How do I conduct an exterior inspection for mice?

There are many different kinds of mice in southern Ontario and not all of them enter at ground level. The house mouse rarely attempts to create its entryways. They tend to wait by the house until a door is left open or to enter under a gap beneath the garage door. House mice are permanent residents and will never leave the house even if their access to food is limited. They move into human homes and occupy them by force, and that force can be enormous. House mice reproduce about twice as fast as wild mice due to their having evolved alongside humanity.

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Wild mice rarely meet humans unless they are out in the woods on a hike but as the winter approaches the deer mouse and the field mouse, the two most common Ontario wild mice will attempt to enter your home. Not the way you would think, however. They can jump and climb great heights and can climb your down-spout or leap from a tree onto your roof. From there they will make an opening, often through a fascia vent, and enter the attic. This allows them to be almost invisible. Unlike house mice, the wild mice hunt for food outside and use the attic for nesting. This means that in the fall you will have to get up on a ladder and get onto your roof to do a complete mouse inspection. Performing an inspection for house mice at the ground level and then inspecting the roof. This is incredibly dangerous and risky, even a young strong man with training risks his life each time he scales a roof. If you are in your senior years or if you have a disability then doing this inspection is impossible and not recommended even if you could do it. 

If you suspect you have rodents in your home the best thing you can do is not to inspect but to prepare. Go outside and remove all detritus from the yard, piles of wood, garbage and piles of leaves. Old tree stumps with rotten holes that mice could hide in as they approach your house. Bird feeders, water sources like pools or ponds or water features like a small water fall will draw rats. You can make sure not to eat outside and to make sure mice have no reason to be on your property. Trim the grass down short so they have nowhere to hide, get rid of any gardens of foliage at the walls of your house as mice can hide in there and make an opening to your home without being noticed.