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How to Get Rid of Mice & Rats

How to Get Rid of Mice & Rats

Posted September 19, 2022

Do you have a problem with mice and rats? If so, you’re not alone. They occupy literally every area of the country, and they invade hundreds of homes throughout the United States every year. Plus, they can spread disease, create messes, and cause property damage. Most people do not know how to get rid of mice and rats effectively. That’s understandable since these rodents are crafty little creatures that can squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices to make their way into your home.

The good news is that there are several things you can do to keep rats away. The key is to find a method that works best for your particular situation based on understanding rodent behaviors. And remember, it may take some trial and error to find the perfect solution.

But before we get into that, let’s take a look at what attracts these pests in the first place.

How Do Rodents Get Inside Your Home?

Even the cleanest and most well-kept homes are susceptible to rodent infestations. That’s because these pests are looking for food and shelter, and your home provides both.

These rodents are attracted to anything that smells good, including food residue, garbage, and even pet food. Once they get a whiff of something tasty, they’ll do whatever it takes to get to it. And since they’re able to squeeze through tiny spaces, it’s not difficult for them to find their way into your home.

Because of the way their bodies are shaped, mice and rats have a unique body structure that allows them to crawl through tiny spaces. Rats can fit into spaces about the diameter of a quarter, and mice can squeeze through a gap the size of a nickel or even a dime. They can also come in through doors, windows, or other openings.

  • Mice and rats usually invade homes during colder months
  • Mice and rats are looking for food, shelter, and water  
  • Mice and rats wiggle into homes through tiny spaces and openings

Once they’re inside, they’ll start to build nests. This is usually done in dark and secluded areas, such as attics, crawl spaces, and behind appliances. And since they reproduce quickly, it’s not long before you have a full-blown rat/mouse infestation on your hands.

The weather and climate can also play a role in rodent infestations. That’s because these pests are looking for a warm and cozy place to ride out the cold winter months. So, if your home is providing that for them, they’re going to take advantage of it.

If you are ready to learn how to get rid of rats and mice, let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Mice & Rats

1. Eliminate Entry Points

Search for and block off common rat & mouse entry points:

  • Gaps around utility pipes
  • Cracks in the foundation (May require a contractor to fix)
  • Gaps or cracks under doors and ground-level windows
  • Gaps around A/C pipes
  • Rips, tears, or gaps in siding

One of the best ways to get rid of mice and rats is to eliminate their point of entry. Take a look around your home and see if you can spot any cracks or openings that these creatures could use to get inside.

Remember, they only need a tiny opening to squeeze through. So, even the smallest crack should be sealed. You can use caulk, or steel wool to fill in any gaps.

If you have any holes in your walls, patch them up with drywall or hardware cloth. And if you have a chimney, make sure it’s properly capped.

You should also take a look at your doors and windows. These are another common entry point for rodents. And if your windows are old and drafty, consider replacing them with new ones.

Use hardware materials such as silicone-based caulking, steel wool, weather stripping under exterior doors, and steel mesh or fencing with at least 1/4 inch gauge or smaller to eliminate rodent entry points. 

2. Remove Rodents’ Food Source

  • Seal all food in airtight containers, including pet food and birdseed
  • Check the pantry, kitchen, cupboards, drawers, basement, attic, and other storage areas for crumbs and food
  • Clean the house frequently in order to eliminate crumbs and other edible scraps
  • Check for water leakages in all the sinks, toilets, tubs, and utility cabinets. Fix any leaks you find
  • Establish a cleaning schedule that invades possible hiding places. This will discourage mice and rats from hiding in your home
  • Never leave dirty dishes in the sink 
  • Empty the garbage frequently

Getting rid of mice and rats is a lot easier when you remove their food source. Once mice and rats come inside, they search for food and water. If you make your food and water less available to them, they are unlikely to try to come inside at all. They’re attracted to anything that smells good, so it’s important to keep your food sealed tight and to wipe up any spills right away.

The first thing you need to do is clean your kitchen. Wipe down all surfaces, sweep and mop the floors, and empty the trash on a regular basis. You should also store all food and birdseed in airtight containers.

And if you have pets, don’t leave their food out overnight. Pick up their bowls after they’re done eating and put the food away.

You should also keep your yard clean and tidy. If there’s anything rodents can eat outside, they’ll be attracted to your property. So, pick up any fallen fruit, rake up leaves, and trim back any overgrown vegetation. If you take away their food source, rats and mice will have fewer reasons to come into your home.

3. Don’t Give Rodents Shelter

As we mentioned earlier, rodents are looking for shelter when they enter your home. So, it’s important to eliminate any potential nesting sites.

The first place you should look is your attic. These creatures love to nest in this area because it’s dark and secluded. So, if you have any openings in your attic, make sure they’re sealed. You should also remove any old boxes or storage items that might be providing shelter.

The next thing to do is to check behind appliances and your crawl spaces. These are other popular nesting areas for rodents. And if you find any nests, make sure you clean them out and get rid of them.

Finally, trim back any trees or shrubs that are touching your home. These can provide rodents with a bridge to your roof, making it easier for them to get inside.

Rat near a mouse trap with cheese

4. Trapping Mice & Rats

Trapping is another effective way to get rid of rodents. And there are a few different types of traps you can use, including snap traps, glue traps, and live traps.

Snap traps are the most common type of trap. They’re affordable and easy to use, and they can be baited with anything from cheese to peanut butter.

Glue traps are also effective, but they’re a bit messier. These traps work by using sticky glue that immobilizes the mouse or rat. Once they’re stuck, they can’t escape.

Whichever type of trap you choose, be sure to place it in an area where rodents are active. You might need to set a few traps to catch all the rodents. Also, make sure to check your traps regularly and dispose of any dead rats or mice before they start to stink.

5. Contact a Rodent Exterminator

These tips will help you prevent mice and rats from coming into your home, but they won’t stop an active mouse infestation. Rodents breed throughout the year allowing their numbers to grow exponentially. This can make it difficult to get rid of mice with DIY solutions. If you’ve tried all of the above methods and you’re still dealing with a rodent problem, it’s time to contact the professionals at Fox Pest Control.

We know how to get rid of rats and mice, and have a wide range of effective treatment options. We’ll work with you to find the best solution for your situation and will help you keep your home rodent-free so you can start enjoying your home again. Unlike some rodent control companies, customer service is actually important to us.

These are just a few tips on how to get rid of rodents. If you have a pest problem, be sure to call our team of professionals at (855) FOX-PEST. We’re here to help!

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