As winter approaches, mice and other rodents are likely to try to find new places to stay warm and fed. Outbuildings, including your prized pole building and storage shed, often serve as an ideal home for these unwanted visitors. Not only do mice carry disease and unpleasant smells, they are extremely destructive for such a small creature. They put anything with electrical wiring or cables at risk and have been known to ruin vehicles and even start fires.

Once you have an infiltration of mice in your shed, it can be difficult and costly to get rid of them. To help keep your building, equipment, and tools safe, it is best to take action before you have a problem. Read on to learn about three important preventative measures to keep mice and other rodents out of your pole barn and storage shed this winter.

Top 3 Preventative Tactics for Keeping Mice Out of Your Pole Building

1. Eliminate Potential Entry Points for Mice

Making sure your pole barn or storage shed is locked down tight is key to keeping these small and nimble creatures out. It has been proven that mice can climb, jump, and get through a hole smaller than the size of a dime, so attention to detail is particularly important. Doing a thorough walk around the perimeter of your building and identifying anywhere you can see light coming through from the outside is a great starting point for identifying problem areas. Some of the most common areas where you’re likely to find gaps is around the base or floor of the building, as well as doors and windows. Some reliable tactics for addressing gaps in your building include:

  • Adding weather stripping around doors and window
  • Using caulk and expanding foam to seal spaces around doors, windows, and foundation
  • Applying sealants to cracks and crevices in the floors and walls
  • Caulking around drains, vents, and pipes
  • Adding a barrier of stainless steel hardware cloth (buried wire mesh) around the perimeter of your building

When all else fails, steel wool is an inexpensive and effective tool for barricading a hole that you are unable to close through other methods. Steel wool is very difficult for mice to bite through and an irritant for their teeth.

Finally, be mindful of the potential opportunities for entry you create each day through your own use of the building. Make sure to close overhead and entry doors when not in use to help keep mice out.

2. Keep Your Pole Barn Clean

Mice enter your pole building looking for shelter and food. The more junk you have in your shed, the more places mice and other rodents have to hide and nest. Keeping your shed clean is a basic, preventative measure that goes a long way. It is especially important to get rid of any piles of materials inside of your shop, especially something like firewood. Also, limit any excess cardboard or storage boxes. Not only are these easy hiding spots but also make for great nesting material that will encourage habitation.

As much as possible, eliminate anything from your shed that would be considered food for your pesky visitor. Mice are not likely to nest permanently where there is not a food source close by. Of course, human food is an obvious thing to eliminate from the space; however, it is also important to think about what a mouse may consider food. This includes grains, seeds (even grass or vegetable seed), nuts, meat, or pet food. If you can’t completely eliminate the food source, consider a better option for storing and sealing it by using plastic storage containers instead of paper boxes or bags.

3. Control the Scent of Your Pole Barn

The scent of your shop can go a long way in either attracting or repelling mice from the building. With poor eyesight, mice rely very heavily on their scent for retracing their steps and getting back to their home. If you know you have had mice in your shop, washing and bleaching the floors is a great, easy option for removing the smell of any prior tracks. There are also natural scents that are known to repel mice. The most tested and reliable scent for keeping mice out of your shed is peppermint oil, but cinnamon, chili peppers, and cloves are other scents that act as a repellant.

If you are in a pinch, the smell of dryer sheets – something most people have on hand – can also work to repel mice; however, this option is much more temporary as the smell wears off fast and must be replaced often. Don’t waste your time on mothballs – these are often more harmful than helpful and have been debunked as a useful tool for keeping mice out.

Whatever you do, stay persistent. Implementing the tactics from this article is a great start. Setting traps and checking them often is also important. Knowing right away when you have a problem allows you to address it quickly.

Build with Rodent Prevention Top of Mind

When it comes to new construction, there are a number of choices that help in securing your building if keeping mice and other rodents out is a top priority. To start, bypass the dirt floor option and prioritize a concrete slab foundation. The concrete slab creates a tight seam around the base of the walls and saves you the effort of manual work arounds to prevent mice from entering through the base of your building or shed. Next, consider an upgrade to your pole barn door. Overhead doors offer far more protection than sliding doors with a tight, reliable seal at the base of the building. If you are set on having sliding doors, consider installing latches that help to keep the door tight against the building. Finally, hiring an experienced, high-quality builder goes a long way. Pole barn construction isn’t as easy as it looks. Select a builder who pays attention to the details and limits the amount of potential entrance points for mice and rodents right from the start.

At Greiner Buildings, we have the expertise necessary to help you build a pole barn that fits your wants and needs. We understand post frame construction completely, so we can help you design a building that is secure and functional. Submit a quote request to start the process today!