From urban areas to the farmlands, rodents are a problem every homeowner tries to avoid. An infestation can be everything from an annoyance to a frustrating, costly problem. It’s important to try some rodent control methods to prevent them from coming in or around your home, to begin with.
There are some things you can do to safeguard yourself against a rodent infestation. Hiring a Pest Control Expert is always a great idea. They are many small day-to-day changes that can make your home less welcoming to pests. There are also some steps to take to make sure you’ve created a strong barrier.
Combining these strategies is your best bet at being successfully rodent-free. It might take a little time and preparation but will be worth it. Try these five things to protect your home from these uninvited visitors.
5 Rodent Control Methods
1. Don’t Attract Rodents
It’s important that you aren’t inadvertently attracting rodents to your home. Being thoughtful about how and where you store food can be helpful. Using some strategic mindfulness, you can make sure they aren’t inviting rodents to your home.
Rodents love a free snack. Your pantry is a major attraction to a family of rodents. Take steps to ensure that it’s well protected and the scent of your food items is hidden from the sensitive noses of pests.
Use airtight containers in your pantry to store dry goods like oats and flour. The paper bags that these often come in don’t stand a chance against mice or rats. Instead, metal and glass canisters with tight fighting lid are a good choice to both seal the smells of these foods in and will keep them fresher.
Organize your pantry with resealable containers on the top. You should also keep items that come in boxes like cereal and pasta on higher shelves to reduce the risk of rodents catching a whiff. Use the bottom shelves for items like canned goods and plastic bottles that are less alluring.
Animals love pet food and birdseed. The trick is to keep them away from the wrong ones. Make sure dog or cat food is stored in sealed containers or bins. Keep bird food stored high above your garage floor and place feeders at the farthest point of your yard from your house.
2. Create a Solid Barrier
The best way to keep rodents out of your home is by making sure they don’t have a way in. Inspect your house with the mindset of a small rodent. Look for ways to possibly breach the perimeter.
Walk around your home and look for any cracks and gaps. Check carefully around entry lines and window and door frames. Even small openings in your foundation can be an entry point for a family of small mice. Seal any gaps with caulk to close them completely.
Rodents love areas of a home that are less inhibited. Check your attic and basement for possible entry points and close them off. Vents are a popular way many animals make their way in. Cover them with screens to prevent easy entry.
There are some simple habits that you can get into to deter entry. Make sure to keep exterior doors and garage doors closed whenever possible. Check window and patio door screens to make sure there are no holes or tears.
3. Use Natural Deterrents
There are some natural deterrents that can help you make your home less attractive to rodents. They can be combined with other measures for an effective, well-rounded defense. Just make sure they are safe for the pets that also live in your home.
Essential oils are useful because of their intense aromas. Small amounts can affect a rodent’s sensitive nose and cause them to flee. Most of the smells are pleasant to humans and can give your home a refreshing scent. Try diluting a few drops of peppermint oil in a few ounces of water to make a spray for added protection around your home’s indoor and outdoor perimeters.
Some foods can drive rats and mice away. The strong smell of fresh onions can make them leave an area. Cut them in half and use them as deterrents near known entry points. They also hate black pepper so sprinkling some liberally in an area you have seen mice will encourage them to flee.
4. Keep Your Areas Clean
Rodents love a dirty home. Keeping your house and yard tidy can signal that the space is unwelcome to them. Having good upkeep practices will create a clean environment that’s not desirable to rodents.
Make sure to clean any food off surfaces immediately after cooking. Thoroughly rinse dishes and load them in the dishwasher right after eating. Make sure to check for spills or dropped food especially if you have young kids. Wipe your countertops down well every night and mop all of your hard floors regularly.
It’s easy to neglect cleaning outdoor areas, but many are so close to your house you risk attracting rodents inside. Keep your grill clean and free of food debris. Make sure any compost bins are located as far from your home as possible.
Your landscaping can also create a welcoming habitat for unwanted animals. Keep bushes and low lying plants clean and trimmed. It’s best to create distance between them and your house to not create a covered opportunity for entry. Keep any wood stored outside elevated off the ground and a good distance from any structures.
Trash cans are a necessity but you can keep scavengers at bay with some smart strategies. Store them away from the house if possible. Find sturdy containers with tough to open lids to keep crafty animals like raccoons out. Regularly rinse trash receptacles to prevent them from developing a foul smell that attracts rodents.
5. Set Up a Defense System
Even with your best efforts, you still may experience a breach. Unfortunately, many of these rodent trespassers reproduce quickly. It’s important to be proactive so a small invasion doesn’t become a large infestation.
Set up mouse or rat traps in areas of your home that entry is more likely, like garages, basements, or attics. Be sure to keep these out of the reach of children or pets. This will be a good early indicator of the presence of rodents so you can take further steps to prevent them.
Regularly inspect areas for evidence of unwanted house guests. Most rodents are nocturnal so you may not actually catch them during day time hours but they leave plenty of signs. Look for droppings under appliances or in cabinets. Listen for subtle noises of their activity at night. Inspect areas for gnaw marks or holes.