Ever heard scratching noises coming from behind your walls, or worse, seen a mouse scurrying through your home? Mice are surprisingly nimble and can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces. So if you’re wondering, ‘Can mice get in lath and plaster walls?’ the answer is probably yes.
In this article, we explore the different ways mice can get into lath and plaster walls and what you can do to keep them out. We’ll also discuss some preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of having a mouse infestation in your home.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a better understanding of how to keep these pesky pests out of your house for good!
What Are Lath and Plaster Walls?
Before we dive into whether mice can get into lath and plaster walls, let’s first answer an important question: what are lath and plaster walls?
Lath and plaster walls are a traditional construction method that was common prior to the mid-20th century. These walls consist of overlapping wood strips called laths that are nailed to the wall studs, on which a mixture of lime, sand, and water (plaster) is then spread. This creates a strong surface that is able to support additional burdens such as wallpaper or adornments.
Lath and plaster walls are different from drywall systems, which use sheets of gypsum pressed between two pieces of cardboard. While not as popular in construction today, you may still find these walls in older homes. Understanding the difference will be essential if you suspect mice have managed to get through your lath and plaster walls!
Signs of Mice in Your Lath and Plaster Walls
Are you worried that mice are making themselves at home in your lath and plaster walls? Knowing the signs of a mouse infestation can help you identify if you have an issue and take the appropriate measures to eradicate them.
Here are some of the biggest signs that mice have entered your lath and plaster walls:
- Scampering noises. If you hear scurrying from behind the walls, chances are it’s a rodent.
- Droppings. If you find mice droppings around your walls, this is an obvious sign of a mouse infestation.
- Gnaw marks on wood or wires Mice need to chew on materials in order to keep their teeth from growing too long, so they often chew on wood or wires when they make their way into your walls.
- Unusual odors coming from the wall. Mice often produce an ammonia-like smell when they’re in an area for too long, so if you smell something odd emanating from your walls, it might be a good sign that it’s time to call an exterminator!
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s best to act quickly and contact a professional pest control service to help you eliminate any mouse infestations in your lath and plaster walls before they become even more of a problem.
Entry Points: How Mice Get In
If you’re getting suspicious about little critters taking up residence in your walls, you might be wondering how mice can even get inside lath and plaster walls in the first place.
There are a few possible entry points, which include:
Eaves or soffits
This is probably one of the easiest ways for mice to get in. If there’s a gap or hole on the underside of the eaves or soffits, then mice can find their way in and nest.
Chimneys and vents
Ventilation pipes and chimney flues often have gaps around them, allowing mice to enter. And don’t forget any outside dryer vents too!
Holes created by other pests
Termites, carpenter ants, and other pests can create holes in your lath and plaster walls that the little critters can use to sneak inside. So if you think you have a pest problem, it’s best to take care of it before dealing with any ant infestations or termite damage.
These are only some of the ways that mice can get into lath and plaster walls—but now that you know what to look for, it’ll be easier to keep them out!
Ways to Deter Mice From Entering Lath and Plaster Walls
As much as we don’t want them to, mice can actually get in walls. But don’t worry—you can take measures to protect your home from these little intruders. Here are some ways to deter mice from entering your lath and plaster walls:
Seal the Gaps
Find and seal any gaps, holes, or cracks that are large enough for a mouse to enter. Use metal flashing or wire mesh for larger openings since they are tougher than wood. Also, check any exposed pipes and wires for these gaps and seal them tightly if needed.
Mice are attracted to food, so make sure you keep all food items sealed tightly and clean up any messes immediately. Place lids on garbage cans and keep them away from the walls of your home. Mice also like warm spaces, so make sure there are no large piles of leaves or other debris near the house that provide hiding spots for them.
Install a Mice Repellent System
Using a combination of electrical repellents, ultrasonic sound waves, and infrared sensors can help keep mice away from your house. Many of these systems come with a warranty and guarantee that they will repel mice for at least six months or longer—so it’s worth investing in one if you think you’re dealing with an infestation issue.
Solutions for Preventing Future Mouse Infestations
Mice are notorious for infiltrating lath and plaster walls, but there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from getting into your home. Here are a few simple steps you can take to make your lath and plaster walls mouse-proof:
Seal any gaps or cracks
Mice can squeeze through really small gaps and cracks, so it’s important to seal up any holes or cracks you might find in your lath and plaster walls. If a mouse can’t get inside, then it won’t be able to make its home in your lath and plaster walls.
Install mouse guards/exclusion devices
Mice guards, or exclusion devices, are devices that prevent mice from getting through the openings of lath and plaster walls. These are typically installed along the upper edges of the wall, which is where mice typically enter. They’re inexpensive and easy to install, so they’re a great option for keeping mice out of your lath and plaster walls.
Use mouse traps
Mouse traps aren’t just good for killing mice—they can also be used as a preventative measure. Place some traps around the edges of your lath and plaster walls, so if any mice do manage to squeeze inside, they’ll get caught quickly before they can do much damage.
Plaster Repair Techniques to Fix Holes Made by Mice
The short answer is yes—mice can get into lath and plaster walls, and depending on how extensive the damage is, you may need to repair the wall yourself. It’s not too hard, and there are a few techniques you can use to fix holes made by mice.
This method involves cutting out the damaged area and inserting a piece of drywall that matches the thickness of the existing plaster. You’ll also need to apply some joint compound to ensure a strong bond between the plaster and drywall. Once this part is done, sand down the area in order to get a smooth finish.
Plaster Skim Coat Method
This method will require you to mix up a small amount of plaster that is thin enough in consistency to be applied over the existing wall. Apply several thin coats of this skim coat until you get it to match the existing surface. Since this is a new material, you may have to apply an additional coat of primer before painting or papering your wall.
This method involves mixing up stucco that’s thin enough so it can be applied over the damaged area. Once you’ve applied several thin layers until it’s even with the rest of your wall, let it cure for at least 24 hours before applying a sealant or primer-sealer for painting purposes.
No matter which method you choose, these techniques will help fix holes made by mice in lath and plaster walls.
So, can mice get in lath and plaster walls? The answer is yes, though it can be difficult but not impossible for them. All you need is a small hole or a gap in the walls to allow the mice to gain access. The best way to prevent mice from coming in is to properly seal off any potential entry points and to be vigilant about cleaning up any food sources that may attract them.
While the lath and plaster walls may be a little harder for the mice to penetrate, they are still not 100% effective in keeping them out. Inviting a professional to inspect your home and recommend any necessary repairs is the best way to keep your home rodent-free. It is important to take action as soon as you notice any signs of a mouse infestation, as they can quickly cause extensive damage and create a health hazard.
How do mice get in lath and plaster walls?
Through small holes or cracks in walls, foundations, or roofs.
What are the signs of mice in lath and plaster walls?
Scratching sounds, droppings, chewed wires and insulation, and nesting materials.
How to prevent mice from entering lath and plaster walls?
Seal openings in walls, the foundation, roof, and around pipes/vents/wires. Keep your home clean, store food in airtight containers, and use traps or poison to control the population.