Tips and Strategies
Mice and Rat Prevention
Once your home is free from rodents, it's time to keep them from coming back. Rodent-proofing involves identifying and eliminating the conditions that make it possible for rats and mice to survive- namely, their food, water, and nesting areas.
Everyone strives for a rodent-free home. Rodent-proofing involves identifying and eliminating the conditions that make it possible for rats and mice to survive - namely, their food, water, and nesting areas. Once you know the problem areas, you can follow three simple steps to reduce or eliminate these conditions.
Step 1 - Remove sources of food & water
Mice and rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat any food discarded by humans. Eliminating their food and water source is critical to controlling them.
- Clean up spilled food in cupboards and on floors
- Keep counters and food preparation areas clear of food at night
- Keep all food packages tightly sealed
- Pick up trash and discarded food
- Keep tightly sealed lids on garbage cans.
- Store pet and bird food in sealed containers.
Step 2 - Eliminate rodent habitats in and around your home.
- Clear out boxes and other clutter in basements and storage areas
- Store materials off the floors on shelves, wherever possible
- Remove clutter and debris
- Keep grass, shrubs and other vegetation around your home trimmed
- Trim overhanging trees that create shadowy areas where rodents feel protected
Step 3 - Prevent rodents from entering cracks & crevices. Identify areas that need to be sealed or blocked in order to keep rodents out. It's important to remember that rats can fit through an opening around the size of a quarter and mice can squeeze through an area smaller than a dime, so be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of your home - inside and out.
- Repair holes in the foundation of your home, garage or other affected buildings as well as interior walls.
- Seal any openings over one quarter inch - particularly around doors & windows.
- Install self-closing devices on frequently used doors.
- Install vinyl or rubber seals under garage doors to eliminate gaps.
- Weather-strip gaps in doorways leading into buildings.
- Make sure that the areas around pipes, drains and vents are tightly sealed.
- Cap chimneys and keep them in good condition.
As you go about plugging, sealing, and repairing your home, you can use a variety of rodent-proofing materials to complete the job, including:
- Steel Wool
- Hardware Cloth
- Perforated Metal
- Galvanized Sheet Metal
- Cement Mortar
Remember, some areas are just more prone to recurring rodent problems - especially those neighboring wooded areas or located in densely populated urban centers. Rodents also tend to enter homes as the weather gets cooler, so be sure to take preventative measures before the cold sets in, like placing refillable bait stations around the perimeter of your home and in common areas where rodents typically enter.