Here are a few simple steps to staying free of rats and mice:
Through the summer months the natural population of rats and mice rises as they have increasing quantities of food such as fruits, nuts and grains are available to them. Once autumn arrives the food sources dwindle and temperatures drop. Rats and mice then begin to look for shelter and alternative food supplies. All too often they find both by joining us in our homes, offices, shops and factories. Also all too often we don’t do anything about this inevitable invasion until they have moved in, set up home and begin to raid the kitchen.
Rats and mice can ruin your investment. Now is the time to prepare for and prevent rats and mice moving indoors to live with you.
Stop Easy Entry
Stop rats and mice finding a way into your home or other building. Take half an hour to walk around the house looking for ways in. Take a pencil with you to write down what needs to be done and use it to measure gaps. If a pencil can slip under a door a mouse can get under it. Mice and rats can flatten their rib cages to fit through gaps, if their head can fit through, their body can follow. Gaps under doors can be sealed with draft excluder.
Rats and mice are usually active at night and are not likely to gain entry through open doors and windows during the day. The exception might be when they are under real pressure to find food and shelter. Then they may take the risk of venturing out during the day. So keep doors and windows closed at all times if possible.
Remove all food sources. Check for food that might have been spilled behind the fridge or under other furniture. Make sure the cereals, flour, rice and other food stuffs in your larder are put in sealed containers.
Other Possible Entries
Look in places both high and low. Rats and mice are excellent climbers. Roof rats are better climbers than the larger Norway rats and feed readily in trees. They will walk along branches that overhang roofs and drop down onto the roof. From here they rarely have difficulty getting into the roof void via gaps around the eaves. Cut overhanging trees away from the roof and also trim climbing plants such as rambling roses, vines, ivy, honeysuckle etc. to at least 30cm below the overhanging eaves.
Air vents are necessary for the good ventilation of sub floors and should not be sealed. Undamaged vents are usually designed to be mouse proof. Repair damaged vents or cover with fine mesh. Also look for gaps where pipe work and cables enter buildings and gaps where weatherboards do not fit flush. These can usually be filled with silicone sealers, waterproof fillers or foam filler.
Using Baits and Traps
Nowhere can be made 100% proofed against rodents and you may already be too late to stop rodents entering. So place baits and traps in position NOW. This will also mean that the baits and traps are ready for any rodents that gain entry by some route not found during your search. Deal with them before they become a problem. Note: this bait is only effective in dry conditions and where other food sources can be removed.
Traps are rarely sufficient on their own to get rid of rats or mice, but they will be effective at catching ‘dopey’ rats and mice that have had a feed of bait. The best lures for traps are peanut butter or chocolate but these have a limited life. Placed correctly traps are almost as effective without bait. Place traditional snap traps at right angles to, and against walls where rats and mice would travel. Rats and mice are generally reluctant to move into open space and prefer to stay close to some vertical surface or stay in enclosed places.
Electronic, electromagnetic and sonic devices can be useful at encouraging rats and mice to choose next door to live, but should not be seen as a way of getting rid of rodents that have already set up home. Rats and mice are wary of new things in their environment and will be quietened by such devices. But they become used to new things after about two weeks. It is better to stop them entering in the first place. It would take a lot to make them move out of your home!
Follow these simple steps and you can sleep soundly in the knowledge that you are not sharing your home with rats and mice.
For help renting your home or managing your Jacksonville-area property, visit Innovative Property Solutions.