Nobody wants pests in their homes. Not only are most pests highly unhygienic, but they can also wreak havoc on your property: destroying carpet, flooring, and anything else they can get their hands on. But while no pest is welcome (the clue is in the name!) there are certainly some that are considered even worse than the rest. That’s probably how you would categorize rats and mice.
Rats are notorious for carrying disease, but mice are a little better – they just have better press! Both these critters also create a lot of unwanted mess and destruction: from leaving droppings around your house, to chewing through wires and insulation. They’re noisy too; and having rats scrabbling through your wall cavities and loft is neither good for your peace of mind nor your ability to sell properties!
How to Keep Rats and Mice Out?
Rats and mice are also extremely difficult to get rid of. Even if you successfully manage to kill off your unwanted guests, this can actually lead to further problems. Missing a rotting rat corpse in your attic is a great way to fill your house with a putrid odor and attract maggots and flies!
So, with all that in mind, it would certainly be better to just avoid letting the rats get in there in the first place! Luckily, there are a few ways that you can do this.
To beat a rat, you need to think like a rat! What this means in practice, is that you will need to think about what it is that initially attracts rats and mice into your home. Rats don’t want to move in because they thought your property looked nice on AirBnB! So what does attract them?
The short answer is that rats want somewhere warm and comfortable to stay – which you can’t do much about – and they want stuff to eat – which you can do something about!
In most cases, rats and mice will be attracted to properties by smells that they pick up. These smells will typically come either from the trash that has been left out or from food that has been dropped on the floor.
Even bird food can attract mice, and so too can hay!
Your goal is to think about the food that might be creating a smell in your home as well as the surrounding area. If your guilty secret right now is all of the cheese that has fallen under the fridge, or if you have sacks of rubbish outside, do something about it!
Consider Your Immediate Environment
The thing to recognize is that rats and mice will get closer to your home in a gradual process before eventually breaking and entering. That is to say that they won’t smell your food or rubbish from miles away and then come running! The first step to avoiding getting rats in your home then is to avoid letting them get into your garden. This is why putting a lid on your bins and moving them further away from your home is an important way to avoid rats.
Likewise, you should think about places that might attract rats. If you have a shed right by your home where you store lots of rabbit food for your pet, then this is going to be like a big “WELCOME” sign hung up ready for your new rodent visitor! Even bushes and shrubbery close to your home can tempt rats and mice in. Conversely, a big open patio is far less tempting!
Clear your garden of temptation first, and you’ll give the rats and mice little reason to both you.
Speak to the Neighbors
The other way that rats and mice might get into your property is via the neighbors. This is particularly true if your home is attached.
If your neighbor has poor hygiene standards and doesn’t clean their home or look after their garden, then this can attract rats. It will then be a small matter for those rats to make the jump from their property to yours: they only need to find a small opening between your lofts, or come under the fence.
While it’s awkward, speaking with your neighbor about any rats they might be bringing to the table could be an effective strategy for warding them off!
Seal Holes and Gaps
As much as rats and mice are known for being able to get into tight spaces, they still need some gap or hole if they’re going to enter a building – they can’t phase through walls (as far as we know).
A simple and easy solution then is to go around your home and look for any openings. You might find your property isn’t quite as well sealed as you assumed – it’s common to find holes in the wall for instance or gaps underneath roof tiles.
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