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How to Get Rid of Mice & Rats

How to Get Rid of Mice & Rats

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If you have a problem with mice and rats, you’re not alone. They occupy every part of the country and invade thousands of homes every year. They spread disease, create messes, and cause property damage. 

When rodents get inside, it’s hard to get them out on your own. We’re here to help. Our Home Protection Plan catches pests when they are at their most vulnerable, so you don’t have to worry. 

There are some things you can try to help keep mice and rats away. Finding a rodent control method based on understanding rodent behavior that works for your home and area is essential. Be aware that finding the most effective solution may take trial and error.

mouse next to kitchen sink - how to get rid of rats and mice

How Do Rodents Get Inside Your Home?

Even the cleanest and most well-kept homes have rodent infestations. It’s important to note that mice and rats invade homes during colder months, looking for food, water, and shelter; your home provides all three.

Rodents are attracted to anything that smells good, including food residue, garbage, and pet food. Once they get a whiff of something tasty, they’ll do whatever it takes to get to it. Since they can squeeze through extremely small spaces, they can easily get into your home.

These rodents can wiggle into your home through the tiniest of openings. Rats can fit into spaces about the size of a quarter, and mice can squeeze through a gap the size of a nickel or down to a dime. They can also come in through doors, windows, and other openings.

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

If you find mice or rats in your home, be sure to call us right away! Our Home Protection Plan takes care of these rodents, so you don’t have to worry. You can increase your home’s protection by following these tips in addition to professional pest control treatments.

5 Ways To Help Get Rid Of Mice & Rats

1. Minimize 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 eliminate mice and rats is to eliminate their entry point. Look around your home and see if you can spot any cracks or openings these creatures could use to get inside.

Remember, they only need a tiny opening to squeeze through. Even the smallest crack should be sealed. Use caulk or steel wool to fill in any gaps.

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

Also, be sure to take a look at your doors and windows. These are other common entry point for rodents. If your windows are old and drafty, consider replacing them.

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

Rat gnawing on a bag of flour on the kitchen counter. How to get rid of rats and mice

2. Remove Their Food Source

  • Seal all food in airtight containers, including pet food and birdseed
  • Clean crumbs and food out of the pantry, kitchen, cupboards, drawers, basement, attic, and other storage areas
  • Clean the house frequently to minimize crumbs and edible scraps
  • Fix water leaks in all the sinks, toilets, tubs, and utility cabinets
  • Establish a cleaning schedule that targets possible hiding places
  • Never leave dirty dishes in the sink 
  • Empty the garbage frequently

Getting rid of mice and rats is easier when you remove their food source. You can lessen their chances of coming inside by making food and water less accessible, so keeping your food sealed tight and wiping up any spills immediately is essential.

In your kitchen, wipe down all surfaces, sweep and mop the floors, and empty the trash regularly. 

If you have pets, don’t leave their food out overnight. Instead, pick up their bowls after 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. Pick up fallen fruit, rake up leaves, and trim back overgrown vegetation.

3. Don’t Give Rodents Shelter

Rodents are looking for shelter when they enter your home, so it’s essential 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. Remove any old boxes or storage items that might provide shelter, and use plastic or metal storage where possible.

The next thing to do is to check behind appliances and your crawl spaces. Dispose of any nests you find and sanitize the area. 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 to get inside.

4. Trapping Mice & Rats

Trapping is another way to get rid of rodents, though it can take a long time and may not be effective once they start breeding. Snap traps, glue traps, and live traps are examples of traps you can use.

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 will likely need to set a few traps to catch all the rodents. Also, check your traps regularly and dispose of dead rats or mice before they stink.

exterminator with rodent trap - how to get rid of rats and mice

5. Partner with Rodent Control Professionals 

These tips will help prevent mice and rats from entering your home, but they can’t guarantee that rodents won’t show up or stop an active mouse infestation. Rodent numbers grow exponentially in short periods. These steps are only effective when partnered with professional pest control and prevention. 

Contact us at Fox Pest Control as soon as you see a mouse or rat! We’ll work with you to find the best solution and help control the rodents so you can have peace of mind. Call our team of professionals at (855) FOX-PEST. We’re here to help!

Consistency is the best defense against pests. Discover how our Fox Home Protection Plan takes care of mouse and rat issues inside and outside for you!

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