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rodent-problems2If you have rodent problems inside your home, there are five steps you should take to rid yourself of the nuisance and protect yourself against the health problems and damage they can cause.

1. Set traps.
Because mice by nature are curious while rats are suspicious, traps works best for mice. Unlike baiting, traps don’t involve chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about toxicity.

2. Use bait.
When using poisonous bait, be sure to carefully follow all instructions to protect humans and animals from the harmful toxins. You’ll need to remove dead rodents immediately for sanitary and odor-prevention reasons.

3. Remove all food and water sources.
Put all food in containers that can be completely sealed and that are made of material that can’t be chewed through, such as metal or hard plastic. Put items such as bags of chips, flour, or sugar in chew-proof containers because rodents will be able to gnaw through most packaging. Also, don’t let water pool around your home and fix all indoor plumbing problems. With these steps, you’ll be taking away the rodents’ principal reason for entering your home—to get food and water.

4. Seal up all openings into your home.
Inspect the exterior of your home and seal up all openings larger than ¼-inch with material that rodents can’t gnaw, such as wire mesh, steel wool, or even concrete. Be sure to keep doors closed and that they don’t have openings larger ¼-inch under them.

5. Call a pest-control service if the problem persists.
Once rodents have found their way into your home, they are difficult to remove, so even if you take the above four steps, you may still have a rodent problem. At this point, you’ll need to call in professionals to inspect your home for where the rodents are living and how they are getting in, remove them completely, and develop an ongoing plan to prevent rodent problems from recurring.

Photo Credit: Food Addiction by Rennett Stowe