Christmas is a time for giving and sharing. It’s a time when families get together and celebrate this special holiday. Other than your estranged uncle, or your 4th cousin twice removed you might be sharing your home at Christmas with somebody else, Mice!
Has it ever crossed your mind how inviting your home is to mice during Christmas? The decorations, presents and food turns your home into a giant magnet for rodents, providing them with lots of reasons to hang around.
The Christmas tree is an iconic symbol for this holiday. Setting up your Christmas tree clearly marks the start of the holiday season, and no home celebrating Christmas is complete without one.
However, Christmas trees also provide mice with a fantastic place to invade. But why?
Mice are amazing climbers, and jumpers. Christmas trees provide mice with a giant jungle gym, allowing them to climb to their hearts content.
Mice climbing on my Christmas tree that can’t be that bad, right? WRONG!
Mice are keen explores, and constantly find new and innovative ways of navigating a home. Depending on the size and location of your Christmas tree, a mouse could use this to gain access to other areas of your home quickly and quietly (unless you have a lot of bells on your tree – maybe this could be a good mouse prevention technique?).
Food decorations on your Christmas tree will also be very appealing to mice. For many of us we like to decorate our trees with a variety of different ornaments such as baubles, and tinsels. However, particularly in some countries, it is popular to decorate trees using food such as chocolate, candy canes, popcorn, and gingerbread men.
Mice are omnivorous, they aren’ really that fussy about their food and will eat almost anything. However, they are known to have a bit of a sweet tooth and are attracted to foods with sugary proteins.
Hanging gingerbread men from your tree can be a very popular decoration in some countries. Although this is a brilliant way to brighten up your Christmas tree to life you’re also making it more appealing to mice.
Using gingerbread men on to decorate your tree is like opening up a free buffet if you have a mouse infestation on your hands, and you might wake up one morning to find a some gingerbread men have lost their limbs.
You might be thinking that if peppermint oil helps deter mice, then decorating your Christmas tree with peppermint candy canes will help keep them away? Well think again.
The hole idea of peppermint oil being a natural way of getting rid of mice is a myth (if running the rodents campaign link to blog 3), this doesn’t actually work. You’re much better off following the proper mice prevention techniques to keep mice away from your Christmas Tree.
When you think of Christmas, images of Christmas stockings come flooding into your mind. But did you know that Christmas stockings can also come in handy for mice?
Mice can use them to access areas they couldn’t before. They can act as a sort of, although furry, ladder allowing them to gain entry to other areas of your home (depending on where you have placed them).
Hanging Christmas stockings from your mantle piece can be a bit of problem if mice are around, especially if the cookies you have laid out for Father Christmas are sitting there.
A popular stocking filler is sweets and chocolate, two types of food mice love, especially if peanut butter is involved. This makes your stocking very attractive to mice.
As the holiday season arrives, kitchens across the globe celebrating this holiday infuse the air with the rich aromas of cookies (or biscuits depending on where you live) and other Christmas baking treats.
On the down side this not only gets our taste buds going but also mices. As you already know mice have a bit of a sweet tooth, so naturally cookies and biscuits are high on their radar.
Left overs are a stable part of Christmas, whether it’s your Christmas turkey big enough to serve 200 people or your Christmas stollen, there is always plenty of food to go around.
However, leftovers also provide mice with a great opportunity for a midnight snack. Leaving food out can turn your home into a giant magnet for mice.
On top of the diseases they can spread (read more about rodent borne diseases here) mice can also cause quite a lot of damage to your home by constantly gnawing on items.
Unlike us, a mouse’s teeth doesn’t stop growing. Because of this mice have to constantly grind them down to stop them over growing. You can often find them gnawing on items such as cardboard boxes, paper and even electrical wires.
The problem with mice gnawing on wires is down to the negative effect it has on a property. It can lead to power cuts and more importantly electrical fires!
Having mice in your home during Christmas can make your house quite vulnerable. Their need to constantly chew and gnaw on things could lead to a) your Christmas lights not working and b) a electrical fire in your house.
Outside lights can also be a bit of a hazard in terms of mice during Christmas time. If the power socket for your outside Christmas lights are located inside your home mice can easily find a way into your home through the cable routing.
One thing about Christmas which everyone loves is presents, whether it’s from Santa Claus or your loved ones. Mice also love presents, but not for the same reasons as you and I.
Presents, and in particular wrapping paper and cardboard boxes provide mice with excellent materials and areas to build nests with, not to mention something to gnaw on.
Best way to get rid of mice at Christmas
If you are worried about receiving more than presents this Christmas, there are a few things you can do to help prevent mice. The best way to get rid of mice is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
By following a few simple prevention tips you can help reduce the risk of mice ruining your Christmas.
Remove food sources
One thing that makes your home so attractive to mice is the constant, and easily accessible, supply of food. One thing we all love about Christmas is the amount of food we gorge ourselves on, and mice are no exception.
You can prevent mice at Christmas by:
- Storing leftovers and sugary treats in plastic or metal air tight containers – This helps keep away the alluring, delicious, smells.
- Cleaning up any and all food debris from crumbs to food spillage
- Emptying bins regularly and ensure lids are kept on at all times.
All a mice needs is a hole the width of a pencil to gain entry into your home. The last thing you want at Christmas is to find mice crawling around the presents underneath your Christmas tree.
You can prevent mice at Christmas by:
- Sealing any entry points such as cable and pipe routing with expanding foam.
- Using wire mesh to cover air vents
- Installing bristle strips underneath doors
Damages to the structure of your home also provide mice with easy access to your home. Even if a hole isn’t big enough for them to fit through they will gnaw at the edges until it is.
Regularly checking the exterior of your home for any damages and repairing if necessary can go a long way in preventing mice from entering your home. Don’t forget to pay close attention to doors, windows, and roof tiles as these are prime rodent entrance points.
Worried about mice this Christmas? Get in contact with Rentokil today.