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The Ultimate Guide to Preventing a Rodent Infestation

Published July 13th, 2021 by Vision Pest Control

Did you know that rats and mice can carry at least 35 diseases?

These pests are not creatures anyone wants around the home. But do you know how to prevent rodents and keep their diseases out?

Luckily, it is easier than you think. Read on as we discuss ten tips to prevent a rodent infestation

1. Check Your Doors

If you live in a rural area, then preventing rodents is tough. They naturally live in the environment and will find the food, shade, or warmth of your home an attractive prospect. Luckily, how they get into the home is often more obvious than you think. 

Yes, they will use doors. If you have a broken screen, make sure it is repaired or replaced. Even the smallest hole can be used by a rodent to squeeze in. 

If you have gaps under the door, place a sweeper or draft excluder. This will prevent access to a number of animals, not just rodents. 

2. Remove the Current Occupants

Many people with rodents in the home assume that removing food will cause them to go away. This is not the case, as they are very tenacious and will soon find a way to get to it.

Before you can rodent-proof your house, you need to get rid of the current occupants. 

You have two methods: baiting and trapping. For baiting, you need tamper-resistant traps so that pets and children can not interfere with them. For trapping, you need something that will kill the rodents humanely like a snare-style trap. 

3. Remove Food Sources

The next step is to remove food sources. This needs to be done both in and outside the home. Nothing will attract pests more than food and water. 

On the inside of the home, make sure you clear counters and food areas after use. Store food in airtight plastic containers, and don't let it spill or lie around in the cupboards. Finally, make sure your trash can is tightly sealed with a lid. 

On the outside of the home, clear any fruit or vegetables that may have fallen from trees and bushes. Pick up trash, make sure your can is sealed and any bird food should be elevated and not accessible to ground animals. Finally, get rid of standing water by filling holes and covering pools and ponds. 

4. Seal External Holes

If your door is sealed, your home rodent problems probably stem from another entry point. The average home has a lot of these, some intentional and some not. Start by doing a walk-around survey of the house, filling in any cracks and holes in the outer walls. 

After this, seal up the intentional entrances. These can be where you have pipes and ventilation going into the home. You can use mesh, steel wool, and caulk depending on the type of entranceway.

5. Get a Rescue Cat

By getting a rescue cat, you can solve two problems in one.

To begin, even the most placid cat will scare off rodents by its very presence and scent. Cats love to play, and you will be quite surprised how even the laziest cat comes alive when a rodent is in the area. 

Secondly, there are many cats in shelters around the country. By getting a rescue pet, you can also give a great home to an unwanted feline. 

6. Use Mint

Rodents detest the smell of mint and will actively avoid it. You can start by planting this herb in your garden along boundaries. In addition to keeping rodents out, you can also use it for home cooking. 

After this, use peppermint oil in and around the home. If you know areas and trails the rodents use, lay peppermint oil down. You can even lay dried mint leaves in and around hard-to-reach places such as cupboards and under counters. 

7. Eliminate Outside Nesting Sites

Preventing rodents in the home is also about getting rid of their habitats outside. This can include any place they may feel warm and secure, from piles of leaf and compost waste to messy outbuildings filled with junk.

If your garden is overgrown, make sure you cut the grass back and trim away any shrubbery. 

8. Vacuum and Mop Regularly

In the daily routine, it can be hard to find time to mop and clean every day. However, even the tidiest people leave behind crumbs and small bits of waste. If left, these are an open invitation to rodents. 

It is also not just enough to clean what you can see. You will have to pull out cupboards and fittings to get behind and sweep, particularly in kitchens where food can easily fall behind. 

9. Inspect Items Brought In

Many people have outside storage, or items lacked in boxes in the garage or outbuildings.

If you are bringing them into the home, you need to ensure a stowaway is not onboard. Make sure you open boxes and carriers and go through them before bringing any items into your home and opening them there. 

10. Store Firewood Away From the House

Piles of firewood make a great home for rodents. If you use wood to heat your home, then try to store it at least 20 feet away from the home.

True, you may have further to travel on cold nights. But it also makes it much more dangerous for the rodents to travel the distance, as they increase the chance of getting picked up by a predator. 

Rodent Infestation: Prevention Instead of Cure

It is easier to prevent a rodent infestation than cure one.

If you already have pests in your house, then call professional assistance before conducting these steps. If they are in, you need to ensure their breeding grounds are destroyed as well as entrances to the home. 

Your first stop should be Vision Pest Control. We can rid your home of everything from rodents to bed bugs. Call us today and we can get rid of your unwanted guests!

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