Keeping rodents out of the house
Has your home become a haven for mice, rats, even squirrels? Here a few tips to keep them outdoors where they belong.
Why do rodents come into our homes?
The answer is an easy one. Our homes are quite simply a paradise on earth for them, especially when winter sets in.
Rodents invade our houses because they find everything they need – plenty of food and shelter from the cold.
They have a keen sense of smell and can easily detect when there’s food around.
What’s more, most houses have all these critters need to make their nests – paper, plastic bags, furniture, pillow stuffing and so on.
Preventing an invasion of rodents
The best strategy to keep rodents like rats, mice and voles at bay is to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions.
Fall is the ideal time to put these tips into practice.
A rodent-proof house
In fall, inspect your home from top to bottom for places where rodents might find their way in.
Keep in mind that a hole the size of a dime is enough for unwanted furry guests to find their way inside the house.
Blocking all the holes is essential:
- Install metal weatherstripping under the doors.
- Caulk windows, and seal cracks in the floors and gaps around pipes.
- Block any holes in the foundation with cement.
- Stuff spaces around pipes with steel wool and caulk or plaster.
- Cover the dryer duct with a fine metal mesh, as well as any vents in the roof (attic), range hood ventilation and roof overhangs.
Ideally, don’t use wood or rubber to seal holes as mice and rats can chew through.
Stay on your guard and regularly check out-of-the-way places in the kitchen, basement, attic, etc.
Make your home less attractive
The idea is to make your home as unappealing as possible to rodents, and minimize their desire to build their nest nearby.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Remove clutter from around the house, garage and garden shed, especially wood, tires, compost bins, etc.
- Keep the grass cut short.
- Opt for garbage bins with tight fitting lids.
- Cut branches that are close to the roof, so that squirrels will be less likely to show off their jumping skills.
- Turn off all water sources they might need.
- Do not put comestibles like eggs, fatty foods or dairy products in the compost.
- Place the compost bin over a metal mesh mat.
If there is food available, rodents will work very hard to get at it.
Here are a few tips for the kitchen and pantry:
- Keep these areas clean and tidy.
- Store pet food in plastic bins or containers.
- Store dry food in hermetically sealed containers.
- Don’t leave food lying around unnecessarily.