Rodent-Proof Your Home

Click on an area of concern to see what conditions commonly lead to a rodent problem, and what you can do to prevent them.

         

Tips For A Rodent-Free Home

Whether you’re in the middle of a battle against rodents or want to prevent an infestation from ever happening, rodent proofing is essential to protecting your home. Rodent populations will continue to increase in conditions that allow easy access to food and shelter. By properly storing common attractants, sanitizing your indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as sealing off access points to your home, you will be able to reduce or eliminate the conditions that invite rodent infestations. Below are some simple steps you can take to stop rodents from making your home theirs.

Storage

It’s easy to forget about the food and items you keep stored away, but mice sure haven’t forgotten about them! Ensuring that your cupboards and other storage areas are properly organized and inspected is an important step in the battle against rodents

  • Store dry food, pet food, and birdseed in metal, glass, or plastic containers.
  • Properly seal any seasonal storage items to prevent nesting.
  • Avoid using cardboard boxes that can easily be accessed by nesting rodents.
  • Raise storage items off the ground using shelving or pallets.

Sanitize

Sanitation is an important step in preventing rodent infestations. Rodents must have adequate food and shelter in order to live and thrive. Removal of these two factors is the best way to prevent and control rodent problems. It is important to include both the outside and inside of your home in your sanitation efforts.

Indoors

  • Clean common crumb areas, including under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers.
  • Regularly sanitize countertops and keep them clear of food.
  • Do not leave glasses of water out overnight.
  • Remove uneaten pet food at night and keep the area clean.
  • Keep garbage cans clean and covered.
  • Regularly clean up areas of moisture.

Outdoors

  • Regularly mow the lawn to prevent hiding spots.
  • Trim overgrown vegetation until ground underneath is visible.
  • Clean up dropped seeds from bird feeders.
  • Pick up any fruit that has fallen from trees in your yard.
  • Remove any debris, including rock piles, old equipment, etc.
  • Store firewood off the ground and away from the house.

Seal

One of the best ways to control rodents is to make it impossible for them to gain entry to your home. It can be difficult to exclude mice completely since they can pass through ¼-inch openings, approximately the size of a dime. Rats can squeeze through ½-inch openings or the size of a nickel. Regularly inspect and repair these common rodent access points to keep them out.

Rodent-Proofing Materials

  • Caulk
  • Coarse Steel Wool
  • Concrete
  • Copper or Aluminum Wire Mesh
  • Hardware Cloth - 19 gauge
  • Sheet Metal – 26 gauge thickness

Common Access Points

  • Plug or repair all cracks and gaps in foundation, walls, basements, etc.
  • Seal gaps and cracks around doors and window frames.
  • Caulk holes around pipes that lead to appliances.
  • Cover up any open insulation that mice may use as nesting
  • Seals around all exterior lines leading through walls must be tight.
  • Place a cap on the chimney to prevent entry by rodents and other animals.

Inspection Checklists

Now that you know how rodent proofing can help you in the battle against mice and rats, it’s time for your own home inspection. Since finding rodent nests can feel like a game of hide and seek, we are providing you with a few tools to give you the leg up! Download our printable checklists to keep on hand so you never miss a high-activity area while inspecting and repairing your home.