5 Steps to prevent rodent entry into your home
If you do not yet have a rodent problem inside your home, now is the time to take the following 5 steps to make sure you don’t end up with rodents in your home this winter!
#5 – Deny rodents access to food and water
I’m often asked how to deal with rodents in the yard/on the landscape. The best way to affect the population of rodents in your yard and in your neighborhood is to limit their access to food and water. The more food and water that is available to them, they will have more babies per litter, and will have more litters per year. We can have a dramatic impact on their population by limiting sources of food and water, such as:
- Food and water left out for pets, wildlife, and feral cats: These resources are exploited by rats after dark, and should be removed from your yard before sunset.
- Bird baths and potted plant saucers: These are also used by mosquitos for breeding, and emptying them daily before sunset will not only help reduce the rodent population, but will also reduce the amount of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood.
- Ripe/fallen fruit: Ripe fruit hanging on your fruit trees, and fruit that has fallen to the ground are a source of food and moisture for rats, and also for ants. Removing these daily before sunset will help reduce the amount of rodents and ants in your yard.
- Dog waste: Believe it or not, when food sources start getting hard to find, undigested food in dog and cat waste becomes a resource rats will exploit. Dog and cat feces should be removed daily before sunset.
#4 – Manage the shrubs that are planted next to the home
Shrubs should be vase shaped, not bowl shaped. You want to avoid shrubs that provide rodents places to hide near the walls of your home. Shrubs that are open near the ground, and fill out higher up are what you’re looking for. I’m on the look out for good photos to demonstrate this and will update this when I’ve taken them.
#3 – Keep trees trimmed 4 feet away from the house
Trees are exploited by rodents to gain access to the roof. If they can, they will drop from a tree like the one in this picture and land on the roof. If they have to, they can jump 4 feet from a branch to the roof.
While it’s true they can often access the roof without the trees, roof rats really like using the trees. Why would we want to make it easy for them… Just trim the trees!
#2 – Regularly inspect for and repair gaps/holes in the exterior walls/doors of your home
Gaps under doors, worn out garage door seals, vent screens that have worn out or have been cut to accommodate satellite cables and AC tubes are common entry points rodents will use to enter your home. Repairing these will effectively “close the door” to rodent entry into your home.
#1 – Sign up for a reoccurring pest service
When I service your home, in addition to removing webs and treating for pest problems, I will inspect for these and other conditions that can cause pest problems and either fix them, or report them to you so you can decide how to proceed. Contact me now to schedule your free home inspection.