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There’s a Mouse in the House: Protecting Your Vents

Mice, long thought to be the elephant and the housewife’s worst enemy, can be very deceptive: their furry good looks and affinity for cheese may just disarm you. From starring in Disney’s Ratatouille to being the subject of children’s books, it can be hard to remember how damaging mice can be. However, the cool of the winter has them burrowing into your home to keep warm, and they aren’t doing you any favors.

mice in vent

What’s the Big Deal?

In addition to causing a funky smell and chewing through things can do a lot of damage to your home. Mouse droppings in air vents pose a health hazard, and if unattended, the infestation can overtake your home completely. If you’re starting to notice signs of mice in your home, there’s no time like the present to take action. Here’s how to get rid of mice in your precious heating and cooling ducts, and prevent them from getting in again:

Good Riddance

  • First, turn off your heating or air conditioning system and allow the grates to cool completely. Try starting this method before running a few errands or taking a long lunch break to ensure you give them enough time.
  • Grab a screwdriver and remove the grates covering your heating vents around the house. This shouldn’t be too difficult, although paint or wear may have made them a little sticky.
  • Use sticky or snap traps, and load them with delicious-smelling bait. Like humans, mice love cheese, bacon, chocolate, and peanut butter. Place one trap in each vent around the house.
  • Next, place a trap loaded with bait inside each duct, up against the interior wall. If you’ve noticed mouse droppings, you may also place traps around those areas.
  • Replace the grates over each heating vent and turn your system back on. You’ll want to check the vents about once a day. If the mice persist, you may want to call a professional exterminator.
  • To prevent mice from getting back inside your vents, try using a layer of stainless steel mesh. Hardware cloth will keep out bugs, but mice will chew through it. You may also want to call a professional exterminator for suggestions.

mice in vent

Once you’ve gotten rid of the infestation, you may want to have your system checked to ensure no permanent damage was done—that’s where we come in. For more ideas on how to protect your vents and keep your heating and cooling systems at their best, give us a call.