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Despite their cute cartoon personas, you definitely don't want a mouse in your house. Mice and rats can carry diseases and cause damage to your home by ruining insulation, woodwork, and moreâ€”plus theyâ€™re notoriously hard to get rid of once they move in. Prevention is the best way to protect your home, so here's how to keep these pests out in the first place.
What's in it for you?
- Pets and children stay safe
- Pantry stores are protected
- Insulation remains intact for steady utility bills
How to Keep Mice and Rats Out of Your Home:
Block small holes in your house.
Walk around your house and inspect siding, foundations and trim for holes. Any opening larger than a quarter-inch should be stuffed with steel wool, which rodents can't chew through. For larger gaps, use a staple gun to attach a piece of quarter-inch hardware cloth instead.
Keep pantry supplies in secondary storage.
Rodents have no trouble gnawing through cardboard boxes to get to cereal, grains and other pantry staples. Keep your food in sturdy plastic containers instead of their original packaging to eliminate the attraction. If you buy in bulk, consider keeping items in the basement in big Rubbermaid bins.
Check your home's exterior for food supplies.
Mice and rats are also attracted by food items you may keep outdoors or in the garage. Pet food, grass seed, bird seed and other edibles can attract rodents. Store these items in garbage bins with tight lids to remove the temptation.
Clean up natural food sources in the landscape.
Keep foundation plants well trimmed, and rake up loose debris like fallen leaves regularly to eliminate nesting material. If you have fruit trees or berry bushes in your yard, remove fallen fruit to avoid hosting a rodent buffet.
Adjust your garbage collection area.
Rats aren't above finding their next meal in your garbage cans, so make sure they're impossible to get into. Build a wood or cinder block platform that's at least 6 inches off the ground, and make sure that your containers are completely intact. Tight-fitting lids are a must; you might also consider lashing them down with bungee cords.