Rodents are one of the most common pests in homes and businesses. They can cause damage to food, insulation, wiring, and more. Also, they make unpleasant noises at night when they’re trying to find a way out of your home. If you do not put deliberate measures in place, these filthy, disease-ridden vermin can drive you nuts. Getting rid of them, however, isn’t as easy as it may seem.
How to Get Rid of Rodents and Take Back Your House
What can you do about these filthy creatures? It’s time for a rodent control plan! Here, read how to remove rodents from your house, or other property:
- Get a Cat: A big, mean cat is even better since it will scare off the rodents and attack them! Just be sure to keep your doors closed so the cat doesn’t run out of the house and get hit by a car. Also, check with your city laws to see if it’s legal to have an outdoor cat and/or one that hunts rodents. If not, put up a fake cat or other rodent deterrents.
- Seal Up Vents: Wherever possible, you should try to seal off any access points for rodents. This includes vents and damaged screens on windows and doors; be sure to patch anything like this up securely with caulk and fill any holes inside the home with steel wool and non-digestible materials (to make sure rats can’t chew through these). Be aware that some holes might not be open; rats can fit through holes that are only the size of a quarter.
- Snap Traps: Make snap traps from paper towel rolls, tuna cans with rocks in them, soda bottles with a pinprick hole near the bottom-fill with a bit of water mixed with soap bubbles (the rodents get trapped inside and drown). These are non-toxic and reusable.
- Deploy Humane Traps: If you’re at all squeamish about killing them or just want to be humane, get some live traps and put bait in them like peanut butter or fruit. The rodents will go inside the trap to eat the food and not be able to get out again. Bait the traps with peanut butter, fruit, or chocolate: rodents love them! You can also use tuna, salami, or ham as bait for snapping traps.
- Clean Up Food Sources: Rodents will only come if there is something to eat or drink around. So, clean up! That means consciously taking care not to leave pet food outside overnight, putting trash in cans with tight lids, making sure that all dirty dishes are washed up before going into storage areas where rats might be able to access them, and keeping all food sealed up or in airtight containers. Garbage that is put out overnight should be taken care of before dawn. And if you store any sort of food outside the house, such as birdseed or pet food, store it securely and closed tight.
- Clear Out Attics: A major entry point for rodents is the attics, particularly if they come into your home through walls or the roof. You can install anti-rodent traps in your attic, but it’s also important to keep the area free of debris and other items that could attract pests. Again, keep your home as clean as possible by vacuuming regularly and making sure that no food particles are lying around.
- Plant Peppermint or Garlic Cloves: Do this around areas where you have seen rodent droppings. They hate both things and will avoid any area where either scent can be smelled. You might have to do a lot of digging around the foundation of your home, but these two scents are very effective. There are also several natural ingredients you can use when planting that will keep rodents away from your garden and vegetables all season long.
- Use Mothballs: Spread them in areas where you’ve seen rodent droppings because they hate the smell of mothballs. Be sure to keep them away from kids and pets, though.
- Get Professional Help: Last but not least, if you see any rodent indoors, contact a local pest control company for professional help. They know where the creatures will likely make a hideout and what they look like, so they can remove them quickly and safely. If you cannot find them, the pests could chew through insulation and wires, potentially causing a fire.
Rats and mice are a nuisance in any home, but not all ways to get rid of them are humane or appropriate. If you have young children in the household, poisons should probably be avoided because they can be especially dangerous to toddlers who would put objects, including poisonous substances that had been left out intentionally for rodents, into their mouths. The other methods listed above are totally humane and safe though traps triggered by a tripwire might startle some pets if they’re nearby.