Protecting Your Home From Pesky Rodents

Posted on: 4 November 2014

With the cold weather quickly approaching, many homes are noticing a rise in mice and other small pests.  Killing them is certainly not the most compassionate option; not to mention the detrimental effects poisons can have on pets and small children.  This article will discuss several tips to keep your home pest free:

Physical Barriers and Deterrents

Rats can squeeze through a space as tight as a half inch and mice only need a quarter of an inch to get into your home.  Expansion joints in brick homes offer the perfect entry place for many rodents.  While more expensive options are available, crumpled chicken wire allows the joints to expand and contract while providing a spiky deterrent to pesky critters.

Any gap in the exterior of your home invites pests.  Rats can jump up to three feet to gain entrance, and while mice can only jump about a foot, they've been known to use one vertical surface as a launch pad to reach another, higher one.  So in order to protect your home, you will need to look considerably higher than you might guess for cracks, gaps and chinks.

If you have any trees surrounding your home, it's likely that you have squirrels as well, in which case attic space with entrances under the eaves become prime real estate for uninvited guests.  Again, chicken wire is perfect to fill many spaces; but in spots where chicken wire is not ideal, steel or copper wool is an excellent option.

Mice can produce as many as 50 offspring in a single year, so it's important to remove any existing pests from your home as well as keeping more from entering. Live traps are a humane option to catch pests, and are available in many sizes depending on what type of critter you are trying to get rid of.

Protecting Your Yard

After protecting your home, it is time to take a good look at the yard.  Keep it as free of debris as possible.  Wood piles and heaps of branches or yard clippings create the perfect nesting place for rodents, so they should be kept far away from the house.

Bird feeders, as well as the scraps in compost heaps provide easy meals for pests, and should also be kept well away from the house.  It will help deter pests if you remove tall grasses and other hiding places surrounding these spaces as it makes it harder for rodents to approach them safely.

For obvious reasons, barns and out-buildings are harder to keep free of pests.  When possible, remove all uneaten food from livestock pens.  Be sure that feed is stored in metal containers since plastic can be chewed through by persistent rodents. 

Using these tips, you can reclaim your home from unwanted pests. For more help, or answers to your other questions, contact a company like Environmental Services Pest Control.