Protecting your House from Rodents

They say if you see one, there is more. A lot more depending on the infestation.
Rodents breed quickly. Quickly turning your mouse or rat sighting into a much larger
problem. Did you know, mice are known to reproduce up to 10 litters in a year with
about 6 young in each litter? And each female rat can reproduce 7 litters in one year,
with up to 14 young in each litter. Rodents are not only a nuisance, but can ruin the
foundation of your home; carry and transmit potentially fatal diseases; chewed
wires may spark house fires. Protect your house from rodents by practicing these good
habits and following these tips. Remember: prevention is key.
Seal All Entry Ways
Ultimately, the first step into protecting your home from rodents is preventing them to
enter in the first place; however, this task is difficult because rodents, especially mice,
can wriggle their way through openings only ¼ inch wide. Nevertheless, inspect all entry
points of your home, including doors, windows, and any cracks. Install door sweeps on
exterior doors, repair damaged screens, and seal any cracks.
Paint a 12” Band on the Exterior of your Home
Rats can easily scale brick or stone foundations. To deter climbing, paint a 12” band, at
least three feet from the ground, with high gloss paint. This paint can also be used to
create a band around exterior piping that will also deter rodents from entering your
home.
Trim Tree Branches and Hedges
Inspect the tree branches and hedges near your home. If any branches or hedges are
touching or hanging over your home, they can be pathways for rodents into your home.
Trim branches and hedges while keeping grass short to expose the soil beneath and to
eliminate areas where rodents may seek shelter.
Properly Store Food
The pantry is a breeding ground for rodents. All food should be stored in airtight
containers. Remember to dispose of any containers that seem to be contaminated or
chewed through as rodents can transfer deadly diseases through their saliva.
Additionally, be sure to dispose of garbage regularly and do not allow it to pile up.
Remove Possible Food/Water Sources
During winter months, rodents retreat to homes due to a lack of food and natural
resources. Remember to remove any possible food or water sources so that you are not
inviting rodents into your home. This includes removing any uneaten pet food and water
after feeding; tending to leaky pipes and disposing of garbage regularly. Also know, bird
feeders aren’t just a food source for birds, but rodents, too. It would be wise to remove
any bird feeders from the premises.