DIY Rodent Control Tips
Rodents often live near areas of open space or where there are water and food sources. They also like to nest in hidden or covered areas of shelter, such as under ivy, or in the crawl space under a home. You can help to deter rodents from the area surrounding your home by keeping your trash cans covered, eliminating unnecessary water and food sources, and keeping your yard free of brush, debris, and firewood stacked directly on the ground.
Gnaw marks, droppings, tracks, rub marks on walls, burrows, or runways are all visual signs of infestation. If you smell a strong odor, there is a possibility that there is a large number of mice in a particular area and their urine may become distinct as well. If you see a mouse running across the floor, it is likely a family of mice is not far out of sight! If you see damaged goods, nests, or greasy rub marks this may indicate roof rat activity. In addition, if you hear noises in the attic, walls, or see damaged electrical wires be aware that you may have an infestation.
The most basic way to prevent rodents from accessing your home is to identify and seal any exterior openings around your home to prevent them getting inside. Make sure you seal cracks and holes using caulk or steel wool. Repair damaged screens and install door sweeps. In other words, you want to make sure that there are no openings to your home. Rats and mice are burrowing animals which means they are used to squeezing into small, tight areas. The only limitation it has is its head, so if its head fits through the space then that is its only limitation. For instance, rats can squeeze into your home through a hole as small as a quarter! Yikes!
Maintain good ventilation in your attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Make sure to eliminate all moisture sites. What, though, if rodents have already made their way inside your home?
While poison is a common treatment, it’s not recommended, as rodents that ingest the poison are then free to roam throughout your home before expiring, which makes carcass recovery a difficult task. In contrast, traps are a much more convenient method, using food bait that the rodents are attracted to, such as peanut butter or fruit. Many have also had success with having bait boxes installed in the landscape using these same traps. This keeps the rodent population low, thereby lessening the likelihood that over time these industrious critters will make their way back inside your home.