There are few things as unpleasant as dealing with rats and mice invading your home. From spreading harmful diseases to gnawing on absolutely everything in sight, these pests are one of the last creatures you want to have as roommates. If you’ve noticed rodent droppings in cupboards or gnaw marks in food packaging, chances are you may be dealing with some very unwelcome guests in your home.
Thankfully, there are a number of tried and tested methods for preventing mouse and rat infestations at home. Learn how to remove rodents from your home and prevent them from returning with these 7 expert tips.
First and foremost, if you suspect that you may be dealing with a full-blown rodent infestation, it is important that you get in touch with a professional rodent control service. Rodents almost never move alone, which means that if you see just one, many others are likely nearby. An experienced pest control service will be able to carry out a concrete rat or mouse removal plan that will eradicate unwelcome guests from your home. Treatment typically involves using mechanical devices and chemical baits to get rid of rats and mice and sealing off entry points to prevent future re-infestation.
Bonus: Did you know that mice and rats don’t get along? If your home is infested with mice, you won’t have any issues with rats and vice versa.
The best way to ensure that rodents stay out of your home is to ensure that you seal up all holes along your exterior using recommended rodent-proofing materials. Pay particular attention to doors, windows, pipes, stoves and vents that can potentially have gaps for rodent entry. Additionally, make sure weather seals along the bottom edges of your garage doors are in good shape. It is important to remember that mice can squeeze through even the tiniest of holes, so make sure you do a thorough job of inspecting and sealing!
Rubbish bins that are left alongside your home or garage are a siren call to rats and mice (and maybe even other pests) unless they are kept tightly sealed with tight-fitting airproof lids. Never throw loose rubbish or food scraps into your bins and always ensure that you use heavy-duty bin bags that are properly sealed or tied up prior to placing them in your bins.
If possible, we also recommend keeping your rubbish bins as far from your home as you can. Of course, be sure to check with your local council or garbage collecting service prior to doing this. Another way to keep pests away from your bins is to secure lids with bungee cords or heavy rocks.
Rats need a continuous source of food, so the best thing you can do to deter them from your home is to eliminate possible food sources. This can be achieved by keeping all food items or ingredients in thick plastic or metal containers, cleaning up spills immediately and putting pet food away immediately after use. Avoid storing ingredients or food in plastic bags as rodents are also known to chew on these.
If you happen to have a compost bin, be sure to dig in a little deeper and deposit your food waste deep inside the pile before thoroughly covering it with grass clippings or leaves. For more tips on how to compost without attracting pests, be sure to check out this article.
Maintaining a clean, tidy and orderly home will help to greatly minimise your risk of rodent infestation by eliminating possible food sources and nesting sites. Always get rid of rubbish inside the home and aim to keep clutter at bay. Mice love to nest and burrow, and will often seek out cluttered areas to make themselves at home.
When it comes to the external areas of your home like the patio or backyard, be sure to trim bushes and shrubs away from the ground so that nothing (or no one) can hide underneath them. Always store firewood at least 12 inches off the ground and avoid making brush piles in your yard as these make the perfect home for rodents.
If you have small children or pets, it is important that you make use of natural repellents to keep the rodents at bay. Rodenticides are incredibly harmful to children, cats, dogs and other pets and may even cause death if left untreated. Thankfully, there are a number of holistic and natural repellents that you can use both inside and outside your home as a preventative measure.
Peppermint oil is known to be a great natural rodent deterrent, so consider growing peppermint leaves around the perimeter of your home. If you don’t like the smell of peppermint indoors, you can always consider using clove ry spraying a bit of clove essential oil instead.
You may have the best of intentions when you leave your bird feeder out, but it is important to keep in mind that seeds and grains that are found in most bird-food mixtures are a delightful treat for rodents. Additionally, rats are mighty good climbers and frequently access bird feeders hanging in trees. If you must feed birds, keep your feeders as far from the house as possible. Alternatively, for a truly rodent proof bird feeder, invest in a squirrel baffle.