Five ways to handle a rodent problem in your homeFeature of the week
Have you ever seen a mouse in your kitchen? What about a rat rummaging around your bin? Well, if you have, you’ll know how it feels…
First you’re struck with fright, convinced you’re about to feel the patter of scratchy claws across your bare feet or the curl of a long tail around your heel. Then you start to worry about the hygiene of your home, knowing those little teeth have nibbled their way into your loaf of bread or rubbed greasy fur along your skirting boards – and never mind the urine and droppings rodents leave.
And then, your attention turns straight towards your pest and children, wondering how you’re going to stop them coming into contact with these rodents and preventing the spread of dirt and disease.
Well, the good news it that there’s plenty you can do. And best of all, it doesn’t have to involve blood and guts.
Identify how rodents are entering your home
The first (and perhaps most important) thing you need to do in order to handle a rodent problem is to figure out how they’re getting inside. This is essential, as it will help you to prevent another infestation in the future, and will help to reduce the number of mice or rats that you need to deal with now.
So, inspect your property for cracks, holes and any “openings” between the interior and exterior of your home that rodents might be getting in through. They can burrow through surprisingly small spaces, so don’t overlook cracks in foundations or the gap in a door that doesn’t quite fit the frame properly.
Set traps to catch the rodents
Next, set some traps. There are so many rat traps on the market, so it all depends on what you want to achieve. For instance, if you have young children, you’ll probably want to use a trap that’s covered with a tunnel like structure so that children aren’t tempted to put their fingers in harm’s way. Alternatively, if your children are old enough to steer clear of traps, you can lay down these easy-set traps. They’re cheap, effective and really simple to use, and judging from the reviews they’ll work like a charm. Just follow this guide to ensure you’re setting spring-loaded traps safely.
Remove food sources
Once you’ve had some success in catching and killing the rodents that are entering your home, you’ll need to think about what’s been attracting them in the first place. It’s most likely to do with the food you’re supplying them with, and you may not even realise it.
For instance, rodents will be attracted to food that’s left out in the open, and they’ll consider the crumbs on your countertops or floors a 24/7 buffet. Cut off their food supply by storing food well away from the floor, putting bread into bread pins and cereals into large plastic containers, and always wiping away crumbs and sweeping up food debris immediately.
Fix your house so rodents can’t get in
The inspection of your home will tell you how rodents are getting in, so once you have a better idea of how they’re getting inside, seal up all the entry points. This will mean filling cracks with caulk, or adding metal grates over the top of drains so that rodents can’t come and go as they please. If you have a cat flap, you’ll need to seal it up: if the cat can use it, so can rats and mice!
Invest in preventative measures
Finally, to ensure you’ve thoroughly dealt with the rodent problem in your home, you’ll need to think about using other preventative measures. Cracks and holes will keep appearing in your property as it weathers over time, so it’s well worth thinking about some other ways to keep mice and rats outside where they belong!
For instance, you could invest in some ultrasonic sound emitters. These devices emit a high frequency noise that’s inaudible to humans, cats and dogs, but very unpleasant for rodents. You could also spray your home with peppermint oil (as it’s believed that rodents detest the strong smell and will therefore steer clear of your house), or you could simply add a pet cat to your family to help keep rodent numbers under control.
Try these five ways of handling your rodent problem – you’ll find they leave your home alone if you do.
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