Christmas is a time for giving and sharing time with your loved ones. But did you know there are others longing to spend the festive season with you too? Mice!
Yes, read that right – mice love Christmas!
If you think about it, the decorations, food, presents and your Christmas tree make your home very appealing during the winter months, not to mention how warm your house is compared to outdoors.
Christmas trees are an iconic symbol of the festive season. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’ve set up the tree in my home.
But on top of all the magic and wonder a Christmas tree brings to your home, it can also act as a giant neon welcome sign for mice!
Why? Well, a Christmas tree provides mice with not only a fabulous climbing apparatus but also a great source of food (depending on what you decorate your tree with).
Mice are amazing climbers and jumpers. Did you know mice can scale rough vertical surfaces up to 2m? Impressive, right?
Your tree provides mice with a great opportunity to climb, scurry and run. Picture your Christmas tree as a massive, fluorescent jungle gym for mice!
Although they are neophobic, mice are avid explorers, searching their terrority daily for food. Depending on the size and location of your Christmas tree, a mouse could use it as a gateway to other areas of your home, allowing it to navigate your property quickly and quietly.
Mice won’t eat my Christmas tree, will they?
Well, they might take a nibble of the pine needles, but they will probably be more inclined to snack on any edible decorations you might have on your tree.
I don’t know about you, but we often use chocolate coins and other treats to decorate our tree at home. Gingerbread and popcorn are also other popular options.
The bad news is that this turns your Christmas trees into a free, all-you-can-eat buffet for mice (not just the kids!), with countless opportunities for them to nibble on a midnight snack.
How to protect your Christmas tree:
- Try to position your tree away from common mice entry points such as doors, windows and pipe work
- Avoid using food to decorate your tree
- Regularly sweep the floor and dispose of any pine needles that have fallen off your tree
Will candy canes help to prevent mice?
You might have heard rumours of peppermint being an effective natural repellent for mice. Are you, therefore, wondering if you decorate your Christmas tree with candy canes it will help prevent rodents? Well no, the idea of peppermint being able to repel mice is actually a myth and will have little to no effect whatsoever.
Christmas stockings are an iconic symbol of the holiday season, and I have to admit that although I am in my 20s my parents still give me one today. But did you know stockings can also come in handy for mice?
Why? Well, to sum it up, they pretty much act like a giant, free, all-you-can-eat buffet for mice. Don’t believe me? Well, think of what’s usually in your stocking. Sweets? Chocolate? Biscuits? These are all things mice love – especially if peanut butter is involved.
How to protect your stockings:
- Opt for sweets, chocolates and other festive treats in metal and plastic containers when choosing stocking fillers
Christmas isn’t Christmas without enough leftovers from your Christmas dinner to feed a herd of elephants. However, did you know your Christmas leftovers provide mice with a great midnight snack?
Mice are omnivorous and will eat almost anything! That means your turkey, stuffing, stollen, truffles, gingerbread and even your Brussel sprouts will serve as a delicious treat for mice.
How to protect your Christmas leftovers:
- Store food in airtight containers
- Clean up all food debris and drink spillages
- Clean work surfaces, cutlery and cooking utensils
- Empty bins regularly
Christmas lights always make this time of year that bit more magical, whether it’s the fairy lights on your tree or the display illuminating the outside of your home with Christmas spirit.
Did you know a mouse’s teeth grow at a rate of 0.33mm a day? Because of this, they have to constantly gnaw on items to keep them in check.
One thing mice like to chew on is electrical wiring. At Christmas time, this can be a big concern. It will not only stop your beautiful Christmas lights from working, it is also a fire hazard.
How to prevent your Christmas lights from mice:
Prevent mice getting into your home in the first place with these practical DIY tips:
- Seal cracks and crevices around plug sockets and cable routing with expanding foam
- Install wire mesh on air vents
Arguably, the best thing about Christmas is the presents, both giving and receiving. Mice also love Christmas presents, but not for the same reasons you or I do.
The fact is that both wrapping paper and cardboard boxes provide mice with an amazing material for building their nests. It’s also another great material to gnaw on.
How to protect your Christmas presents:
- Store wrapping paper and Christmas presents in plastic boxes with a tight lid
- Clean up discarded paper and boxes and dispose of them in an outside bin
From everyone at Rentokil, we’d like to wish you a very merry, mouse-free Christmas. If you are worried about mice and other pests spoiling your festive season get in contact with Rentokil today.