Rodent Proofing

Rodent Proofing Your Home

by: T. Taylor

It's that time of year where rats and mice are apt to enter our homes. Lets talk a bit about their abilities and senses first.

Rats and mice cannot see very good beyond 3 or 4 feet but have a very good sense of motion up to 30 to 50 feet away and for the most part they are color blind. Rodents are most active at night.

These rodents have a very good sense of taste so baits may be rejected by them if they are contaminated with insecticides or odors from other chemicals. Even touching baits after smoking a cigarette will make these rodents to shy away from the baits.

Rats and mice also have a good sense of smell. They mark pathways with urine and use their sense of smell to recognize the odors of the pathway to and from food sources.

Their hearing is much better than humans and make noises in various situations such as mating.

Rodents have a highly developed sense of touch due to their sensitive body hairs. They rely heavily on touch and smell to guide them through movements. The territories of most rats are between 50 and 150 feet from the nest. For mice the average territories within buildings are between 10 and 30 feet.

Rodent Proofing Your Home

The best way to control mice and rats is to make it impossible for them to enter your home. That can be difficult with mice because they can pass through an opening only 3/8 inch thick. In general, all openings greater than 1/4 inch thick should be sealed for mice and all openings greater than 1/2 inch should be sealed for rats.

Check all openings around utility lines that enter your home, around service conduits such as water pipes, electric wires, air-conditioning units, drain pipes and vents should all be sealed. Also check for broken windows and unscreened vents. Vents should be covered with metal grillwork backed by rust-resistant screening. Roofs should be checked to see that shingles are down tight and sheathing is complete. Check roof ventilators, screen vents and in wall vents.

Make sure you check under sinks where pipes enter the wall. This is a great area for mice and rats to enter your home or business.

Copper mesh stuffing, course steel wool, sheet metal, hardware cloth and mortar can be used to seal the spaces around these areas. Just use your imagination.

Rodents are Imaginative Too 

These are not all areas that mice and rats can enter your home. Its impossible for me to think of everywhere. Like I said, just use your imagination.

About The Author

The author of this article has been in the pest control business for over 10 years and has cleaned many homes of rodents and insects pests. To find out more about insects and other pests and to receive a free pest identification guide please visit his website.

"Please consider any gas appliances in your home and their ventilation requirements before covering vents in any way to stop rodent access. Permanent vents for gas appliances need a \'free area\' and are not allowed to be covered by any sort of screen. If you are unsure as to whether you are OK to cover any vents in your walls please contact a Gas Register (previously Corgi) operative for their advice before going ahead."