A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Fending Off Rodents

mouse and piece of cheese on mousetrap

Rodents are one of the most adaptable species on the planet. They are comfortable living in almost any environment that we would never be able to call home. As long they can sniff out any food, shelter, and a point of access, these places will always serve as prime targets of infestation. Ironically, where there are humans, there will always be rodents.

If you’re reading this article, you probably don’t care to know why they are in your home or place of business in the first place. You want to know what it takes to get rid of these persistent vermin. Chances are, if you’ve seen one, there’s already an army lurking in the walls. The Art of War will tell you that getting to know thy enemy is your best chance. So…

What can they do?

Knowing their physical abilities will inform you of how to protect your space against infestation.

Both rats and mice can:

  • Run along pipes, poles, fences, cables, branches and vines to travel in and out of a building. This means that conveyors, conduits, and underground utility and communication lines are also easily accessible.
  • Climb along most rough, vertical surfaces. If the surface is smooth, they can brace themselves against a pipe near a wall to climb.
  • Chew through barriers. Window screens, wood, rubber, vinyl fiberglass, plastic, and even low-grade concrete are vulnerable structural points.

Evicting The Unwanted Tenants

If you have an infestation, you’ve been unknowingly pampering them with plenty of food and shelter.

Start By Sanitizing

  • Eliminate any garbage or refuse.
  • Remove and clean any urine or feces.
  • Containers for trash should have a tight fitting lid and be made of durable material.
  • Remove any food or water sources, including pet food, spillovers from bird feeders, and etc. They should be stored in containers and kept hidden away at night.
  • Properly maintain landscaped areas. It will reduce the opportunity for their use as shelter.

Mice will come in through openings greater than 1/4’’; rats will come in through openings greater than 1/2’’.

Investigate Points Of Entry

To be safe, seal all openings greater than 1/2’’ to exclude both!

  • Look for openings due to utility lines coming into the walls, drain pipes for the sink, vents for A/C, and even loose outlets.
  • Check for broken or damaged doors, door frames, windows, and window frames. Replace or seal off any openings.
  • Examine the roof and make note of all vulnerable access points, anything from loose shingles and vent screens to roof ventilators.

Materials To Use

For a quick temporary fix to give you some peace of mind, materials like steel wool, copper gauze, or screen wire can be great safeguards if stuffed tightly into openings or cracks. Remember, these are only good for holding you over until you are able to implement long-term solutions. Leaving steel wool for too long will likely result in rust stains and weakening of the material.

For permanent repair, mix a quick-drying patching plaster such as Fixall and pack the opening or crack with it. Smooth over the outside to provide an effective seal. For larger openings, hardwire cloth is also an option, but make sure to use “well-woven” hardwire cloth. This type will maintain its shape and sturdiness, as the other type can be brittle when cut.

The information in this article is a great way to get started on rodent-proofing. For any questions at all, feel free to contact our experts for a consultation. Of course, while much of this can be hard to absorb and apply on your own, there is an easy, affordable alternative.

Call us now to schedule a rodent control consultation and appointment!

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