Strategies to Avoid Mice, Rats and Other Rodents

A home or business owner need not sit idly by hoping (against hope) that a rodent problem or issue will not arise on the premises. Rather, there are specific strategies that can be employed as a means of protecting against a rodent infestation in a residence or commercial property.

Regular Exterior Inspection

Rats, mice, and rodents do not magically appear inside a residence or business. As mysterious and mischievous as these critters can seem, they don’t have access to something akin to the beaming system on Star Trek which instantly transports them into your home or business. Rather, there is likely to be concrete evidence of their existence around the exterior of your structure before mice, rats, and other rodents gain access to the interior.

This reality points to an imperative strategy you need to employ in an effort to proactively prevent an infestation. You need to conduct a regular, comprehensive inspection of the exterior of your home or business.

Some so-called experts suggest that you should inspect the exterior of a building once every sixth month. This might be adequate for some elements associated with the exterior of a property that warrants inspection to ensure that they are in order. It is not frequently enough as a proactively protect against a mouse, rat, or other rodent invasions.

When doing a regular exterior rodent inspection, there are specific things you need to be on the alert for that include:

  • Rodent droppings
  • Trail marks in grass or dirt
  • Rub marks or greasy-looking smears
  • Gnaw mark
  • Rodents themselves

A few points on these signs of rodents present somewhere on the property are helpful. First, rodent droppings can be highly dangerous. They can carry serious, and even potentially fatal diseases. This includes dried droppings, which crumble easily and can cause harmful germs to become airborne. Thus, you need to take care when approaching droppings. You must not disturb them without using appropriate safety protocols. In other words, you cannot just sweep rodent droppings away because you run the risk of making dangerous germs airborne.

Rodents are something of creatures of routine or habit. They are animals that forage for food and tend to use the same pathways when doing do, day in and day out. Thus, in a fairly short period of time, they create paths in lawns and gardens.

Mice, rats, and other rodents leave what oftentimes is called rub marks on surfaces of different types. These rub marks tend to look like greasy smears and are composed of a number of substances. Rodents leave these marks for a number of reasons, including as a means of marking territory and delineated where they’ve foraged. You may find these along the base of exterior walls as well as on the ground around your home or business.

Gnaw marks also represent another indication that rodents are around. Rodents have incisors that continue to grow throughout their lives. Thus, they need to gnaw to keep their incisors trimmed. In addition, they will gnaw on everything from wood to vinyl to plastic to brick to other substances as part of an effort to gain entry into a building.

Of course, it is possible that you may catch sight of a rodent itself. Bear in mind that rodents are nocturnal animals and are not out and about that often during daylight hours.

Plug Holes to Prevent Entrance by Rodents

During your inspections, you not only need to be on guard for the specific signs of rodents mentioned a moment ago, but you also need to be on the lookout for defects in the exterior of your home that can provide a passageway to rodents of different types. Small holes and cracks can develop in the exterior of buildings for a myriad of reasons beyond rodent gnawing. Rest assured, rodents will take advantage of these portals whenever they can. Keep in mind that a mouse can make its way through a hole or crack no wider than a dime. A rat can do the same through a hole or crack no larger than a quarter.

The best material to block a hole or crack in the concrete. Provided it has been appropriately cured, concrete is one substance that rodents cannot effectively gnaw through.

Keep Clutter and Trash at Bay

When it comes to proactive strategies to prevent a rodent infestation, you also need to keep clutter and trash at bay around your home or business (and inside as well). This includes taking steps like:

  • Making sure lids on garbage cans are secured tightly
  • Keep firewood away from an exterior wall by at least 20 feet
  • Keep bushes, shrubs, and other foliage away from exterior walls
  • Keep the lawn mowed
  • Rake up leaves when they fall
  • Eliminate any clutter from around a building

By employing these proactive strategies, you put yourself in a better position to prevent a rodent infestation into your home or business in the first place. Taking these steps does require some effort on your part; however, it is far less than the task you face trying to eliminate a rodent infestation in your home or business.