I have a question for you kind people: the museum I’m working at is beginning to winterize our historic home. We have a general handle on things but I am wondering specifically about keeping pests like mice, squirrels, etc. out from under the exterior doors. There is some space between door and floor and as we have very cold winters the critters will certainly be trying to get in. We have ruled out weather stripping as it would be damaging to apply as well as not in line with the historic appearance of the building.
I’ve looked through everything on this website and several others but I would love to hear if anyone has more specific experience or thoughts on sealing doors in historic homes. We will be accessing throughout the winter so boarding them up is not an option.
That’s a really interesting question and one I’m not sure how to answer off the top of my head. I’m going to do a little research on my own and will get back to you soon.
I can not help directly, but someone might want to know if the building has a basement or crawl space and what type of foundation. Critters can get in through cracks in foundations or burrow up through the ground into a crawl space. From crawl spaces, some pests can potentially chew their way into walls.
Years ago we discovered a possum living in our crawl space. A Conservation Officer said if a possum was living there, no other critters would be there (at least not in the crawl space).
Can you remove anything a mouse would chew on like textiles, baskets, leather, books? Also if you have a chimney it should be capped.
Check out our webinar, Hibernation – Not Just for Bears: Putting your house museum “to bed” for the season https://www.connectingtocollections.org/hibernation-not-just-for-bears-putting-your-house-museum-to-bed-for-the-season/
It should help you with this problem.
Thanks Susan, I did watch the webinar and actually reached out to one of the presenters, who was very helpful.
I’ll put what I’ve decided to do here in point form, so if anyone else has similar questions they can have some answers.
– stuffing steel wool around edges and underneath exterior doors
– rubbing peppermint oil (mice hate it) around the door frames
– foam backing rod (often used for pipe insulation) to wedge under the door with a larger gap
– removing all textiles; rugs, curtains everything and putting into bins
– capping off the chimney from the outside so nothing gets in that way
– inspection of roof and foundation to check for any pest entry points
Thank you again for the help everyone!
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