Learn about Rodents (Rats & Mice)

Rats and mice, found in and around cities, towns, and farms throughout North America, are destructive pests. These rodents contaminate and eat large amounts of feed, they damage structures by gnawing holes and burrowing, and spread diseases that affect pets, livestock, and humans. Rats and mice can be detected by their droppings and evidence of fresh gnawing. Their tracks can sometimes be seen in mud outdoors or on dusty surfaces indoors. Their burrows and runways may be found next to buildings, along fences, and under low vegetation and debris.

The first step in rodent-proofing your home is to seal off all the small cracks and gaps around the foundation of your home or building with silicone caulk. It is best to seal any openings around doors and windows that are over 1/4 inch wide. You may use sheet metal and steel wool for sealing larger openings. (Downspouts need a screen at the bottom.) Another important aspect of prevention is sanitation. Garbage, food or feed should be stored in sealed containers. Food or garbage that gets spilled should be cleaned up regularly. Debris and vegetation outdoors should be removed. Maintain a perimeter of at least 3 feet around structures that is uncluttered and weed-free. Old tires, junk, equipment, boards, pipes or wood piles that mice and rats will find attractive to nest in should all be removed. Sources of water, such as ditches and stagnant pools and ponds, should be removed as well. In conclusion, the number one key to successful rodent prevention and regular control is sanitation and removal of harborage areas.