Keeping the mousies out!
October 1, 2013 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy copper mesh/wool in NYC?

I saw a mouse race along the living room wall in my flat yesterday while the workmen were fixing the ceiling in the hallway on my floor. I had no idea there were even mice in the building as I hadn't seen or heard any before yesterday. I'm glad I have a habit of storing food in containers anyway, so that's not an issue.

I've read that the thing to get is copper wool/mesh to stuff in any holes larger than a 1/4 inch in the walls, as it's extremely uncomfortable for the mice to chew on. Fine, but I can't seem to find it at Dome Hepot and Google seems to think I'm trying to make a costume when I look in Google Shopping.

Any suggestions, New Yorkers?

Would get a cat, but I'm highly, highly allergic, unfortunately.
posted by droplet to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was always told to buy that steel wool stuff you use to scrub your pots. Available at any supermarket. Get the cheapest stuff without soap on it. You certainly don't need anything fancy.
posted by shelleycat at 10:37 AM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, from experience I can tell you that everyday steel wool works well for keeping out mice. You can stick it in place with spray foam insulation.
posted by exogenous at 10:40 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can also buy bigger quantities of steel wool at any hardware store. It's more expensive at the super market.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:47 AM on October 1, 2013

Coarse steel wool is fine for this. Any hardware store will have a bag for a buck or two. Just tear it up and fit into place. No need to use expensive copper.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 AM on October 1, 2013

And if you use foam insulation in conjunction with steel wool, keep in mind that it will be very difficult to remove once set, so use this only when you have the steel wool placed exactly the way you want it. Also try out the foam in a spot where it wouldn't be visible, at least until you get the hang of how it expands. It is easy to overspray.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:59 AM on October 1, 2013

Steal wool works excellently.

Chore Boy was the go-to product for this. But you know, crack, meth.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:04 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime, and some people say even a hole the size of an eraser on the end of of pencil. So put that steel wool everywhere you can, even if you think there is no way a mouse can get through....
posted by lstanley at 12:01 PM on October 1, 2013

Yeah, Chore Boy is what you want. Unless NYC's really cracked down on "paraphernalia", you should be able to just wander into your local corner store (especially a sketchy seeming one) and find it near the registers.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:03 PM on October 1, 2013

Using copper wool only really matters if it will be exposed to the elements. Since it sounds like you're going to be filling holes indoors, steel wool should be fine.
posted by gregr at 1:59 PM on October 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! I'm going to call the super to help me, also.

And I found out that not only don't NYC stores sell the Chore Boy copper mesh scrubbers, some mail order places won't deliver them to NYC! Had no idea about the drugs thing. Such a sheltered life I lead.
posted by droplet at 8:53 PM on October 1, 2013

I found that a combination of steel wool and spray-in insulating foam worked wonders. The foam helped keep the wool in place, and gave the mice/rats a more difficult obstacle to chew through. Put the wool in first and then spray into it to inflate it with foam.
posted by Happydaz at 10:05 PM on October 1, 2013

FWIW you can get copper mesh from Lee Valley.
(And Google Shopping is basically worthless now.)
posted by sriracha at 5:20 AM on October 2, 2013

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