Wait, did you just hear a squeak coming out of the oven or the dryer vent? Can mice live in appliances? They absolutely can. Appliances offer protected nesting spaces, heat, and often easy access to a food source. While this is a great deal for the mice, it’s not great for you. After all, mice don’t pay rent, and they can cause damage to your appliances and pose a health risk to you and your family. Here we cover how to identify if there are mice in your appliances and how to get rid of them.
Signs of Mice in Appliances
Have you heard scratching around your dryer? Or perhaps noticed some gnaw marks by the oven? Even if you don’t see them, mice may be living in your appliances. These are some telltale signs you are unintentionally hosting mice:
- Droppings. Whether it’s a trail of tiny brown pellets or mounds of dried urine, mice will leave their waste all over. You’ll notice it heaviest in the areas where they spend the most time.
- Footpaths. Smudges and footprints that create a trail around your kitchen or laundry room are another sign the rodents have made themselves at home. Gnaw marks are also an indicator along these paths.
- Strong smell of urine. Mice urinate often because they use the strong, musty smell to establish territory. The smell is often confused with ammonia, but unlike the cleaner, it is anything but clean.
- Mouse noises. If you hear scratching from inside your appliances, you probably have mice inside. You may also hear mice vocalizing in high-pitched squeaks.
- Nests. Torn paper, stashes of stolen pet food or people food, or perhaps a ball of lint matted with mouse poop could all be signs of a mouse nest.
- Appliance wiring damage. Mice chew everything, including wires. Avoid trying to fix this on your own, as you may put yourself at risk of electrical shock. Instead, rely on appliance repair professionals like our team at Mr. Appliance.
How to Get Rid of Mice in an Oven
Unfortunately, a mouse nest in the oven is far from uncommon. In fact, it’s one of the more popular appliances for mice to live in because there’s an ample supply of crumbs and a warm, cozy space to hide in. And if you find signs of a mouse in the oven drawer, you can almost be sure there’s a nest somewhere in the oven.
Here are some steps for getting rid of mice in your oven:
First, start lowering the population by placing traps in strategic areas. Mice reproduce extremely fast, so if your issue is out of control, you may need an exterminator to clear the nests out for you.
Continue to discourage mice by keeping the house clean of crumbs and food spills.
Next, find the holes that let mice in, and block them with wire mesh or caulk, as appropriate.
Place cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around the house, inside and out. This naturally repels rodents and could be a good extra measure to keep them away.
Related Topic: The 5 Most Common Oven Issues to Watch Out For
What to Do About Mice in the Dryer and Dryer Vent
The dryer is the most common appliance to find a mouse in. Dryer ventilation system problems are usually to blame, such as holes in a vent hose, a loose or broken seal between the wall and the appliance, or a broken vent flap outside.
To get rid of mice in your dryer or dryer vent, simply lure them out of the machine or vent with traps. Some traps come with scents that attract mice, or you can add bait, such as peanut butter.
After you’ve done that, take measures to prevent future mouse problems. Wipe out your dryer and dryer vent endpoints with white vinegar to remove odors that could attract other mice. Use steel wool or caulk to block exterior cracks or holes that mice could get through. You also may consider installing critter-proof dryer vent covers. Finally, reduce lint around and in your dryer system, as mice love to use soft lint to cushion their nests. Vacuum behind your dryer regularly and get professional dryer vent cleaning at least once a year.
How to Get Rid of Mice in the Washing Machine
Another popular space for mice is your washing machine because the warmth of the laundry room is inviting. To get rid of mice in the washer, lure them out using baited traps, or hire an exterminator if needed. Then patch any holes around the drainpipe or anywhere else mice may enter. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your laundry room to remove mouse smells.
Potential Damage Caused by Mice in Appliances
Besides the heart palpitations you might feel when you find a mouse in your laundry or zipping across the kitchen, mice can cause other damage like illnesses, appliance malfunction, and more. Mouse urine and feces not only smell horrible, but it can also carry various diseases like salmonella and hantavirus. Mice also chew constantly, which means it’s likely that they’ll chew appliance wiring and cause the machine to short-circuit, stop working, or become a fire hazard.
If your appliances sustained damage from mice, our experts can help. To learn more, contact your local appliance pros at Mr. Appliance, schedule an appointment online or give us a call today.