Mice are such a nuisance, and dealing with them can be exhausting. They chew incessantly and damage clothing, books, electrical wires, furniture, food products, and any other household item they can reach. They also spread diseases through their saliva, urine, droppings, and nesting material, so how do these rodents get into upstairs apartments?
Mice get into upstairs apartments in numerous ways, including the AC/heating unit, plumbing, poorly sealed doors, windows, and siding gaps. They can squeeze and gain entry into your home through spaces only a quarter-inch wide. If their head can fit, they’ll get in easily.
Nobody wants to have mice in their home, but if you find one in your house, you have to get rid of it and keep others from coming in. Take a look at how mice access apartments on upper floors and how to keep them out of your upstairs home.
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Different Ways Mice Get in Upstairs Apartments
Mice can get into upper floors of buildings or homes through multiple places. These include the following:
Mice are remarkable climbers and will slip into your apartment through an open window. They can use tree limbs touching your house as a ladder and then jump in through the window or gaps around the window.
Close and lock your windows to prevent mice from getting in if you don’t have screens. If the screens are in place, check for holes. Also, seal any gaps with hardware cloth or steel wool if your window doesn’t shut completely.
Mice might not use the conventional route up the stairs like humans, but they can go upstairs if they choose. They usually have no problem climbing up steps unless the surface is slippery, such as stainless steel or slick plastic.
So long as there’s a grip, mice can climb any stairs, such as linoleum, carpet, tiles, and wood. Residential buildings are unlikely to have slippery stairs, making them easy for mice to climb.
Most mice species can also quickly jump a foot high, and they often do it without any trouble. Therefore, mice can jump up the staircase and sneak into upstairs apartments through the tiny space between the door and the floor. They can not only jump, but they also use the railing or handrail to make the climb manageable and faster.
Mice can enter through small gaps and spaces around cables and pipes that connect the AC system to the interior of your home. As prevention, check for holes in the sealant around walls and doors. You can also put stainless steel pads around the pipes and cables because mice can’t chew through them, then seal the holes with caulk.
Air ducts also provide perfect hiding spots for mice. The rodents use them to move up and down different floors in a building, nest, and sleep between meals. Additionally, the insulation in the walls provides an excellent medium for mice to go around freely.
Holes and cracks in the foundation provide an easy entry for mice into apartment blocks.
You can use sturdy materials like sheet metal, concrete mortar, and hardware cloth to seal holes. More importantly, avoid using less durable materials like plastics and rubber because mice can chew them.
Check vent flashings and roofing to ensure they’re adequately sealed. I recommend that you inspect the seals at least once every year.
Mice can easily climb up to 13 inches on a vertical and smooth wall. If the wall material offers a lot of grips, such as bricks, they can go further up. They can scale the exterior wall of your apartment building, and as mentioned, they can enter through a window, gap, or hole.
Not only can mice go up walls, but they can also travel inside a wall. Cavity walls with a rough surface or wood make it easy for the rodents to climb because they can dig in their claws. They use the internal structure to move from lower floors into the upper floors of multi-story buildings.
Plumbing lines in apartment buildings allow mice to move to upper floors. These rodents are known to find their way through holes around oven gas and plumbing lines.
Mice can also enter through gaps around pipes under the bathtub, sinks, and washing machines. They can even enter via drainage pipes with poor or no sealing.
Getting Rid of Mice in Upstairs Apartments
When mice get into your upstairs apartment, it could indicate an infestation on the lower floors. Once you identify how the rodents got in, you can put measures to keep your home mouse-free.
Here are a few things that you can do.
When your apartment isn’t clean, it provides numerous hiding spots for mice where they can feel safe and comfortable. Cleaning your home reduces hiding spots and drives mice away.
- Use bleach as it’s a great cleaning agent and an excellent mouse repellant.
- Vacuum regularly.
- Pick up and put away shoes, clothes, baskets, boxes, and bags.
- Sweep and vacuum or mop to keep random small items and crumbs off the floor.
- Move furniture from the wall to keep mice from hiding behind it.
An effective way to get rid of mice is to remove what they love most. Mice thrive in places with plenty of food and always find their way into food cabinets.
So, make sure to store all your non-refrigerated food items such as coffee grounds, crackers, rice, and flour in air-tight, mouse-proof containers such as glass jars.
Take the trash out regularly and keep the lid on garbage closed to keep the rodents away. Taking out the garbage frequently prevents it from overflowing and attracting mice. Also, rinse off dishes immediately after use and place them inside the dishwasher.
Unfortunately, the mice might easily access food in another apartment in the same block. A constant food supply will keep them within the building and cause an uptick in the mouse population. Try to reach out and speak with other residents to remove the rodents’ easy access to food.
Having mice in your home indicates that your apartment has one or more entry points. Find the entry point and fix the problem to make sure mice don’t keep getting in the same way.
- Patch up holes.
- Repair loose or broken pipes and drains.
- Fill in cracks in walls.
- Install screens on windows and doors.
- Prune any tree limbs that mice might use as a platform to jump into your home.
- Seal gaps with caulk or steel wool. Although steel wool isn’t permanent, it keeps mice away from your space because they can’t chew it.
Load traps with tasty bait and set them to catch any mice in your house. Put the trap or bait wherever you find mouse droppings or in high activity areas, such as behind or under furniture and in dark corners.
The ideal places to set your traps include:
- Kitchen. Mice always look for food in the kitchen.
- Storage areas. Mice usually chew through different items to create a nest, and the storage area is full of items that can provide the perfect nesting spot.
- Bedroom. Mice like comfort and your bed and bedding provide just the kind of comfort they like.
How you dispose of the mice depends on whether your trap kills or just contains the mice. Consider your health and wellbeing and the local laws when disposing of dead mice. For live mice, dispose of them in an appropriate place such as a wooded area, preferably at night.
Mice are nocturnal, and their chances of survival increase if you release them into the open at night. Also, wooded areas provide the necessary cover for the rodents to escape from predators.
After sealing all entry points, clean your house regularly with bleach. As mentioned earlier, bleach is an excellent mouse repellant and a great cleaning agent.
Additionally, you can use natural mouse repellants to keep mice away, including the following:
- Cayenne or black pepper. Sprinkle generous amounts of cayenne or black pepper in places where you find mice. You can wrap the pepper in pieces of cloth if you have babies or pets.
- Peppermint oil. Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and distribute them strategically around the house. Change the cotton balls regularly when the smell starts fading away.
- Baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda in areas where mice frequent most and leave it overnight. Clean up the powder in the morning and repeat the process for several days.
Even after you’re certain your apartment is mouse-free, you must remain vigilant to ensure no other mice get into your house.
Consider getting yourself a cat. While it shouldn’t be the primary reason for keeping one, having a cat is an effective way of keeping mice at bay.
Mice can enter your house through tiny openings, and living on an upper floor doesn’t make you immune from these rodents. And while finding a mouse inside your apartment is anything but pleasant, fortunately, it’s possible to get rid of it fast and successfully.
Once you identify entry points, it’s critical to take the necessary steps to keep your home free of mice. Call the building’s maintenance team to make the necessary repairs. Additionally, if you have a mice problem, ask your landlord or property manager to hire professional pest control services before the problem escalates.