Oh, rats! If you have rodents nesting in and around your home, what can you do to stop those critters in their tracks? Rats, mice, and even squirrels can cause a lot of trouble around your home and garden. Here’s how to wave them goodbye.
Why These Rodents Are Unwelcome Houseguests
Wild mice and rats may seem cute to some, but they’re not the kind of guests you want to keep in your home for the long term. According to EarthKind, wild rodents are linked to a number of different diseases, such as “hantavirus, lassa fever, and leptospirosis.” Unfortunately, you don’t need to handle them to have a problem: their urine and feces can carry diseases as well.
Wild rodents can also cause problems in your home. They need to chew, and they chew up paper, insulation, and other materials to make nests. If they chew inside your home, you can end up with shredded insulation, holes in your attic, and damaged wiring, all because of hundreds of little teeth.
Be Proactive With Rodent Control
You know that once you have rodents, you can control them with poison and traps. Rodent control measures can be dangerous to children, pets, and other wild animals. How can you prevent yourself from getting to that stressful point when you hear the scurrying of little feet above you and wonder how you’re going to get rid of those rodents in the attic? Prevention is just as important here as it is when you’re planning to keep your living room cool or avoid roof leaks. Address the structural issues around your home and garden, and you’ll let rodents know that they’re unwelcome before they ever arrive.
Remove Hideouts for Rats and Mice
The best prevention begins with a thorough inspection of your home. You might think that your home does not have any holes, but have you looked at it from a mouse’s point of view? Even small holes can be an entryway for a mouse.
- Look at your foundation for cracks, and block holes with wire mesh or foam.
- Inspect your door and windows for cracks. Look around the frame for rot. Add kick plates to doors if you think that mice can fit underneath them.
- Take a look at your chimney. Can you add a cap to it or decommission it if it’s no longer in use or in poor condition?
- Conduct roof inspections after each storm season, and repair any damage so that rodents can’t get into your attic.
- Add rodent guards to pipes and wires that go into your home.
Reduce Food Sources and Nesting Areas in and Around Your Home
How can you avoid turning your home into a rodent hotel? Don’t put up a vacancy sign. Try to reduce the number of potential homes for rodents in your yard.
- Clean up fall debris. Add mulch to your garden beds instead of leaving those old leaves and sticks in piles around the garden in the fall.
- Maintain order around your garden. If you find that you have a lot of piles of old items, give them away or get a junk removal company to collect them. If you love to collect bits and pieces around the garden, do so in a sealed shed.
- Keep your garbage in a safe place until it’s ready to go out, or you could give rodents a bed and breakfast. According to Angie’s List, “garbage must be kept in sealed bags or containers, and any kind of debris should be removed.”
Control Your Compost
Do you love to build soil for your garden beds? Composting is a sensible and ecologically-minded activity, and it’s wonderful for your garden. However, if you don’t do it correctly, you can attract a lot more wildlife than the worms that you want to see in your garden.
If you compost in an open system, you could see a lot of rodents coming to visit this lovely pile of food. Compost in a sealed bin instead, and manage your compost, alternating green and brown materials so that it composts more quickly.
Be aware of natural sources of compost in your garden as well. If you have a large vegetable garden or many fruit trees, rotting vegetables and fruit can attract rodents. Make sure that you pick fruit before it drops to the ground, and if you’re on vacation, ask someone else to do so to avoid attracting rodents.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
How are your gutters connected to rodent damage? Your home is a system, and gutter problems in one area can cause rodent problems in another:
- Blocked gutters can also lead to waterlogged soil, which leads to foundation damage.
- Blocked gutters cause problems for your roof and your siding, and waterlogged roofs and siding are more prone to be soft and easy for animals to damage.
- Gutters full of debris are the ideal places for squirrels, rats, and mice to gather nesting materials.
Combine these three elements, and you’ve laid out the perfect welcome mat for local rodents. Reduce your gutter problems by adding gutter covers, and you take away several incentives for rodents to nest in and around your home.
At Harry Helmet, we’re here to help you protect your home. Whether you’re looking for a new roof, an awning to protect your home from the sun, or gutter covers to stop water from moving down your siding and your home foundation, Harry Helmet is here for you. Schedule a free estimate today.
For more information on How to Get Rid of Mice, check out these 5 Home Mice Remedies from our friends over at Tips Bulletin.