Mouse problem? Tuckpointing may be the answer
Steel wool stuffing and repainting walls aren't the only way to keep mice away
In the first two years since I’d moved in, I’d had four mice. As someone who has musophobia, this was driving me up a wall. If I was living in a single-family home, I may have been able to blame it on this one address. However, what really made me scratch my head was the lack of mice sightings in any of the other 20 units. Why were mice hitting up my unit so much? I tried steel wool. I tried checking pipes. I crawled around on the floor to look for small holes. I set down poison (before I got a dog). I strategically put traps down. Still, the mice would come.
Exterminators (and my father after I called him while standing on my bed) showed up, walked around inside and couldn’t narrow down an exact spot of entry. The first exterminator shrugged and said multi-units commonly have more pest problems because you’re dealing with a lot of people’s sanitary habits at once, on top of people constantly moving in and out. That didn’t sound right to me. I’d had more mice after buying this one condo unit than I’d had combined after living in three states while renting multiple apartment units and a condo.
Recommended Read: “Battle of the Bedbugs”
It wasn’t until one extermination manager showed up that I finally got the answer that everyone had been ignoring. While spraying outside for garden pests, he strolled around the building to check our rat traps. (This is another issue in Chicago.) He walked to my back door and stared at the door. Then he stared a little harder.
“When was the last time your condo board got tuckpointing done?” he asked me. “You have holes all over the place by your back door.”