It’s much easier to prevent rodent problems from ever occurring than it is to remove them once they’re inside your home. Essentially, there are two aspects to rodent prevention: sanitation and exclusion.
Keep Your Home Free of Food and Water That Rodents Can Reach
Rodents come into homes for warmth and protection, but they can get that elsewhere. What really attracts them is food. Therefore, keep all food in sealed containers that rodents can’t chew through (e.g., metal and hard plastic containers). Dispose of all trash—whether inside or near the home—in tightly sealed containers, again making sure the containers can withstand rodents’ gnawing. And when placing trash outside, even when sealed, its better safe than sorry, so move them as far away from your home as possible. Rodents also need water, of course, so you should keep all gutters and downspouts clean and not allow any water to pool in your yard. If you have a basement, make sure water doesn’t leak in because water gathered in a basement is a direct invitation for rodents to enter. Indoors, repair all leaky plumbing, never leave water in a sink, and keep toilet lids closed.
Close Off All Access to Your Home
Rats can enter through ½-inch holes and mice can get in through ¼-inch holes, so seal up all exterior entry points of this size or greater. You can use mesh metal screen, hardware cloth, steel wool, concrete—anything that can be fastened into place and that they can’t chew through. Also, keep your doors closed as much as possible and make sure there isn’t more than a ¼-inch opening under them. To achieve the utmost protection, consult with pest-control specialists about proper pesticides than can keep rodents from entering and from burrowing around your foundation.
Don’t wait to have rodent problems before you take action. Preventative measures can keep you from having to deal with the hassle of eliminating rodents who have come to consider your home their home.