Mice and rats can present a true challenge for even the most diligent homeowner. They can contaminate food, damage property, carry parasites, and spread over 35 diseases. If you suspect that you might have rodents in your home, it’s crucial to understand how to remove them from your property and keep them from returning. In this blog post, we will equip you with essential tips that will not only make your home a less attractive target for rats and mice but help you remove the pesky critters for good.
Be Proactive: Keep that Mouse out of the House!
A 13th Century Latin adage wisely states, ‘it is better and more useful to meet a problem in time than to seek a remedy after the damage is done’. This rings particularly true regarding any infestation, but it is especially relevant when discussing rodents. If you shudder at sharing your home with unwanted guests, the best course of action is to take proactive steps to prevent them from entering your property.
However, it’s important to note that even if you take all of the necessary precautions, there’s always a chance that rodents could still find their way into your Adelaide home. If you think you might have a problem, it’s paramount to call a licensed building inspector who can safely and effectively identify the pests.
1: Seal Any Cracks or Holes on the Outside of Your Home
One of the most important things you can do to keep rodents out of your home is sealing up any cracks or openings that they could potentially use as a point of entry. Such areas will include gaps around:
We recommend using caulk, weather-stripping, or other sealants of your preference to close up any openings. It’s important to remember that mice are crafty, determined, and (perhaps most importantly), don’t have collarbones. This means they can squeeze through mind-bogglingly small spaces. Even ones the size of a pen! Because of this, it’s essential to thoroughly analyse your home and seal any cracks or openings, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
2: Eliminate potential food sources
Like all animals, mice are attracted to places that fulfil their fundamental needs. In addition to sealing up cracks and openings that may lead them to the warmth and shelter provided by your home, you should also take steps to eliminate potential food and water sources. This means keeping food in tightly sealed containers made of glass or metal. If you have pet food bowls, bring them inside at night so that rodents don’t begin associating your home with an easy meal.
3: Keep Your Home Clean
Another essential step in preventing rodents is to keep your home clean and clutter-free. Mice and rats like to nest in shaded, mussy areas, so the less clutter you have in your home, the less likely they want to stick around. Be sure to vacuum regularly and clean up any spills or crumbs that might attract them. Sanitising surfaces with a peppermint-scented cleaning agent or products containing peppermint oil can also help keep them at bay.
4: Reconsider where you store firewood
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s essential to reconsider where you store your firewood. Stacks of firewood are often the perfect hiding spot for rodents, so if possible, try to keep it away from your home. If that’s not an option, scrutinise any log piles before hauling them inside to ensure no rodents have sequestered themselves within.
5: Keep Your Bins Closed and away from the house
Another common way rodents make their way into homes is by rummaging through bins. To prevent this, keep your bins closed and as far away from your house as practicable. If you have a compost bin, it’s also essential to keep it sealed so that rodents don’t have access to a cornucopia of potential food sources. Compost bins can be a particularly attractive food source for rodents, so it’s essential to take extra precautions when deciding where to store them. We advise opting for a shady corner of your property that is a comfortable walking distance from your house.
6: Trim Overgrown Vegetation
If you have any overgrown vegetation in your yard, it’s important to trim it so that rodents don’t have a place to hide. Tall grass and weeds are not only an issue that should be addressed by regular maintenance but are the perfect hiding spot for mice and rats. Keeping your yard tidy is essential in preventing them from residing on your property.
7: Find and eliminate areas of dampness
Mice and rats are attracted to areas of dampness, so it’s vital to find and eliminate any sources of moisture in your home. This might include fixing leaky pipes or repairing any cracks or holes in your foundation that could be letting water seep inside.
How to tell if rodents are already in your home
These are just a few things you can do to prevent rodents from taking up residence in your home. However, if you suspect that you already have an existing rodent infestation, we encourage you to look for the following signs:
Droppings in your cupboards or on your floors
When it comes to rodents, it’s essential to know what you’re dealing with. Unfortunately, one of the main ways you may become aware of rodents in your home is by discovering droppings in your cupboards or on the floor. Mice droppings are small, dark pellets about the size of a grain of rice. Rat droppings are larger and have a more tubular shape. If you see either of these in your home, it’s time to take action.
Damage to food packaging
Holes in food packaging or evidence of chewing are surefire signs that rodents have been rummaging through your food. If you see any damage to food packaging, throw the affected item away and take steps to prevent further access. We advise using sturdy containers made from metal or glass to keep food items stored away.
Chew marks on furniture or electrical cords
Rodents are known for chewing on furniture and electrical cords. If you see any chew marks on these items in your home, it’s a good indication that you have a rodent problem.
Nesting materials like shredded paper or fabric
Mice and rats will often build nests out of shredded paper or fabric. While nests are often located in hidden areas like attics or crawl spaces, they can also be found in more visible places like cupboards or behind appliances.
The Importance of Hiring a Licensed Professional
Trying to deal with rodents on your own can be precarious, so it’s always best to leave it to the experts. First and foremost, rats and mice can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. They can also cause damage to your home by chewing on electrical wires, which can be left exposed and create a severe hazard. Finally, if you use rodent poison, there is a risk of the poison harming other animals or humans if it’s not used correctly. For these reasons, it’s always best to call a licensed professional when dealing with rodents in your home.
At Select Building Inspections, we work with Adelaide Pest Control, one of Adelaide’s foremost pest control companies. We have years of experience dealing with all types of pests. We can not only determine whether or not you have a rodent problem but also provide services that safely and effectively eliminate them from your home.
We hope you found this blog helpful. Rodent control can be daunting, but with these tips, you’ll be able to keep your home free of these pests. If you find signs of damage in your home or suspect you might have an infestation, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed professional for assistance. At Select Building Inspections, we’re always here to help, so be sure to get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and provide industry-leading advice.