Notice any rodent droppings or teeth marks around your home? Perhaps you’ve heard the scurrying feet of nasty critters in the garage or inside the walls. For many people, rodents in the home are like a bad horror film, and they will run out and purchase pesticides to rid their property of these unwelcome guests. But, toxic chemicals and poison-based traps should only be used as a last line of defense. There are safer ways to rid your property of rodents.
One of the first ways to address a rodent problem is to remove the critter buffet from around your home. Garbage cans, pet food containers, bird feeders, and compost bins are like a concentration of fast-food restaurants for rodents. Your first line of defense is to clean up these areas and make sure everything is covered. Here are a few tips to clean up the all-you-can-eat rodent buffet:
- Use a plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid.
- Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible.
- Do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight.
- Keep bird feeders away from the house.
- Use squirrel guards on bird feeders to help keep rodents away, and clean up around the bird feeder.
- Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean.
Once you have cleaned up around your property, the next step is to inspect the perimeter of your home to look for any possible points of entry. It is important to keep in mind that rats and mice can squeeze through an opening as small as one-quarter inch. You’ll need to plug up all openings for utility lines, air conditioning units, vents, and drain pipes. Rodents can also get in through cracks in the foundation, doggie doors, loose roof ventilators, warped or ill-fitting doors, eave vents, and any other areas with very small openings. You can find the materials you need to plug up openings at your local home improvement store, or seek out the services of an expert – either way, get those holes plugged up as soon as possible o keep the rodents outside where they belong.
If you have rats in or around your home, reach for the traps, and not the baits and the poison. Baits filled with poison can be hazardous to children and pets if not sued properly. In addition to having toxic substances in and around your home, rats will take the bait and possibly go off to die in between your walls or floors, which will result in disgusting odors and insect problems.
The last line of defense against rodents is to protect your pipes – your drainage pipes. A curb drain grate protects your business or residence from mice and rats entering drainage holes and getting into your homes and businesses. A curb drain grate also prevents outside debris from clogging your drainpipes, and keeps your drains free and clear. It’s easy to install, and though it restricts access to the interior of the drainage system, it allows for the free flow of drainage.
By cleaning up any potential food sources around your property, plugging up any and all holes (even ones that look too small), using traps, and installing a curb drain gate, you will get rid of rats and mice, and leave the house to the humans and pets!