5 Easy Tips for Rodent Prevention

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Spring is right around the corner, and warm weather means pests will be coming out soon enough. One of the most common during this season is rodents, which can start breeding as early as 6 weeks of age! But don’t fret just yet: there are some simple steps that you can take to protect your home from possible rodent infestation. 

1. Sanitize your home to make it difficult for pests to multiply.

Maintaining a clean living environment is one of the best defenses against most pests. Consequently, good sanitation will never completely eliminate mice and rats (or any other pests) from invading your home. Any establishment that houses or handles food will be a target for pests unless your food sources are rodent-proof. Although good sanitation may not eliminate the problem, poor sanitation will only allow it to fester.

Another added bonus is that if your home is well-kept and clean, food sources will be limited, making traps and bait that much more appealing and effective to pests. Always use gloves when disposing of any dead rodent bodies you find in your home - rodents produce proteins in their saliva, urine, and feces that will make humans (and pets) violently, if not fatally, ill.

2. Make your home as rodent-proof as possible.

This is probably the most long-lasting, durable defense against rodents. Check your infrastructure for any possible points of entry, and “build rodents out” accordingly. Mice can get through an opening as small as a quarter inch, so be thorough! Ensuring that all possible points of entry are sealed off will make a rodent’s efforts to penetrate your home that much more difficult.

Mouse-proof any areas in or around your home where food is regularly handled and stored. Dried grains and meat should be stored in mouse-proof, airtight, resealable containers. These efforts will go a long way towards deterring the four-legged furries from eyeballing your home. 

3. Protect your home from the outside elements.

Rodent control isn’t limited to what you can do inside your home. A rodent infestation can just as well start in your yard and work its way in if you’re not careful. Make sure to inspect your roof for possible points of entry and repair it as soon as possible. Some rodents are tree dwellers, while others like to burrow. Your attic - and all the boxes within it - are a perfect target for all populations of rodents, tree-dwellers and burrowers alike.

Rodents also like to dwell in piles and shrubs around your home. Make sure that your foliage is neatly trimmed and maintained to deter rodents from building nests. If there are any piles around your home, like burn piles or leaves, be sure to clean these up as soon as possible. As previously stated, some rodents prefer to make their homes by burrowing in warm, dense, moist environments. A leaf pile is a perfect breeding ground for burrowing rats or mice.

And finally, if you keep firewood, be sure to store it away from the home. Lots of pests like to colonize your log pile, like termites, ants, and rodents. The same goes for compost piles. What you consider to be compost waste is perfectly edible to a large population of rats, mice, roaches, beetles, and any number of other nasties. Keep your compost away from your home and turn it regularly to hide fresh waste.

4. Baits and traps and lures, oh my!

Baits and traps are an important part of any pest prevention plan. When only a few rodents are present, this is usually the preferred method of elimination. There are a lot of different types of baits and traps, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. And no matter what method you use, be sure to place traps in the right place - under furniture, in dark corners, near observable rodent activity, and most importantly, away from children and pets.

The most common type of trap used for rodent control is snap traps. They are considered by many to be the most effective and the most inexpensive. Snap traps sometimes include some sort of lure or bait, like peanut butter or cheese, that attracts the rodents onto the trigger. When the trigger is set, the trap snaps onto the rodent, killing them. Snap traps must be checked and cleaned out regularly.

Other methods include live traps or poisonous baits. With live traps, you must be prepared to either kill the animal humanely, or take them somewhere far away so that they don’t re-enter your home. Poisonous baits are effective in killing mice and rats, but may also present a danger to your pets if they are able to access the poison. Plus, poison doesn’t usually work instantly, so you may end up with unsightly dead rodent bodies where you least expect them.

5. Fido and Whiskers can help out, too!

Remember that dogs and cats are natural predators of rodents. If you have no other lines of defense, you can rest assured that your pets will let you know of the presence of rodents in your home. Pay attention to your animal’s behavior, especially if they start pawing or barking at low-clearance furniture or spaces between or under appliances. In the case of a cat, your pet may even bring the rodent body to you as a gift! How thoughtful.

That said, be mindful of the fact that pet food serves as a perfectly good source of rodent food as well. Be sure to clean up any food remains that your pets leave in their dishes after their feeding times. Otherwise, rodents may consider your pet dishes an inviting source of food.

We’re not trying to scare you, but mice and rats can turn up in any home or business. And when you see one, there are usually more that you don’t see. Home Pest Control can help you get rid of rodents once and for all.  


Written By: Home Pest

February 20, 2018

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