Here are some simple steps every homeowner can take in order to keep mice and rats from entering and making themselves feel at home.
Repair Tiny Cracks and Holes
Both mice and rats can squeeze through small openings, so the first and most important thing to do is to get rid of any potential entry points. Install weather stripping on your garage door, doors and windows, or have it replaced in case it’s old and damaged. Patch small cracks in the walls, repair your roofing and replace broken shingles. Use fine steel mesh to cover all vents and chimneys, and also to cover the openings in the outer walls before plastering. If there are small holes around electrical, plumbing, cable and gas lines, fill them with steel wool and then put caulk around the wool.
Stop Making Nesting Easy
If you are too lazy to remove the clutter from your backyard or garden, these vermin will use it as their nesting site. What you should do is elevate hay and woodpiles at least one foot off the ground and move them as far as possible from the house. Keep the grass short and trim the branches so that they are away from your roof. Another excellent nesting site is your unused attic: insulation, cardboard boxes and old furniture make excellent nesting material!
Eliminate Food and Water Sources
If you have a composter, place a layer of metal mesh between the soil and its bottom. All cooking areas and grills should also be kept clean. Clean up any spilled food right away and do the dishes after every meal. Use plastic or metal containers with tight-fitting lids for storing leftover or dry food, as well as for pet food and animal feed. All of your garbage bins should also have tight-fitting lids, both inside and outside. Make sure you dispose of the trash on a regular basis. As for water sources, take care of any leaking taps, sweating pipes and open drains, and don’t leave water bowls outside overnight.