How to Get Rid of Rodents in Your House

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Rodent control starts with prevention. Rodents that enter your home can cause damage to possessions and the home structure. Besides the damage that rodents cause, they also carry diseases and pose a health risk to you and your family. When you breathe in the dust that floats around the house contaminated with rodent urine or droppings, you risk exposure to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which is potentially fatal.

Things You'll Need

  • Garbage container with lid
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Food storage containers with lids
  • Caulking
  • Rubber grommets
  • Weather striping
  • Snap traps (rat or mouse size)
  • Peanut butter

Rodent Prevention

  • Transfer indoor garbage into a container with a lid. The container should be metal or plastic and the lid should have a tight fit so that rodents cannot smell the source and get into the garbage. Wash the garbage containers to keep them clean if the plastic bags inside break open.

  • Place food into containers with tight lids. If you have leftover foods after a meal or partial boxes of food items such as cereal or bread, keep these items in a tightly sealed container so the rodents cannot smell the food or get to it.

  • Wipe up food spills from counters, floors, tables and stovetops so the rodents don't have anything to feast on in the home. This includes any spills under refrigerators, stoves and other household appliances.

  • Remove potential outdoor attractants. Move wood piles away from the house. Make compost piles as far away from the home as possible. Keep outdoor garbage cans off the ground by 1 foot. Remove any old car parts including tires from the yard. Keep bushes well-trimmed and the grass mowed short.

  • Check the foundation for entry points. Look at outside doors, fireplace openings, the attic, basement crawl spaces and between wall and floor junctures. Check openings where gas lines, electrical wires and cable wires enter the home. Close up entry points with caulking, rubber grommets or weather stripping.

Rodent Removal

  • Set up snap traps in the areas where you see rodent droppings. If you don't see rodent droppings, place the traps in basements, attics and around the interior of the living corridors. Do not place traps where there is a lot of human foot traffic.

  • Position the snap trap so that it is lengthwise from the flat wall surface. Do not place it sideways against the wall.

  • Apply a pea-size amount of peanut butter on the trap and set it. Place the snap trap. Check the trap every day. If there is a rodent in the trap, use gloves to remove the rodent into the garbage and reset the trap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not set traps until you have followed the preventive advice or more rodents will keep coming indoors.
  • Live traps can scare the rodents and cause them to urinate, which poses health risks.
  • Do not use poisons, or rodents will eat it and possibly go somewhere indoors to die, which will cause a stench that is hard to locate and clean.

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References

  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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