Don't Make Your House A Mouse House!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Builders are trying hard.  I agree that the connection where the AC lines enter the house, the spot that gets filled with a big glop of putty, is a pretty ugly sight.  So the builders are trying to dress it up. 

But in doing that, care needs to be taken to prevent rodentia from getting inside!  Don't make your house a mouse house!

This is new construction and a pretty setting. 

Eventually those plantings will get too big and be bothersome to the compressor's ability to breath, but that is a different issue altogether.

Can you see the prettied up AC connection to the house?

You have to agree, that is much better looking than putty!

Actually I like it a lot.

There is just one problem.  What you can't see is that this house is located right on the edge of a meadow with tall grass, trees and a creek.  It is mouse heaven!

And to quote Mr. Jinks of Pixie and Dixie fame, "I hate those meeces to pieces!"  (I fully realize you have to go back a long, long time to remember Mr. Jinks, but he came to mind.)

Looking inside at the connection against the house, you can see that we have a mouse invitational going on.

The opening is quite a bit larger than the connection.

That mesh you see is a plastic vapor wrap, excellent for moisture and wind protection, but not so good against mice.

This insulated tubing and connection will be a mouse super highway into the house!

Now is the time to put the putty, and/or steel wool, to keep those critters out.  If they don't it is a GUARANTEE they will come inside, even this winter!

Why do I say that?

LIFE EXPERIENCE!  THIS IS HOW MICE GOT INTO OUR HOUSE!

And believe me, when they were done, it was a mess!  I didn't realize they were in there until they had quite the winter-vacation resort going on and I caught them during a convention.

So, now is the time to handle it.

My recommendation:  I like to compliment the builders when I see a good idea.  This connection cover is a good idea!  But look around when you see things like this to make sure it is thought through to the end.  If you don't your house might just become a mouse house like mine did.  Don't make your house a mouse house!

Let's leave the Mouse House to Walt Disney.

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Tammy - they're coming to take you away, ha ha, they're coming to take you away, ho, ho!  To the mousey farm, where life is beautiful all the time and...

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Nov 16, 2011 02:59 PM #23
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Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I live in the country and it seems as the weather gets colder we always get a mouse or two inside. Even with a (useless) cat.

Nov 16, 2011 03:24 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Erica - that's a bad sign!  You'd think the cat would be instinctive!  Maybe they fix each other meals?

Nov 16, 2011 03:27 PM #25
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Mice invaded my home 3.5 years ago. 

Since then I have a quarterly "check up" by my favorite pest control company "Bug Pros". 

First there were traps and sticky paper and feeding bins (not something you'd want to try).

He, Good Old Keith, comes every 3 months and "checks" my home over for signs.  I've been mouse free for 39 months.

 

Nov 16, 2011 03:51 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's a good idea Lenn.  We have the little black houses they go in and eat poison.  I have not seen evidence of them in a long time. 

So, to you go to the meetings?  "Hi, I'm Lenn.  I've been mouse free for 39 months..."

Nov 16, 2011 03:56 PM #27
Rainer
244,588
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

The best way to get rid out mice . . . . . get a cat!!

Regardless, this was a great post!

Nov 16, 2011 04:08 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

See number 24 above Donald!  Best to prevent them anyway with some good putty!  And thanks!

Nov 16, 2011 04:20 PM #29
Rainmaker
576,051
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Jay, that is why you are a pro and I recommend my clients hire inspectors like you... I try to look at the picture and find whats wrong... and I saw it, but missed the implication completely...

Nov 16, 2011 05:17 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Chris.  As soon as I saw it I wondered what they did with the flap inside.  Wasn't hard to figure out!

Nov 16, 2011 05:19 PM #31
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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate

Jay - that would be the last thing I would want in MY house! Great reminder...............

Nov 16, 2011 05:57 PM #32
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Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Either the cat is just plain stupid or doesn't care. He's too well fed.

Nov 16, 2011 08:45 PM #33
Rainmaker
972,826
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

I always look forward to your well written posts. You should see ours. That thing has enough orange foam on it to see it from outterspace. Luckily it's on the side of the house, fenced in.

Nov 16, 2011 10:54 PM #34
Rainmaker
287,206
Michael Dagner
Brokers Guild Classic - Denver, CO
Your Denver Homes Realty Expert

Hi Jay, first thing I did with my own new const. was to seal up all the open penetrations left by the builder.  Mice can get through the tiniest of openings, and they will.

Nov 16, 2011 11:47 PM #35
Rainer
234,320
Doug Bullwinkel
Vitek Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

I hate these little critters.  I use those electronic rodent plug-ins and they do really work.  Haven't had a mouse in the house for over 6 years while the neighbors are all overrun.

Nov 17, 2011 02:23 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Barbara-Jo - mice will get in anyway we let them, especially when it gets cold.  Down there, maybe when it gets hot?

Erica - I guess that happens.  We have dogs, and they simply don't care!

Greg - the sun deteriorates that foam to cotton candy and it is very easy to get through!

Michael - field mice need 1/4" to get in!  That's not much space!

I have heard they work too Doug.  We have a guinea pig and so until he goes we couldn't use those!

Nov 17, 2011 05:50 AM #37
Rainmaker
481,636
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com... - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

When I see a hole in my siding, I put some steel wool in and then cap it with some caulking.  Seams to work for me.

Nov 18, 2011 08:51 AM #38
Rainmaker
384,631
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay,

I saw a very similar thing on a new home. They used one side of a foundation vent but same thing, hole in the screen. And little mouse was having it was in.

Nov 18, 2011 09:01 AM #39
Anonymous
Anonymous

You're so funny!  I acutally remember the cat who "hated meeses to pieces," what a blast from the past.  Breaking up the mouse convention at their winter resort -- what a hoot!

 

Nov 18, 2011 01:42 PM #40
Rainmaker
1,278,156
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The steel wool is a great step Ken.  Rodents will not try to chew through it.

Don - they will get in anywhere people let them in!

Katie - that's pretty much what was going on!  It took a while to empty the convention hall.

Nov 18, 2011 05:02 PM #41
Rainer
239,777
Justin Dibbs
United Real Estate - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

I agree that looks great!  So much better than the older putty stuck in there.  I was just unpacking some stuff from my folks basement and guess what?  Evidence of a mice vacation sopt.

Nov 18, 2011 08:27 PM #42
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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