Holiday Pests: There’s a Mouse in the House

While many of us will open the doors to family and friends this holiday season, we might not realize we may also be welcoming rodents into our homes.


Rodents: The Holiday Disaster

As the temperatures begin to cool off, rats and mice seek shelter in warm and comfortable places, such as your home. These furry creatures can squeeze their way into your home through dime-sized openings in attics, crawl spaces and dryer vents.

What’s worse is that rodents can be hazardous to your health. Rats and mice are capable of carrying a variety of disease-causing bacteria. They spread germs through urine, droppings, and hair particles left throughout homes.

Related: Rodents and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Rats & Mice Habits

Rats can squeeze through holes half an inch wide and mice can get through holes one quarter of an inch wide, taking up rodent residence in your attic, in the crawl space under your home, even where the dryer vents to the outside. Rodents are generally nocturnal animals, with peak activity occurring shortly after dusk and again prior to dawn. Inside occupied structures, they often become active within about 30-60 minutes following the subsiding of evening human activity.


One of the least recognized ways in which mice can be pests: They gnaw on wiring creating a fire hazard.

Rodent-Proofing Tips:

When rodent-proofing your home, it’s important to keep in mind that rats can squeeze through holes ½ inch wide and mice can get through a hole ¼ inch wide.

  • Rodent-proofing requires the use of rodent-resistant materials. These materials include, but are not limited to:
    1. Sheet Metal (26 gauge or heavier with openings no more than ¼ inch)
    2. Perforated Metal (24 gauge or heavier)
    3. Hardware Cloth (19 gauge or heavier)
    4. Brick with Mortared Joints
  • Seal openings around pipes with sheet metal or concrete.
  • Be sure to block all possible rodent entry points. This includes the bottom of doors, pipe entry holes,ventilation pipes, roof vents and eave vents.
  • Proper sanitation is a very important factor in rodent control. Be sure to clean up any trash or rubbish around your property which could support or harbor a rodent population. Keep garbage cans sealed and eliminate any areas of standing water. Do not leave open food items out including pet food.
  • Regularly inspect your home and property for signs of an infestation. Common signs are rodent droppings, gnaw marks and damaged goods. Look for greasy rub marks caused by a roof rat’s oily fur.

Don’t let uninvited pests into your home this holiday season. For more information on preventing rats and mice from entering your home, contact Massey Services for a free, detailed inspection and written analysis.

Additional Resources