spring in general it will work just fine.
Do Dryer Sheets Keep Mice Out? Don't expect your box of Bounce to work any pest-control miracles. Dryer sheets don't deter mice. Baited traps won't solve a mouse problem, either.What do mice hate more than anything? ›
Mice dislike a wide variety of different smells such as mint, cinnamon and clove oil. Mice hate a variety of smells including mint oil, cayenne pepper, dryer sheets, cinnamon, ammonia, clove, vinegar, mothballs, and minty kinds of toothpaste.Does Pine Sol keep mice away? ›
Does Pine Sol deter rodents? As will most cleaners, Pine-Sol contains properties that may deter rodents and other types of pests; however, this is not a viable solution as a pest control measure.What liquid keeps mice away? ›
It is proven that the eucalyptus scent is a strong mice repellent. You can easily mix up a DIY eucalyptus oil spray using two teaspoons of eucalyptus oil, one cup of water and a couple of drops of liquid detergent.Does aluminum foil deter mice? ›
Mice hate the sound and smell of aluminum foil.
They also can't grip onto it, despite generally being good climbers. If you want to use aluminum foil to keep mice away naturally, wrap it around the objects you want to protect. Mice will avoid them completely.
Great Stuff™ Pestblock Insulating Foam Sealant is a ready-to-use foam sealant that expands up to 1 inch to take the shape of gaps, creating a long-lasting, airtight and water-resistant seal that blocks out spiders, ants, cockroaches, mice and more from entering the home without the use of pesticides.What foam fills holes to stop mice? ›
Tomcat Rodent Block Expanding Foam Barrier fills gaps and cracks to keep mice from coming inside your home. This expanding foam is specially formulated to block mice, providing a long-lasting, airtight and water-resistant bond to most building materials. The foam can be trimmed, sanded, and painted if desired.What time do mice come out at night? ›
Mice are nocturnal creatures, so they are most active between dusk and dawn. They don't usually like bright lights, but a mouse may sometimes be seen during the day, especially if its nest has been disturbed or it is seeking food.What sounds keep mice away? ›
Mice have very sensitive ears and can hear ultrasound of high-intensity wavelengths. They hate the sound of ultrasonic rodent repellent devices, which is usually in the range of 32 kHz to 62 kHz. The sound of these ultrasonic rodent repellers may it extremely irritating for these filthy creatures.Do ultrasonic pest repellers work on mice? ›
To the mouse, the frequencies will sound like a loud jackhammer. This isn't just insufferable to rodents, but the product claims to repel insects as well. So, do ultrasonic rodent repellents really work? The short answer is no, ultrasonic rodent repellents don't work.
WD-40 also helps keeps these pesky rodents at bay. I usually spray a little inside the bonnet in a few areas and have not had problems till date.Do mothballs Repell mice? ›
Mothballs repelling mice and rats is a common misconception. Mothballs contain a small amount of naphthalene and can be a deterrent in large quantities, however, they aren't powerful enough to get rid of mice and rodents.How do you stop mice with wire wool? ›
Pack the hole tightly with steel wool. Then, put caulk around the hole to hold and seal the wool in place. Mice may eat some of the steel wool, which may kill them as it works to deter them. Sealing the hole will prevent the mice from entering your home and potentially dying in your walls.Why do I suddenly have mice in my house? ›
There are two main things that can attract mice and rats to your house – food and shelter. If you don't tidy up properly and there's food waste on the floor or surfaces, rodents are going to love it! Rats and mice also need shelter, particularly during winter to avoid the worst of the cold.Does one mouse mean an infestation? ›
Question: Does one mouse mean an infestation? Answer: One mouse is not considered an infestation, per se. However, one mouse will almost always lead to an infestation if control methods are not put in place.What can I spray on my siding? ›
Hot water can damage the siding. But, for extensive residue, mix a general-purpose cleaner or one-part Simple Green Oxy outdoor cleaner and 15-parts water (about one cup per gallon of water) and load in a power washer. Spray the home on a light setting with a wide-angle nozzle to prevent damage.”Should house siding be sealed? ›
Sealing surface gaps, cracks, holes and other imperfections is necessary to protect and reduce deterioration of siding. The following tips list what areas should and what should not be caulked on exterior siding. Areas that should be sealed: Caulk corners, edges, under ledges.Can You Use Flex Seal on siding? ›
Flex Seal can be used on almost every surface: wood, metal, tile, concrete, masonry, fabric, glass, plastic, aluminum, porcelain, drywall, rubber, cement, and vinyl. Plus, it won't sag or drip in the summer heat, and it won't crack or peel in the winter cold. It even prevents corrosion.Will keeping lights on keep mice away? ›
Unfortunately, the light inside your house is not a very effective deterrent to mice. Once inside a house or a building, they can easily look for dark areas to hide until such time as all lights are turned off. Places they can hide include inside the walls, crawl spaces, attics, and ceilings.Does vinyl siding need to be caulked? ›
Offered in a wide range of colors, vinyl siding eliminates the need for painting since the color is permanently saturated right through the panel. However, as with any other siding material, it does need caulking to seal out air and water. Look along the space where the window and door frames meet the siding.
That's why it's so essential to have a carefully placed waterproof layer beneath your siding. Without a weather barrier, your home is at greater risk of moisture intrusion and all its subsequent problems, such as wood rot, mold, mildew, and leaks.What happens if water gets behind siding? ›
When moisture penetrates the boards, vinyl siding traps the water that accumulates behind it. Unfortunately, this moisture trap can lead to mold growth, rot, and structural damage, especially when proper sheathing, caulking, and waterproof barriers aren't installed.Can mice crawl under siding? ›
Mice can climb under the siding and enter the home through an existing construction gap. Grass and mulch along the foundation provides habitat for mice.Are you supposed to caulk under siding? ›
The bottom of siding boards should not be caulked
While paint does tend to somewhat glue these pieces together, caulking them is never advised and can cause permanent damage.
Seal all cracks and openings Many pests follow the path of least resistance. Don't make it easy for them to get into your home! Add a barrier to dirt floor crawl spaces. A thin slab, commonly called a rat slab, is commonly used to stop rodents from tunneling into your crawl space.
Spray foam insulation is completely rodent proof due to the air tight barrier it creates, but also because it does not act as a breeding ground or source of food. This makes spray foam insulation the number one choice for mice or rat proofing your home.Can mice crawl through AC vents? ›
Mice can climb and squeeze through very tight holes and gaps. Most people underestimate the flexibility that mice have. They can find their way through air vents, cracks, and gaps. Mice can easily infest air vents and can scatter feces, urine, and compromise the functionality and components easily.Do you put anything under vinyl siding? ›
Vinyl siding can be installed over common wood sheathings such as plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), or other materials (e.g., foam plastic insulating sheathing). The thickness of wood sheathing counts toward the total thickness that the fasteners must penetrate into nailable material, usually 1 1/4” (32mm).Should the bottom of house siding be sealed? ›
DO NOT seal the bottom with any sort of impermeable caulking nor spray foam. The bottom should remain permeable so that if water gets behind your siding for whatever reason then it has an escape path.What surfaces do mice hate? ›
Caulk, board up or poke steel wool into openings to keep mice from getting back into the house. Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and cloves. Mice are said to hate the smell of these.
Exterminators place mouse and mice traps in clever spots in the home. These hot spots include your attic, crawlspaces, and corners in your basement if you have one. Pros never place traps in food areas or common areas where you and your family hang out. Mice like to travel close to their entry and escape roots.What can you spray around your house to keep mice out? ›
- Peppermint Oil. Peppermint oil is an effective method for keeping mice and rats away. ...
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is another scent that mice and rats hate. ...
- Vinegar. The pungent smell of vinegar is also a natural way to repel mice and rats. ...
- Citronella. ...
- Ammonia. ...
- Bleach. ...