The Importance of Exclusion in Rodent Control
Rats and mice need food, water and a source of heat to survive, so houses and buildings are naturally the perfect home. Anywhere a pencil fits through, a mouse can too. Mice only need a ¼ inch opening to get inside and young rats only need about a ½ inch.
With rats and mice trying to push their way indoors, focusing on exclusion and prevention is the key to successfully controlling a rodent problem versus one that produces callbacks and continued frustration.
To help control rodent populations, here’s a checklist for one of the key steps in rodent management, Exclusion and Sanitation.
Check for possible rodent entrances
- Open doors, chewed wooden doors and crawl spaces where pipes meet wood siding
- Vertical wires, pipes and tree limbs
- Defective drain pipes
- Burrows under foundations of buildings lacking basements
- Hollow walls between floors
Trim foliage and clean up other potential rodent harborages
- Trim overhanging branches that provide roof access.
- Clean-out piles of wood, junk, pallets and hay.
- Control sources of food and water such as bird feeders, dog bowls, food spillage, fountains, pools and ditches.
- Eliminate weeds and maintain a clutter-free zone of at least three feet around building exteriors.
Exclude rodents from buildings
- Close all holes in exterior and interior walls.
- Permit no openings over ¼ inch, particularly around doors & windows.
- Install self-closing devices on frequently used doors.
- Install vinyl, rubber or bristle sweep seals under garage doors to eliminate any gaps.
- Seals around pipes, drains and vents need to be tight.
- Chimneys need to be capped and in good condition.
Keep an eye out for new holes & tunnels:
Efforts by rats and mice to return to old feeding grounds will be strongest a week or two after the building has been sealed up.