How Can Mice Get into Apartments?

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If you are reading this article, you probably have mice in your apartment. Understandably, you were a bit frightened to have these rodents scrambling around. The reality is, in many parts of the United States and especially major cities in the U.S., mice in apartments are a common problem. The issue becomes when the landlord or property manager does not quickly and thoroughly respond to your complaint and address the problem.

Mice in Apartments

So, how can mice get into apartments? There are a number of ways mice can get into your apartment. Essentially, they (mice) squeeze into any hole or opening they can, including:

  • Open doors and windows
  • Gaps found in doors
  • Holes in walls and floors
  • Sewer lines
  • Foundation exteriors of units
  • Roof holes
  • Crawl spaces
  • Heating or cooling system
  • Mice can also be common in new construction buildings when all holes and walls have not been fully sealed.

The problem of mice in apartments tends to increase in the Fall season. Once you have a mice problem, your property manager or landlord should hire a professional pest control service to get rid of them, or the problem could quickly escalate.

How to Identify if You Have a Mouse Problem?

If you think you have a mouse problem in your apartment, here are some signs to look for –

  • Strange scratching and squeaking noises – mice tend to make noises like scratching and squeaking and are especially active at night, which is when you might start to hear them. Example of Mice Sound
  • Food container holes – Mice like to chew through things to get to the food, so if you notice holes in your food cartons, bags and containers, then you may have a mouse problem.
  • Droppings – another sign of a mouse problem is droppings. This means they have found food in your apartment and have already invaded the space. Mouse droppings resemble small tablets or pellets.

How to Prevent the Problem of Mice?

While you cannot possibly prevent the problem in its entirety (as the source of the problem might be outside of your apartment), there are some important things you can do to dramatically reduce the chances of having a mouse problem. Some of them are –

  • Keep the house as clean and clutter-free as possible – pick up your clothes, shoes and other items.
  • Take the trash out regularly and keep covered, always – close the lid will help keep the rodents away while taking out the trash ensures it doesn’t overflow.
  • Clean your floors regularly – clean floors eliminate food particles that mice are attracted to.
  • Avoid leaving snack or other food in their original bags – mice can find their way into your apartment and cabinets drawn by the smell of food and easily tear open bags. If you have opened food, it’s is best to keep such items in the fridge or in airtight hard containers
  • Close all your doors – do not leave your front or back door open especially if you are on the lowest floor.
  • Don’t leave food outdoors
  • Practice Cleanliness
  • Wash your dirty dishes – food residue on dirty dishes can also attract mice, which is why it is important to wash immediately and put them away.

There are several things your landlord can do, including sealing up roof holes, windows, and utility holes. In general, these building issues are things your landlord should do, and you should not attempt, unless otherwise agreed to in your lease.

If you are renting an apartment, you should immediately let your property manager, building manager or landlord know of the problem, so they can contact a professional pest control company to remove the issue and potentially prevent mice from occurring in the future. For further reading, check out this article on looking for apartments without mice.


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