Steel wool is not just for cleaning your pots and pans. It is actually a great defense against little critters moving in for the winter. Mice move inside as the weather cools, making their winter homes in our walls, cabinets, sheds, and garages. Exterior generators, central air conditioning units, and gas grills look like ideal winter homes for mice. Mice and other rodents can destroy your investments and create potential fire hazards by chewing through wire insulation, building nests in fans, and leaving their waste wherever they go. Any hole bigger than 1/4 inch is big enough for mice to move in.
Using a combination of steel wool and moth balls can go a long way towards deterring mice nests. Mice cannot chew through the metal shavings in steel wool, and they do not like the smell of moth balls*. Before covering your grill or exterior generator/air conditioner to protect it from winter’s elements, sprinkle moth balls generously on and around the unit and in any spots that look like they have cozy nesting potential.
Take some pieces of steel wool and put them into any little crevices you find in your home. Inspect the areas around plumbing and electrical wiring, and completely fill any holes you find. Make sure you tear off a piece two to three times larger than the size of the hole. Where practical, applying caulk to the steel wool will ensure it stays in place. If you store a car or motorcycle all season in your garage, fill the tail pipe with steel wool. Don’t forget to check in the back of cabinets, near baseboard heaters or anywhere the little critters can get in.
*Moth balls should only be used in well-ventilated areas, away from children and pets. Moth balls work as a temporary preventative, but will likely not keep mice away from an existing nest.