How to Keep Wildlife Out of Garages During the Winter

In winter, unfortunately, wildlife like mice can enter your garage. Mice like to come inside during the winter for the same reason that you do: It’s warmer than outside and there are food sources.

But it’s dangerous and unpleasant to have mice in your garage. Mice can destroy equipment by chewing and gnawing, including expensive electrical equipment. Mice are also sources of parasites and bacteria that are potentially harmful to your family’s health. You also want them out of your garage because once they’re in the garage, they are that much closer to your home, where they can do even more damage.

How do you keep wildlife out of your garage? Here are three methods.

1. Make Sure They Can’t Get In

The most efficient way to keep wildlife out of your garage is to make sure they can’t enter in the first place! Sound obvious? It is, but it’s easier said than done.

Mice can squeeze into the inside through incredibly small cracks. You need to ensure that there are no holes through which they can enter. Monitor your garage area for any holes, crevices and cracks. Seal any you find, including those around electrical outlets, doors, foundations and windows.

Place peppermint oil around all garage entrances. Many people feel that serves as a deterrent to mice entering.

Be sure to make sure your emergency garage opening is secure. Otherwise, mice and other wildlife can get in that way.

2. Make the Habitat Unattractive

Mice come in primarily to get warm, but they also come in to eat and make nests. Any food source will make your garage highly attractive. So if you store birdseed, homemade jerky or pet food, move it in the winter so your garage becomes less attractive.

Any debris, such as cardboard or leftover sawdust, can be used to make nests. Any area that lays undisturbed, such as a pile of firewood, can be entered as a protective covering. All of this type of area needs to be cleaned.

Also, debris or nest-making material near the garage will attract mice, and the proximity makes them more likely to enter the garage. So, again, cut trees, brush, leaves or logs serve as ideal nest-making material from a mouse’s perspective.

3. Trap and Release

What if the preventive measures fail and you have mice in your garage? You will know it by several signs. You may see mouse droppings, signs of material having been chewed or gnawed or hear scurrying.

There are humane ways to trap mice. Buy humane traps. It’s best to use something like peanut butter placed in a small container, such as a soda cap. Mouse can grab many foods and scurry away, but they can’t scurry away with a soda-cap full of peanut butter. They eat and the trap does its work.

Bear in mind that you will have to release the mice caught in humane traps. This usually involves a trip of at least several miles. If you simply go a short distance outside your garage, they are likely to troop back.

Mice are attracted to garages in the winter because they are warm. The best way to make sure they don’t enter your garage is to seal all openings and make sure there’s nothing attractive to them inside. If you do have mice, trap them humanely and release them.

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Emily is a freelance conservation journalist who feels passionately about protecting endangered species and preserving the wilderness landscapes.

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