Posted March 24, 2017 by Sarah Malone
Rodents don’t just roam where ever they please, they are driven by their basic needs:
Your home supports these 3 things so it is no surprise that they decide to become your new house mate. Rodents breed rapidly and can cause damage to your furniture, wiring and cabling etc. They can also carry many known diseases, so it is important to try make your home less appealing for these little visitors.
Certain property layouts or surrounding environments can make it more attractive to rats and mice.
Hidden Entry Points
Mice and rats are skilled acrobats and climbers; they will find a way in through some of the most difficult areas anywhere from a high opening on a 2 meter wall to a small hole under your house.
Some of the more common areas that rodents enter your home include:
- Openings into voids
- Gaps under doorways
- Windows without screens
- Unsealed roof entries or vents
- Trees, cluttered lawns and bushes close to the building
After they have entered your home they will search for a secluded area that they can access food, normally around the kitchen area or behind kitchen appliances such as the rear of a warm refrigerator. Mice will collect newspapers and other paper sources suitable to build their nests in these areas.
How to help prevent rodents from entering your home:
- Entry Holes – Seal around cable and plumbing holes in the exterior walls. Rats and mice can fit in any gap larger then 5mm or will gnaw to make the hole larger to allow access.
- Vents and Weep Holes – Using a pest resistant wire mesh to cover these areas and still allow air floor through these holes and prevent them from being an easy access points for rodents.
- Doors and eaves – Apply brush or bristle strips to the base of doors where gaps are present. This is more common in older buildings where movement creates gaps under the doors. Also ensure you fix any damage to roofing preventing new access points.
- Food Sources – Keep food in sealed metal and plastic containers. Ensure cupboards, refrigerators and stoves are kept clear and clean. Don’t allow oil and food waste to build up around these areas. Try to wash up after every meal or never leave dirty dishes overnight at least.
- Fruit Trees and Vegetable gardens – Ripe fruit that has fallen from trees or building up in your garden can be an easy food source for mice and rats. They will spend the day hidden in various areas on your property coming out at night to the buffet left in front of them.
- Cluttered homes and messy gardens – Rodents love to stay hidden which means cluttered environments give them many hiding spots or places to build their nests. Keep areas clear to help reduce these areas.
Signs that rodents may be already hiding in your home
Heavy moment along a particular area such as skirting boards and cupboards will start to show smear marks or oily streaks from the rodent’s greasy fur continually rubbing along their common pathways. You may start to notice their droppings or urine marks from where they are marking their territory or communicating with other members of their group. Another obvious sign is areas in which they have started to gnaw or cables which have been eaten through. This can be a common fire hazard if these cables are active and left exposed. You may also hear them moving above you as you lay in bed at night.
What to do once mice have entered your home
Rodents can live from 1 year to 18 months if the conditions are favourable and can multiply very quickly in these desired environments. If you notice that mice may be in your home, there are various things you can try:
- Rodent traps from local hardware stores
- Cats, can be a great pet and help keep these unwanted visitors low in numbers.
- Call a Professional. Professionals are able use a quick and effective range of rodent baits to help rid you of rodent problems and can advise you on the safe way to treat your home and how to protect your family and current pets such as dogs and cats from ingesting the bait.
Things that go bump in the night:
For more information on the types of rodents found in our area see our page on rodents.