It’s a problem none of us want to even think about. An influx of mice or rats is almost always an enormous headache for a homeowner. The unfortunate reality is that these pesky critters are persistent and eager to set up shop in your home, so getting rid of them (or even preventing them from coming in the first place) is usually a more difficult task than it seems. To assist you in the fight to keep out rodents this summer, here are a few useful tips and tricks.
-Don’t Give Them a Chance to Come In-
Rodents, especially mice, are extremely clever when it comes to finding entry into your home. Even tiny cracks that appear too small for any rodent to fit in are often still large enough for mice, or even small rats, to squeeze through and enter your house. As time consuming as it is, your best bet is to identify and fill any openings that could allow rodents inside, including spaces under doors and around windows. Just be aware that certain materials, such as wood and rubber, can be chewed through by rodents with little difficulty.
-Cleanliness is Key-
Filling in small gaps and cracks is a great first step in preventing rodents from entering your home, but it is not all that is required in keeping rodents at bay. Mice and rats need very little food, so crumbs and food scraps around the kitchen or other parts of the home can attract and sustain rodents for long periods of time.
Though food is arguably the most important thing to clean up, it is nearly as important to keep your home and yard free of miscellaneous debris and clutter. The benefits of doing so are twofold: a neater, less cluttered home gives you more opportunity to spot signs of rodents living there, and rodents can actually live in places like mulch piles or overgrown weeds.
-Be Strategic With Traps-
If you are sure that you have rodents living in your home, it could be time to start laying down traps. Of course, placing a few traps in random areas of the house and assuming the problem will just take care of itself is not the best plan. Instead, put most traps along the bottom of baseboards, as rodents typically stay close to walls as they move quickly through your home. Moreover, mice and rats will typically not travel very far from where they nest or find food, so try to concentrate the traps you place in areas where you see evidence of their activity.
-Don’t be Shy About Professional Help-
Having a do-it-yourself attitude is never a bad thing, and you should certainly take every possible action in ridding your home of rodents. However, if after an extended period of time you have still not successfully taken care of your rodent problem, it may be time to call in an exterminator. After all, rodents are not just a mere annoyance. They can cause a myriad of serious problems, including chewing through wires to the point that house fires are more likely to occur, contaminating food sources, and bringing lice or ticks into the home. If you are hesitant about calling a professional because of the greater cost in comparison to DIY methods, be aware that, if left unchecked, a rodent problem can lead to far more noticeable and costly issues down the road.