Best way to patch hole in ceiling?

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zannej

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My walk-in pantry is completely lined with metal screen/mesh. It was intended to keep mice out. It worked well for a couple decades but at some point some gaps in the wood of the ceiling got larger (don't know if it was from settling or if the mice helped it along). The mice ended up chewing through the metal wires and have taken over the pantry. I need to find the best/easiest way to plug the holes (they haven't chewed through the mesh over one of the holes) and patch it up. I know they can chew through fiberglass mesh as well.
Should I cut the mesh over the other hole to fill the hole in with something and then attach more mesh on top? I'm pretty sure if I only fill in the one hole that the mice will come in through the other one and chew through. Not sure how they chewed through metal, but the did it.

Would grate stuff pestblock foam spray work? I'm wondering if I could spray the pestblock in and then stick the mesh over it and superglue edges. Or should I use some sort of drywall compound or spackle or something? This is not the easiest spot for me to reach and will have to be done left-handed as my right shoulder still hates me. I've actually been considering using some tacks or short nails or staples to make the mesh tighter to the walls, ceiling, etc and then plastering over everything. I seriously wonder if I can use plaster bandage-like wrap from a craft store to cover everything and then paint over it all.
Any suggestions?
pantryceilingholes1.jpgpantryceilingholes2.jpg
 

Eddie_T

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Just because I have it on hand I would probably stuff the holes with coarse steel wool and see if it held.
 

Sparky617

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Your metal mesh looks like window screen, no match for mice. I'm with Snoonyb use hardware cloth. I'd go further and cover it all with drywall or even beadboard paneling to cover the hardware cloth. Where are the mice getting in? I know in old homes with rubblestone foundations sealing all the possible paths in can be a real challenge, if not impossible.
 

zannej

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I'm not sure what hardware cloth is. LOL.

yeah, it's window screen. Mice get in through various places. They get in to the pantry from the ceiling obviously, but they get in through the floor under the walls as well. The walls weren't built properly. They didn't put 2x4s beneath the studs so there are gaps under the walls going straight to under the house. I honestly don't know what supports the interior wall studs since there are such huge gaps underneath.

There used to be wall panels in the pantry but my dad removed them because mice were getting in and he sealed it up. Worked for a long time until they chewed through the ceiling part in the past couple years.

Beadboard panels sound like a good idea. Probably cheaper than a ton of spackle.

Thanks!
 

Eddie_T

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Us country folks often call hardware cloth rat wire. Here's a piece fastened to my live trap to keep coons from reaching in to the bait area and tripping the bait pan.
0601211421.jpg
 

zannej

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Ah. Ok. I googled it afterward but forgot to post. All the stuff I can find has 1/4" holes and mice can squeeze through 1/4". So, I'd have to have more than one little piece overlapped to cover those gaps. I think I will still do pestblock grate stuff in the holes stick screen back up, and then patch with overlapped rolled fence mesh (hardware cloth). Wish I could find some with smaller holes as 1/4" is the smallest size a mouse can fit through. I've had that sort of mesh before and those little contortionist pests climbed right through it.
Or maybe I can get this 0.7mm w/ 4.5mm hole screen
or maybe this 0.8mm wire w/ 2.5mm hole screen.
 
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Eddie_T

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My son has raised mice in an aquarium tank with a ¼" mesh lid. Maybe they couldn't get through because it was overhead.
 

BvilleBound

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My walk-in pantry is completely lined with metal screen/mesh. It was intended to keep mice out. It worked well for a couple decades but at some point some gaps in the wood of the ceiling got larger (don't know if it was from settling or if the mice helped it along). The mice ended up chewing through the metal wires and have taken over the pantry. I need to find the best/easiest way to plug the holes (they haven't chewed through the mesh over one of the holes) and patch it up. I know they can chew through fiberglass mesh as well.
Should I cut the mesh over the other hole to fill the hole in with something and then attach more mesh on top? I'm pretty sure if I only fill in the one hole that the mice will come in through the other one and chew through. Not sure how they chewed through metal, but the did it.

Would grate stuff pestblock foam spray work? I'm wondering if I could spray the pestblock in and then stick the mesh over it and superglue edges. Or should I use some sort of drywall compound or spackle or something? This is not the easiest spot for me to reach and will have to be done left-handed as my right shoulder still hates me. I've actually been considering using some tacks or short nails or staples to make the mesh tighter to the walls, ceiling, etc and then plastering over everything. I seriously wonder if I can use plaster bandage-like wrap from a craft store to cover everything and then paint over it all.
Any suggestions?
View attachment 25887View attachment 25888
Dear ZannyJ: Rodents will chew through drywall and baseboard, so the best solution is to pack the gaps and hole tighltly with steel wool. stainless steel wool is best - you can buy it online. Then cover the steel wool with drywall compound.

I hope this is helpful.

Mark
 

zannej

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Eddie, I've seen the mice squeeze through 1/4" mesh before. We had a little cage made of it and put some in when we caught them. They got through and ran. But, they ran into cats so they didn't fully escape.

Mark, I was at the store and saw steel wool but got distracted and forgot to grab some! I'll have to grab it next time. I think I will cram steel wool into the holes, caulk around it, and staple some of the mesh up.
 

BvilleBound

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Dear ZanneJ: Apply a sealant, e.g. DAP 230, on the packed-in steel wool, before you apply the caulk. This will help to hold the steel wool in place to block the rodents. No need to staple mesh over it.

Mark
 

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