How to Kill Rat's and Mice Safely

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Old-fashioned mouse traps are harmful to children or pets if found by the wrong creature.
Old-fashioned mouse traps are harmful to children or pets if found by the wrong creature. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Ridding your house of rodents can be a time-consuming headache. Rats and mice chew through wires and insulation, ruin dry goods inside your pantry and are simply unsanitary to have inside your home. While you may not actually see them, signs of their existence include their droppings, scampering noises within walls or cupboards and shredded food containers in your kitchen. The University of Kentucky Entomology Department advises first "thinking like a mouse" to block entry before attempting to trap or remove rodents that have already found their way indoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Materials to seal mouse entrances (spray foam, steel wool, caulk)
  • Glue-based rodent traps

Seal any holes you have around your house that could be letting the rodents in. Look where pipes enter your house, into crawl spaces and around any other small openings a small animal could fit through. Rats can squeeze through spaces as small as 1/4 inch. This step is important in keeping the rats out once you've controlled the problem inside.

Determine where the rodents are spending most of their time. This can usually be accomplished by finding the highest concentration of feces. Rodents tend to run along walls and baseboards. They have poor vision and use their whiskers to sense objects on either side of them.

Place the glue-based rodent traps in the areas you determined the rats and mice congregate. Check the trap occasionally, and dispose of the whole trap once it catches a rodent. If the trap goes empty for two to three days, that's a sign that no rodents are present in that area. Pick the trap up and move it to different location.

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