How to detect and prevent rats and mice from entering your home.

Regardless of how upscale your neighborhood is you can count on rats and mice looking to set up housekeeping at your place. No area is immune; these guys are everywhere and are always looking for a way in. Of course, it’s a lot easier to keep them out with good defenses than it is to get rid of them once they make your house their home.

Here are some steps to take to help stave them off:

– Take a walk around your house and look carefully at the foundation for any cracks or openings. Remember that mice can get through a hole as small as a dime. Patch any holes you find.

– While walking the perimeter of your home look at your attic vents, foundation vents and crawl space access covers.
Plumbers and cable, phone and alarm installers, etc are notorious for leaving holes in the screen mesh that covers the vents and for leaving access covers off or askew. And sometimes the mesh just wears out from rust and corrosion.
Every hole is an invitation. Make these repairs asap.

– Do an inspection of any pipes that enter your home. Installers often leave a gap around the perimeter of them that can be an easy entry point.

– Look at the bottoms of all your doors. If you have any gaps greater than 3/8” you have a “welcome” sign out for them (as well as for ants, roaches, spiders and cold winter air). Repair any such openings with a door shoe or sweep.

– Check your garage door. The gap under it is often overlooked as a common entry point. If you see significant daylight when the door is shut it can sometimes be adjusted to close tighter. Or, a special garage door weatherstrip may be added to the door bottom to create a seal.

– If you feel comfortable on a ladder check your roof for access points. Builders often do not bother to seal holes under eaves (especially where roof sections come together) as their main focus is waterproofing. Rats love these areas as entryways into your nice warm attic. With a flashlight look up into any overlapping areas of your roof for openings and seal them with steel hardware cloth mesh.

– Check the ventpipes that come through the roof. Many of them have wide openings that are easy access into your house for rats and mice. They need to be screened with steel mesh.

– Same applies to your chimney. It should have a proper chimney cap which not only keeps animals out but protects from sparks that could start a roof fire.

– Trim any tree limbs that are close to or touching your roof. They act as a bridge onto your house for 4 legged vermin.

– Lastly, check your clothes dryer exhaust outlet. It should have louvers or a flap that closes securely when the machine is not in use. Inspecting your house once a year for these issues will really help you free of these uninvited guests.

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