You’re about to spend a lot more time indoors, and mice, rats and other rodents love a cozy, warm home as much as you do. Keep these critters out of yours with a few home repairs and adjustments this fall.
- Mice can squeeze through spaces smaller than a nickel, and their rodent relatives are equally crafty. So seal any potential entrances to your home with sheet metal, steel wool or cement. (Pests can gnaw through expandable foam insulation on its own, so combining it with steel wool creates a better barrier.)
- Pet food is as enticing to rodents as it is to your resident dog or cat, and they’ll chew right into heavy-duty food bags. Reserve the food for your favorite pet by storing it indoors in a sealed metal canister, and don’t leave pet food bowls full or even partially full overnight.
- Get rid of stacks of newspapers and cardboard boxes, because they’re prime rodent nesting sites.
- Keep bushes and hedges trimmed and well clear of your foundation, and stack firewood away from outside walls and entrances.
- A clean home also keeps rodents away, so wipe up crumbs and wash dishes after meals, and make sure cabinets and pantries are pristine.
These steps should keep your autumn home critter-free, but if mice, rats or others still show up, your next step is to deploy a rodenticide. For effective results that won’t threaten the safety or curiosity of children and pets, put the rodenticide in lockable bait stations that only allow access to targeted, tiny rodents.