With the mice boom over the past two years, it’s hardly surprising that mice infestations in
private homes have become somewhat of an epidemic. As professional declutterers, we do occasionally come across these little critters but we don’t run away screaming, instead being professional and helping our clients sort things out and keep mice away. The number of pest control
calls regarding mice has increased drastically in the past two years. Naturally, there is a simple
explanation for these raids. Mice are looking for food. During the lockdown and the reduced
public services during the pandemic, rodents all across the UK have bred out of control.
Naturally, the mice can’t compete for the scarce food sources in the wild with larger rodents like
rats, squirrels and gophers, so they have to seek sustenance in places their competitors can’t
reach. Unfortunately, your home is precisely such a place, especially if it’s cluttered, rich in food
Why do mice love clutter?
When a mouse seeks a winter home, it looks predominantly for three things – food, warmth and
security. While food is the biggest driver in their behaviour, they would probably prefer to seek
sustenance elsewhere if they have no place to nest. So having your home cluttered is the
perfect place to welcome these pesky pests. Mice truly love cluttered spaces, as they provide
them with enough places to hide from danger. Furthermore, their agile bodies can move easily
through the mess, effectively losing any chasers.
Moreover, the clutter is the perfect place to find materials to make their nest. Cardboard, fabric,
paper – everything a modern mouse needs to create a genuinely comfortable crib.
What other pests like clutter?
Clutter in your home is not only welcoming toward mice, however. Many pests prefer a dirty,
messy place where they can find food quickly and stay away from the dangerous open fields.
Most commonly, newborn wasp queens would find such a place perfect for their winter slumber
and a suitable spot to start their new colony. Also, cockroaches find it delightful to live in such
sites, as they offer a wonderful place to hide from predators like pets and humans.
Bed bugs are also among the common pests when there is an unorganised storage unit.
All of these pests use the clutter in your home to hide. And while they are not pleasant to have
around, mice are by far the most dangerous among them.
Signs of mice infestation
While mice will rarely attack, you would want to keep yourself, your kids and your pets away
from any signs of this pest. Mice carry many dangerous diseases that can be cured but
definitely won’t be the highlight of your year. The worst part is that they don’t have to bite you to
transmit the disease. Instead, they can transfer them through their bodily fluids, droppings and
even fur. In other words, you only need to eat some food that mice previously touched. So it’s
crucial to notice you have a mice infestation as soon as the first signs become apparent.
If you start hearing noises from the walls or storage places like the attic and basement, or if your
pets behave weirdly suddenly, you most probably have an uninvited guest. If it’s a mouse, you
will notice its droppings, which would be scattered all across the floor and wherever the mouse
goes. Overnight, mice can produce up to 80 droppings the size of small rice grains. Also,
you could smell the foul odour of the mouse’s urine, and you will also notice signs of chewing on
your food. Needless to say, the food that mice have attacked is no longer fit for consumption.
However, the most obvious sign you have mice problems is to see a nest somewhere in your
stored items. That’s why the less clutter you have, the more inconvenient for the mice it would
Benefits of decluttering
The benefits of decluttering your home are not only in saving yourself from uninvited guests that
carry diseases and other dangers. Decluttering your home will significantly boost your mood and
help your mental health. Minimalism is not for everyone, we know that, but just piling up
pointless stuff that has zero applications in your life and will probably never be used is simply
not healthy. Such strong attachments will help you deal with more significant mental problems
since it’s an easy way to prove to yourself that you are in control of your own life. That’s the first
In addition, a cleaner home will help you focus better on your work, projects, and overall health.
And as we are talking about rodent problems, we can’t stress this enough – clutter is a breeding
ground for mice and all sorts of pests. So, if you declutter your home, you will effectively take
away the pests’ security, thus deterring them from ever coming into your home.
Where decluttering is a must
Having your home clutter free is a must. It’s quite stressful living among piles and piles of
pointless stuff, always on the lookout for falling boxes. Still, having some clutter in your storage
areas like basements, attics, and garage is a bit more understandable. Still, if you don’t want to
lose them to pests, you must be prepared to have them regularly cleaned.
Attics and basements
Attics and basements are the most common places you will find mice and other pests, as those
places are usually rarely visited and have easy access to food and nesting materials. So
naturally, even though it’s understandable to have some levels of clutter inside, you need to
store it properly and not just have it piled up. Use shelves to ensure your floors are clean and
have them arranged so that it would be easily spotted if mice have been chewing on boxes.
Most importantly, don’t store stuff you never intend on using. Use these storage spaces only for
things you occasionally need, like summer clothing, sports equipment, Christmas decorations,
Garages are like attics and basements with the added downside of being way too easy to
breach by mice. Having some storage boxes in your garage is inevitable, as it is where you will
keep all your travelling-by-car-related items. Still, that doesn’t mean that everything you can’t
find a place for should go to the garage. Keep your car’s home as clean as you keep yours. It’s
just a common courtesy.
This should go without saying, but your kitchen is not a storage unit. You need space there so
you can move freely and don’t trip over boxes while carrying hot pans or other dangerous items
like knives, for example. Moreover, having a cluttered kitchen is like building an all-inclusive
hotel for all sorts of pests. That’s not something you want to do.
One would think that having their home clean and tidy is enough. Wrong! If you live in a dump,
where all sorts of rodents would feel right at home, it’s inevitable for them to get inside looking
for food. Moreover, this will bring far bigger problems than mice. Rats are far more dangerous,
and they love living in waste. Therefore, keeping your outside surroundings decluttered is just
as important as keeping your home straight and clean.
What to do
Keeping your storage units and outside space decluttered and mice-hostile is really not that
hard. All you need to do is follow some simple tips, and you will not only keep all sorts of pests
at bay, but your storage units and outside space will look much bette
Ditch the cardboard
Cardboard may be convenient for storing, as it’s relatively cheap and light. However, all sorts of
rodents are pretty fond of this material, as it’s great for keeping their teeth and claws sharp. So
instead of cardboard, try going for sealed, tight plastic containers or metal ones if you can afford
Wash before storage
Having everything cleaned before storage will not only deter pests from getting in and making it
their winter (or permanent) home but will also prolong the lives of your stored belongings, and
they will be ready for work at a moment’s notice.
Freezing is your friend
One thing that mice truly despise is cold. That’s why they will most often build their nests near a
heat source. So naturally, freezers shouldn’t be just a friend but your BFF when you are keeping
food. Freezers and refrigerators are the most hostile places where you can store your food, and
mice won’t dare go inside.
Be more careful with the leftovers
Mice are opportunistic pests which scavenge for food, so the easier you make it, the more mice
you will have. For example, if you forget your dirty dishes in the sink, don’t empty out the bin
before you go to bed, and in general, keep quantities of food not safely stored, mice would take
it as a welcome sign. So, be careful with your leftovers, and always throw them outside in a
What to do if you already have a mice infestation
If you already have a mice infestation, the best course of action is to call a professional mice control provider, as this will spare you a lot of headaches and failed attempts at catching mice.
Even if you want to try some DIY methods of getting rid of rodents, you must abide by the local
rules on how to dispose of their bodies. Keep in mind that just throwing them in the garbage is a
huge health hazard and, in many places, will cost you a massive fine if caught. The best thing to
do when you find mice is to get a professional to find their nest and entry point and effectively
eliminate the problem.