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9 Ways Mice and Rats Are Secretly Entering Your Home

Is your home actually rodent-proof? Are you sure?

Many of our customers are flabbergasted when we uncover the ways that mice and rats have been infiltrating their homes—sometimes for years without them realizing it. When you’re the size of a human, it’s hard to imagine some of the teeny-tiny spaces rodents can squeeze through to enter a house.

If you’re ready to find out how rodents are getting inside your home, keep reading!


While some of these entry points might be expected, a few of them may shock you.

1. Cracks In the Foundation

Cracks can form in your home’s foundation over time due to extreme temperature changes as well as freezing and thawing. Since mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, they can enter your home through foundation cracks or places where tiny bits of the concrete have crumbled away.

2. Holes for Pipes and Cables in Exterior Walls

If you have cable or a central air conditioning system, you’re bound to have holes in your exterior walls for the cable wires and refrigerant line. Typically, there’s a little extra space in those holes that rats and mice are able to squeeze through.

3. Open Windows

Even if an open window is on the second floor, rats can use their sharp claws to climb up latticework, vines, bushes, a nearby tree, or even a downspout to access an open window. If your windows have screens, check for gaps around the edges as well as rips and holes.

4. Spaces Under Doors

Yes, it’s true: mice could be getting in through your front door. Make sure all of your home’s exterior doors are equipped with a well-fitting sweep so that there’s no gap between the bottom of the door and the door frame. Don’t forget to check the sweep on your garage door as well—another common entry point for rodents.

5. Damaged Porches and Siding

Mice and rats are smart enough to look for wood that’s wet or rotting due to excess moisture or damage from insects, like termites. The rodents will chew through the wood with their strong, sharp incisors and then find a way into your home’s crawl space. If your crawl space is not properly sealed, they will then make their way up into your house.

6. Gaps Around the Roof

Rodents are experts at finding the flaws in your roof. They will scurry around, looking for gaps or rotting areas in the soffit, beneath loose shingles, or under gables where they can gnaw through and enter your attic. Rodents typically get to the roof by climbing up trees growing next to your home, but they can also use your home’s gutters like a system of ladders and walkways.

7. Vents

Vents into your home’s attic, crawlspace, and garage are some of the easiest entry points for rodents. While the grills covering the vents may not look big, they’re large enough for mice and small rats to slip inside.

8. The Chimney

Chimneys can be especially inviting to rodents during winter because of how warm they are. If you start a fire in your fireplace and notice a lot of smoke and a strong odor, it’s very likely that a rat has built a nest in the flue.

9. Your Plumbing

It’s no myth. Rats have been known to enter sewer lines and crawl up through residential drains and out of toilets. This incredible feat is made possible by rats’ swimming, climbing, and problem-solving abilities. Bottom line: always check the bowl before you take a seat on “the throne.”

At Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc., our pest professionals have the training and experience to eliminate your home’s rodent problem. Don’t wait to contact us online or give us a call: (800) 615-3920.