Rodent Proofing Your Home
Sometimes rats and mice get indoors, creating a nuisance. They damage property, contaminate food, and transmit diseases. Therefore, effective control methods are essential. The following suggestions should help in eliminating rodents in your home:
Cleanup inside and store food in glass and metal containers. Floors should be swept often to deny rats and mice food. Garbage should be placed in trash cans with lids. Food and pet food should not be left out overnight unprotected. Mice hoard food in inaccessible areas, so removal of known supplies may not reduce mouse infestations immediately. The control of weeds around the outside entryways is also an important factor.
Traps should be placed along walls and in paths where rodents travel. Beware of trap-shy rats and mice, and leave traps un-set until bait has been taken at least once. It is better to use too many traps than not enough. Traps do not have to be washed after a catch. Some recommended baits for traps are: peanut butter, pineapple, nuts, doughnuts, cake, fried bacon, raisin, chocolate and gum drops. Rats are attracted more to ground meat or fish.
Poison bait can be used along with trapping to increase capture and kill. There are some very good poisons available: Warfarin, Pival, Fumarin, Chlorophacinone, Bromadiolone and Cholecalciferol. BE SURE TO USE THESE ACCORDING TO LABEL DIRECTIONS. Mice tend to nibble, so expect a longer period of time to get control of them with poison. Also, poison may cause rodents to die in inaccessible areas leaving unpleasant odors of decaying carcasses. Children and pets should be kept away from poison baits. If the problem is too extensive, consult a professional exterminator.
Rodent proofing is a vital part of a complete rodent control program. The objective is to close all present and potential openings which may serve as entries for rats and mice. This means changing building details to prevent rats and mice from entering. It is important not to seal rodents indoors until baiting, trapping and removal is completed.
Inspect first! Begin with a thorough inspection of the premises and locate openings larger than one-quarter of an inch, and openings where utilities enter. Check floor drains and sewer pipe grates. Make sure doors, windows and screens are fitting tightly. Other possible rodent entries to consider are transoms and letter drops.
The materials for rodent proofing should be rodent resistant, such as sheet metal, heavy wire mesh, concrete, brick and mortar. Steel wool is a good substitute for plugging holes when other materials are not available, but it should only be used as a temporary measure. To prevent rats and mice from using wires and pipes to enter, the appropriate metal guards should be used, such as a flat funnel twelve inches wide for a single vertical line next to the building, and an eighteen inch radius disk guard for horizontal lines.
Finally, after you have control of the problem, continue to monitor both inside and outside your residence to make sure your property is rodent free. Remember, re-infestation can occur inside rodent proofed buildings when doors and windows are left open. Re-inspection is necessary to be certain rodent proofing remains effective. This process must be repeatedly evaluated to assure control. If you notice rats on the outside of the property, locate their nest source as well as their sources of food and water and eliminate if possible.
Rodent Proofing Your Yard
Eliminate Food Sources
- Remove defective refuse cans.
- Provide a sufficient amount of refuse cans. A 32 gallon container with a tight fitting lit is best.
- DO NOT LITTER. Be sure garbage in secure in container and not on the ground.
- Drain and wrap garbage before disposing.
- Remove pet food immediately and clean up animal waste.
- Keep all drains covered and secure.
- Make sure hoses are not leaking.
- Get rid of any standing water in yard.
- Fix any defective pipes or drains.
Eliminate Rodent Hiding Places
- Get rid of junk, lumber, old boxes, discarded appliances chairs or bedding on the ground or under porches.
- Remove abandoned vehicles.
Fall and winter are an especially busy time of year for encounters with these less than welcome houseguests.
Most experts in rodent control, say the best way to keep mice out of your house is, well, to keep them out. In other words, any opening larger than, say, a pencil, should be sealed. For most people – including those who just don’t have the patience to crawl around looking for quarter-inch openings — rodent control consists of catching the mice quickly and efficiently.
Don’t let a rodent infestation get out of control. Because mice multiply so quickly, just a few can lead to an out-of-control infestation before you know it.
If you notice droppings or signs of gnawing around the house could indicate a mice problem. Contact a mice removal expert right away to help identify the culprit and quickly eliminate the infestation.