July 14, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Rats & Mice

Now is the time of year you might be noticing an increase in rodent activity. With the changes in the weather, increased rain and cooler temperatures the rodents will be trying to get out of the cold and into the warmth and comfort of your home. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones from being invaded!

Seal Up!
Seal up holes inside and outside the home to prevent entry by rodents.

Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter! Prevent rodents from entering the home by checking inside and outside the house for gaps or holes.

Where to look for gaps or holes inside your home:
• Inside, under, and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves.
• Inside closets near the floor corners.
• Around the fireplace.
• Around doors.
• Around the pipes under sinks and washing machines.
• Around the pipes going to hot water heaters and furnaces.
• Around floor vents and dryer vents.
• Inside the attic.
• In the basement or crawl space.
• In the basement and laundry room floor drains.
• Between the floor and wall juncture.

Where to look for gaps or holes outside your home:
• In the roof among the rafters, gables, and eaves.
• Around windows.
• Around doors.
• Around the foundation
• Attic vents and crawl space vents.
• Under doors.
• Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines.

Fill small holes with steel wool. Put caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place. Use lath screen or lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix large holes. These materials can be found at your local hardware store. Fix gaps in trailer skirting and use flashing around the base of the house. If you do not remember to seal up entry holes in your home, rodents will continue to get inside. Outbuildings and garages should also be sealed to prevent the entrance of rodents.

Trap Up!
Trap rodents around the home to help reduce the rodent population.

Traps should be set in areas of interior activity. For outside rodent populations, your technician may install locked rodent bait stations, which are secured to the ground.

Clean Up!
Clean up rodent food sources and nesting sites

Prevent contact with rodents by cleaning up your home, workplace, or campsite.

Eliminate possible rodent food sources:
• Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
• Clean up spilled food right away and wash dishes and cooking utensils soon after use.
• Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean.
• Always put pet food away after use and do not leave pet-food or water bowls out overnight.
• Keep bird feeders away from the house and utilize squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder by squirrels and other rodents.
• Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid.
• Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible (100 feet or more is best).
• Keep grains and animal feed in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids. In the evening, uneaten animal feed should be returned to containers with lids.

If storing trash and food waste inside the home, do so in rodent-proof containers, and frequently clean the containers with soap and water. Dispose of trash and garbage on a frequent and regular basis, and pick up or eliminate clutter.

Eliminate possible nesting sites outside the home. Elevate hay, woodpiles, and garbage cans at least 1 foot off the ground. Move woodpiles far away from the house (100 feet or more is best). Get rid of old trucks, cars, and old tires that mice and rats could use as homes. Keep grass cut short and shrubbery within 100 feet of the home well trimmed.

Information provided by CDC