The chewed corner of the cereal box and a little tail whisking out of sight tell you that a common house mouse (Mus musculus) has moved in with you. And where there's one mouse, there's also a family of mice. While mice won't chew through metal, concrete, cement board and high-density fiberglass-reinforced plastic, they'll make a mess of nearly every other building material, including lightweight fiberglass panels and fiberglass batt insulation.
Mice can destroy the insulation in a home in three to five years' time. In a six-month study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Veterinary Science Research Facility, five different insulating materials were exposed to mice under controlled conditions. All five types of insulation tested, including fiberglass batts, fiberboard insulating panels, rock wool, closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam and vermiculite, suffered severe damage from the colonies of mice.
Preventing Mice Infestations
Preventing entry protects your home from mouse damage. A mouse can squeeze through a quarter-inch hole, approximately the size of your pinkie finger's tip. You should check around the foundation, under the eaves, around all water and gas pipes, air-conditioning units, windows and doors for small cracks and holes. To keep mice out, cover holes with metal flashing or pack every crack, crevice and hole with steel wool, and then caulk or cement over it. Also add a metal weatherstripping strip at the bottom of exterior doors to keep mice out.