How to stop rats and mice

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Rodents have evolved to survive. They reproduce fast, adapt easily to environmental changes and love the conveniences human habitations provide. They can also be highly destructive and carry disease. Take the steps necessary to keep them out of your home; they could invade even in clean spaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool
  • Caulking compound
  • Wire mesh
  • Chew-proof containers
  • Snap traps
  • Fill or cover any gaps or holes around your home that are 1/4 inch or larger. Plug with steel wool mixed with caulking compound; wire mesh can cover holes.

  • Keep your home and garden clean and free from clutter. Refuse attracts rodents for nests and food.

  • Don't leave pet food outdoors. You'll be feeding more than pets.

  • Hang bird feeders away from the house. The rodents will show up to feast on dropped seed at night.

  • Keep compost heaps at a distance from the house.

  • Store all food within the house structure (not the garage or outbuildings) and in chew-proof containers such as glass.

  • Set up wood-based snap traps near areas where feces has been found, in dark corners, and along walls.

  • There are a number of repellents also on the market from predator urine to mixed chemicals. Some of these will increase your chances of success if combined with preventative measures.

Tips & Warnings

  • Live traps are an option, but let the rodents go far from your home to keep them from returning.
  • Any plugs or covers used should be rodent-chewing proof.
  • Poisons may cut down on populations, but they are dangerous to children and pets as well as being toxic to the environment. If you choose this route, find a reputable pest control expert to do the applications.
  • Always use and place traps cautiously, especially if pets or children are in the home. Be sure they are placed in hidden locations.
  • Wear rubber gloves when dealing with rodents or their droppings. Wash hands thoroughly.

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References

  • Photo Credit Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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