Rodents aren’t the most welcome houseguests, as they usually take folks by surprise, blowing their cover and effectively startling their hosts. Once in your home, they’ll seek shelter and food, usually from your kitchen. Since the kitchen is the hub of food preparation, tiny mouse feet and droppings are the last thing you want on your countertops.
So, to mouse-proof your house, you might add spray foam to access points. But will that cut it? It depends on a few factors – while it can work, it’s not a foolproof method of keeping these fuzzy creatures out of your home. We’ll review why it might not be your best bet, plus a few ways to mouse-proof your home, so continue reading to learn more!
Is Spray Foam Mouse Proof?
Unfortunately, spray foam isn’t mouse-proof. Mice are common residents in attics and garages (even basements), where they can wreak havoc on your home. They might not do much damage in the garage, save for scaring you when you leave to get in your car.
However, in the attic, they may have access to electrical wires, foam insulation, and fiberglass insulation. They can chew through these components, potentially causing you a laundry list of issues. While out of sight, out of mind applies to this situation, it might not be for the better.
So, in an attempt to keep these creatures at bay, you might use spray foam throughout the cracks and gaps in your home. However, while the foam can be effective in some cases, it isn’t a catch-all.
The problem with mice is they can eat through just about anything. Their teeth constantly grow, so to keep them filed down, they need to chew on things constantly. They’ll chew on just about anything they can get their tiny hands on, including aluminum, wood, insulation, and more.
Since they can munch through metal and wood, spray foam isn’t a hurdle for mice. If they have the urge to chew through the foam, the layer of spray foam isn’t going to stop them.
Do Mice Eat Through Expanding Foam?
So, we know that mice can eat through spray foam, but will they? Generally, spray foam holds no appeal to mice. Spray foam crumbles when they chew through it, so it doesn’t make the greatest nesting material (like fiberglass insulation). On top of that, spray foam isn’t food for them, so they usually don’t randomly begin chewing through the foam.
However, they will tackle the spray foam keeping them out of your home if they have enough motivation. For example, if the layer of spray foam isn’t very thick or has gaps, it could let odors from your home through. Once those tasty-smelling odors begin emanating from your home and into the nose of a hungry mouse, it might work away at the spray foam. After tunneling through the spray foam, it becomes your newest (and unwelcome) houseguest.
So, while they usually don’t chew through spray foam randomly, they’ll happily create an access tunnel if they smell something appealing. Because of this, spray foam isn’t a mouse-proof solution.
How To Mouse-Proof Your Home
Although spray foam can serve as an insulation and sealant that may prevent odors from exiting, it won’t stop mice if they decide to start tunneling. So, to prevent mice and other rodents from entering your home, you’ll need to mice-proof your home with certain steps. Here’s how to do it.
Rodents, like mice, enjoy areas where they have their needs covered in one place – shelter and food. Your home is their ideal place, as there’s plenty of food for them to chew through and shelter to keep them warm.
So, to make your home less appealing to mice, minimize the attraction. Thin out large bushes against your home and keep plants and grass cropped short. These areas are the perfect hiding place for mice, so keep vegetation near your home’s siding neatly trimmed.
In addition, keep garbage and compost bins secured. Avoid leaving the bins open and accessible if possible, as these are the perfect hiding places for mice.
Inside your home, store food in glass, metal, or plastic containers if it’s in cabinets or on the countertop. If the food is in the fridge or freezer, it’s not at high risk, but it still doesn’t hurt to store food in secure containers regardless.
Pinpoint Weak Areas
Once you’ve eliminated attractants around your home, it’s time to look for where the mice are entering your home. Mice can squeeze through tiny holes as small as ½ inch (the size of a nickel). While they have a tougher time wiggling through smaller gaps, like ¼-inch cracks, it doesn’t hurt to seal these areas because they can contribute to higher energy costs (but that’s a different story).
Check windows and doors for small cracks, gaps, and holes. Examine the walls, foundation, sheds, crawl spaces, and under the porch (if applicable) for crevices and entry holes. Make a note of these entry points so you can seal them later.
Repair Access Points
Once you find the access areas, use rodent-proof materials to block their entry passages. These materials include:
- Sheet metal (26 gauge thickness or thicker)
- Coarse steel wool
- Copper or aluminum wire mesh
- Hardware cloth (19 gauge)
The material you should use depends on the type of entry point. For example, you should seal cracks around doors or windows with caulk, as this will close up the tiny gaps where mice can sneak in. If you have weather stripping in your doors and windows, examine it for damage and replace it as necessary.
Or, use metal mesh to fill gaps and cracks or heavy-gauge wire screening over holes. While rodents can chew through metal, they’re unlikely to chew through it unless they have a reason to.
Stay On Top Of Maintenance
Maintenance is a key part of mouse-proofing your home, as mice can chew through just about anything. So, while your repairs should hold if you do them properly, it’s best to keep an eye out for rodent activity.
Check those access points routinely and monitor for mice droppings in and around your home. If you notice an access point, seal it properly to keep the fuzzy creatures out of your home.
Keep It Clean
When your home has crumbles of food and garbage here and there, it can offer enticing smells to the rodents outside your home. If they can, they’ll find somewhere to enter your home to pinpoint where those tasty smells are coming from.
So, to keep this problem at bay, keep your home clean. Avoid leaving crumbs after meals, like under the table, around the kitchen, or wherever you eat. Sweep up the crumbs and dispose of them properly, and ensure you mop every once in a while to catch spills and residual crumbles.
If you have fruit trees or plants in your yard, clean up fallen fruit. If these fruits end up near the base of your house, the mice may see your home as a shelter to reside in while they munch on the easily accessible fruits at their doorstep.
Keep Animal Food Secure
If you have pets, keep their food secure. Avoid leaving bags of food in areas where the mice could get into it, like the garage. Store the food in metal garbage cans with snug lids if you need to store it outside, as this should help keep the rodents and other pests out.
In addition, keep birdseed and sugar water (for hummingbirds) away from your home. Hang bird feeders at least a few feet away from your home, as this will help avoid mice infestations.