Mice are the last thing you want in your food storage. In addition to discarding your invaded, expensive food, the mice carry the risk of disease. To avoid this annoying problem let’s find out, what is the best food storage to keep mice out?
Here’s the best food storage to keep mice out:
- Avoid Cardboard
- Store Food In Glass Containers
- Use Metal Food Containers
- Spray Food Areas With Peppermint Oil
- Use Metal Food Canisters
- Avoid Plastic Bags
- Use Metal Dry Storage For Pet Food
- Use Airtight Hard Plastic Food Containers
- Use The Refrigerator
- Metal Cabinets
- Mice Proof
- Feline Guards
This article will explain in detail how to take simple steps to prevent mice from invading your food space, spreading disease and ruining the food 1. Read on because you’re steps away from reclaiming your food storage areas from unwelcome mice.
The Best Food Storage To Keep Mice Out
1. Avoid Cardboard and Paper
Your pantry might have lots of cardboard boxes storing vegetables, canned foods or bags of flour. In addition, many foods come stored in cardboard boxes like cereal boxes or oatmeal. Flour and other similar products come stored in paper bags.
Well, mice love chewing cardboard and paper bags, so you should remove them from your food storage 2. Instead, transfer those foods to containers made out of plastic, glass or metal like the ones listed below in the next tips.
Preferably, you’ll want to get containers that seal completely and don’t allow any smells out whatsoever.
2. Store Food In Glass Containers or Jars
Transfer all the food in cardboard or paper into glass containers or jars with airtight lids. Or purchase food items already in glass. Mice cannot chew through the glass. In addition, the glass confines the odors of the food which attracts the mice.
Use containers or jars with lids made of glass, wood or metal. Most of the glass containers come with plastic lids which mice can chew through. These are okay if you’re stacking other containers on top of them hiding the plastic lid.
Most of the glass jars have a metal, glass or wood lid. Some of them clamp down which is a nice design feature for the kitchen.
3. Use Metal Food Containers
The metal food containers serve the same purpose of the glass containers 3. Transfer any food coming in cardboard or paper to the metal containers. Only use the metal containers coming with metal lids.
The ones with a plastic lid will not keep the mice out, unless you stack them hiding the lid.
Consider using metal lunchboxes for storage. They serve the same purpose and can stack easily on top of each other. They make many lunchboxes in different styles looking more like a metal storage container than a typical old style lunchbox.
They also have the retro style lunchboxes too.
4. Spray Food Areas With Peppermint Oil
Mice dislike the smell of peppermint oil. Peppermint oil comes in either a spray bottle or a small bottle with a dropper used for aromatherapy. Use the spray around the garage, doors, the base of kitchen cabinets or around the area where the food is stored.
Soak a cotton ball with peppermint oil and strategically place it near areas where the mice might access the food areas of you home. Another option good for the basement or garage where food is stored is moth balls.
Also, check for peppermint soap and use it to wash the shelves where the food is stored.
5. Use Metal Food Canisters
These are similar to the metal containers or lunchboxes but are good for countertops. They come in many colors and are decorated nicely for the kitchen. Transfer food from cardboard or bags to the canister. Many popular uses include:
- Tea bags
- Bread boxes
- Wrapped candy
The mice won’t be able to chew through the metal or their lids as long as they’re not plastic.
6. Avoid Plastic Bags
Food stored in plastic bags like potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels and snack food are easy targets for a mouse to chew through. Transfer these food items into one of the many glass or metal containers in this article.
In addition, you can keep the chips in the bag it came in but store the bag into a larger metal container like the ones made for pet food.
7. Use Metal Dry Storage For Pet Food
Dog and cat food are also popular with mice. The ones coming in heavy paper bags attract the mice and are easy for them to invade. Moving the food or the whole bag, into large metal containers with metal lids can solve the problem.
Avoid the heavy plastic containers and purchase a metal one made for pet storage. Some of them are decorated with a pet theme and look good anywhere.
8. Use Airtight Hard Plastic Food Containers
Hard plastic food storage containers look attractive and stylish. Although the hard plastic is not 100% protected from the mouse chewing through, it’s a better option than the cardboard cereal box.
In addition, using mylar food bags inside the plastic container helps to seal in the odor of the food. This helps to prevent the mice from targeting the container.
9. Use The Refrigerator
There are many items stored in the cabinets which can be moved into the refrigerator instead. If there is a food item in cardboard or a bag, and you don’t have another mouse proof container to transfer it to, use the refrigerator.
The refrigerator and freezer are sealed shut when closed. Therefore the mice can’t squeeze inside and damage the food.
10. Metal Storage Cabinets
Use metal storage cabinets instead of wood. The metal doesn’t allow the mice to chew through the wood or cardboard backings. If the metal cabinet is sealed properly, they won’t get inside.
Although they’re unattractive to most living areas, metal cabinets are great for food stored in basements or garage spaces.
11. Mice Proof Your Home
Fixing many problems or issues around the home can help prevent mice infestation. By correcting problems and getting rid of the mice will solve your food storage problem. Follow these tips for a mouse free environment.
Fix All Water Leaks
Mice aren’t only after food. They also need access to clean water to survive. If you’ve got water leaks in your pantry and have an infestation, you’ve been the generous water supplier for a family of mice.
For mice-free food storage, you’ll have to let go of some of that generosity. Get rid of any condensation sources or water leaks as they’re the biggest culprits for attracting mice. You’ll also have to check for moisture on high humidity days 4.
Target The Mice Entry Points
Your food storage will always be unprotected as long as it has open entry points 5, which could include:
- Large spaces under your doors.
- Cracks in the pantry wall.
- Unclosed drains under your tap.
- Attic gaps
Mice can crawl in through all of these tiny spaces.
- Use chalk and steel wool to seal small holes and cracks.
- Use door draft stoppers to block off large gaps under doors.
- Fill in foundations holes or large cracks with cement or metal.
- Close gaps which allow attic access with metal mesh.
- Cover chimneys and vents with wire mesh.
Set Up Mouse Traps
No matter how sealed off your entry points are, you can never go wrong with leaving some mouse traps in your cabinets or food storage areas. Place them properly and keep them out of reach for children and pets 6.
Check these traps regularly. If you see any droppings around your food storage, but all traps are empty, switch up their placement or use bait 7.
There’s plenty of options today to get rid of mice. Some effective options are:
- Snap trap
- Bucket trap
- Electric trap
- Glue trap
- Catch and release traps.
The snap-trap has been the go-to option for years, but even that has competition in this day and age.
You can find non-terminal mouse traps online. They capture the mouse and let you release it far away from the house. This way, the mouse doesn’t suffer.
Relocation Might Not Always Work
Unfortunately, these annoying creatures sometimes find a way back to your home regardless of how far you release them.
If you feel like that’s happening, the humane pest control measures aren’t quite doing the job. In that case, you could try mouse traps that get rid of these intruders as painlessly as possible.
For instance, that could be from a quick jolt of electricity in the case of an electric trap.
Take Care Of Current Mice Infestation
Prevention is generally better than cure, but that’s when you aren’t already infested with an entire family of mice. If that’s what you’re dealing with, make sure you get rid of the problem before implementing preventive measures 8.
The longer mice stay at your home, the deeper your problem gets. That’s because they don’t limit themselves to just one part of your house. Instead, they’ll:
- Expand and breed in other areas of your home.
- Gnaw through insulation and wires.
- Build nests.
You can book mouse repellent spray services for your home and pantry to make sure you get rid of the infestations as quickly as possible.
12. Feline Guards
A cat is your greatest ally in the war against mice. They’re naturally wired to hate mice, and they’ll do everything they can to catch them.
Mice have evolved to be quite aware of that, as cats are their primary predators. This is the result of thousands of years of evolution, and you can use it to your advantage by simply getting a cat 9.
Not only will cats catch the mice already infesting your home, they’ll also deter any other mice from entering. Having a cat won’t solve all your mice problems, it’s a piece of the puzzle which should be combined with the other tips 10.
What food containers are mouse proof? Mouse proof food storage containers are made of metal or glass. They also contain glass or metal airtight lids.
Can mice smell packaged food? Mice can smell packaged foods which attract them to the food storage area. Food stored in metal or glass is more difficult for a mouse to smell and prevents them from chewing through the container.
Read Next – More Food Storage Articles!
- CDC: Rat-bite Fever (RBF)
- Harvard University: Mice FAQS
- Utah State University Extension: How Can I Protect My Food Storage From Rodents And Hantavirus?
- University of California: House Mouse
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Controlling House Mice
- University of Kentucky: Control of Mice
- Michigan State University: Thinking like a mouse
- PennState Extension: Is There a Mouse in the House? Eliminate Mice with IPM
- Illinois Department of Public Health: House Mouse Prevention & Control
- University of Missouri Extension: Controlling House Mice