How to Keep Mice and Rats Out of Your House
If you've managed to get rid of mice and rats in your house, you want to make sure they
don't come back. If you've never had them, it's an experience you want to miss. To keep these
pests out of your house, your strategy is to deprive them of what they want most: food and
shelter. Here are a few tips to help you pest-proof your house.
Remove Food Sources
Cover Your Trash
Make sure your garbage cans have snug lids and are made of metal. If you have to use plastic
trash cans, make sure that there are no holes in them. Secure them so that dogs or wildlife
can't tip them over.
Store Your Pet Food
Mice and rats love pet food. If you feed your dog outside and leave food out, you're inviting
every pest in the neighborhood to come on down. Store pet food and bird food in glass or metal
containers with tight lids.
Watch Your Composting
Composting is a great idea. But if you have a pest problem, you may need to make adjustments.
Invest in a compost container that's elevated at least 1 foot off the ground, especially if you
compost food scraps.
Pick Up Fallen Fruit
If you have fruit or nut trees, clean up any fruit that falls on the ground.
Clean Up Your Garage
Lawn seed, tulip bulbs, and bone meal are food sources for mice and rats. Store them in metal
or glass containers with tight lids. Don't store firewood in your garage, because it's a
potential nesting site.
It doesn't take much to invite mice or rats into your house. Small cracks or holes in your
foundation or windows are an open door to them. You have to look at your house carefully, and
take steps to make it less inviting to pests.
Inspect Your House
Look for for broken windows, damaged sills, or cracks in the siding or foundation. These have
to be fixed to keep pests out.
Check Carefully around Pipes and Stove and Dryer Vents
If there's a gap, cover the opening with a sheet-metal collar. If you have vents in your
foundation, replace the screens with galvanized woven hardware cloth or hail screen. The people
at your hardware store can help you with that.
Keep Pests from Climbing Up Your Siding
Install a strip of flashing 18 inches high all around your house to keep mice and rats from
getting in through the attic or upper floors.
Keep the Outside Tidy
English ivy is a favorite hiding place for pests, so you may need to replace it. Trim your
shrubs and bushes away from the ground, so nothing can hide under them. Store firewood at least
1 foot off the ground.
Keep It Up
The truth is, we make life pretty easy for mice and rats. That's why, all around the world,
they live near humans. With a little effort, you can keep those pests out of your home.