Outsmarting the Rodents: Prevention of Rats and Mice Infestation
Let’s face it – there’s nothing peskier than pests; that’s why we call them that. And no matter how small they are, mice and rats can present a constant source of stress for anyone who’s living in a particularly large home or any kind of rural area. Luckily, there are ways of preventing mice and rat infestations, as well as battling them once they appear. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a couple of excellent tips on that very subject!
Eliminating Food Sources
Before you can prevent pests from appearing anywhere near your home or yourself; you have to understand why they may come in the first place. How does that old adage go – know thy enemy? Well, Sun Tzu was right (if that’s even him in the first place) in this situation as well. So, think about it – what attracts rats and mice to your home? That’s right: food. At the end of the day, it’s as simple as that. Considering that, if you want to deny any nearby rodents entry to your home; we recommend eliminating any potential food sources for rodents first!
But how would you go about doing that? First of all, you should keep any food out of reach of mice and other pests; only keep it in tightly sealed metal containers or thick plastic Tupperware. This kind of prevention is the most basic kind of pest control there is. Also, if any food gets spilled, don’t leave it lying around for prolonged periods of time; clean it up thoroughly, so it doesn’t attract rats. The same goes for cooking utensils and dishes – you want to wash these as soon as you’re done using them.
Other Food Sources
Apart from this, there are other potential food sources to think of; especially if you live in a house with a yard. For example, you’ve probably got a grill or some other kind of cooking equipment outside. If that’s the case, keep all of it as clean as possible, and don’t let any grease or food leftovers remain to lay around for too long. Also, if you’ve got a yard – chances are you’ve got a pet like a dog or a cat. If so, we recommend you take great care while handling pet food – it’s known to attract animals you’re less fond of, like our titular pests.
So, when you’re done with pet food, put it away in a proper storage area. And make sure no water bowls or pet feeders are left out overnight. The same goes for bird feeders; keep these away from your home, if you’ve got a yard.
Apart from pet food, you should also change the way you handle garbage; don’t count on rats not being attracted to trash. So, use a garbage can that has a tight lid, so the rodents can’t get inside and ravage the trash. If you have compost bins, you need to separate these from the house as far away as you can – the CDC recommends at least 100 feet. The same is true for animal feed and grains in rural areas; you want them away from your home, and kept in properly sealed containers. Speaking of which – we’ve mentioned the importance of nicely sealed containers for different kinds of organic waste a couple of times here. Remember to regularly wash and disinfect all of these containers!
Eliminate Nesting Sites
It’s not all about dealing with the food sources of rodents. Remember, these aren’t animals that are known to travel far and wide in order to find food. Generally, if you spot any of them once or twice; you’ll know that they have a nesting site somewhere nearby. And you’d actually be surprised as to just how close these can be! That’s why we recommend checking for potential rodent nests and disposing of them ASAP.
For instance, you should elevate garbage cans, woodpiles, or haybales a foot off the soil, so that they lose these convenient spots for nesting. You should also keep any woodpiles separated from your house; that’s one of the most common nesting places for household pests. Additionally, you’d be wise to declutter your surroundings as much as possible; some lite landscaping wouldn’t do you badly. At a bare minimum, get rid of any old tires, cars, or trucks; rats and mice may very well use these as their homes. Regularly trim your grass and shrubbery as well!
Regardless of the level of care, you invest in keeping your home as clean as possible and not attracting rats and mice; some of them are bound to turn up around your yard. That’s only natural, and that’s not something you’ll ever be able to eliminate completely. However, what you can do is reduce the likelihood of pests entering your home in the first place! That’s why you need to seal up any outside and inside holes, to bar them from entry. Get yourself a caulk gun, and start sealing up any exterior holes you can find.
Crucially, you mustn’t underestimate rats and mice when it comes to the size of these holes. They’re pretty nimble animals, and mice are able to squeeze themselves through a nickel-sized hole! Don’t give them any opportunities by deeming any hole too small for them to fit through; they’re likely to surprise you.
As you may have realized, there is no 100% certain way to repel mice and rats; some of them may appear from time to time, especially in a country estate or rural suburb. But the steps we’ve described above will reduce the likelihood of that happening to the very minimum; making them more than worth your time and effort! Just make sure you’re careful if you decide to use any mouse traps or chemicals; these can be as detrimental to your own health as to the pests you’re battling.