As pest controllers in Melbourne, we are well aware of the fact we have a serious rodent problem. Knowing how to rodent proof your home is important as rodents can cause a lot of damage to your property.
This is not to say there aren’t other pest issues plaguing the citizens of our fair city, but rats and mice are especially tricky because they spread many different diseases, cause structural damage to power cables and pipes alike, and unfurl contamination all around. Aside from that, oftentimes when people attempt to get rid of the problem themselves, they make it even worse. Most often when people try to rodent-proof their homes they poison mice or rats without taking proper measures first. This endangers local wildlife since rodents escape and get eaten by predators. Which is why this type of work is best left to the pros.
People often take this threat precariously, unwittingly accommodating a rat or a mouse infestation. Fantastic Pest Control Melbourne want to prevent this from happening and ensure the safety of local wildlife and citizens, alike. We’re here to tell you how to deal with this problem before it begins.
Prevention is the best cure! Allow us to illuminate the path to a rodent-free living environment. Here’s how to keep rats and mice away from your home and why you should do it.
How to Rodent-Proof Your Home
- Keep your home clean and neat.
Keeping your home neat and clean will not prevent rodents in itself, but since it’s one of the main precursors to an infestation, this is where you should start.
- Clean the crawl space.
Both mice and rats love crawl spaces. They provide cover for them, and when they are not cleaned for a while, crawl spaces can be perfect shelters. Because of that, crawl spaces should be cleaned and kept neat and free of clutter. That way you can easily monitor these places and thus potentially prevent a future infestation.
- Clean the garage, the attic, the basement, and try to prevent clutter.
Because clutter allows rodents to hide, they usually take it as invitation to come in. This is why it’s crucial to prevent cluttering in the areas where it’s most likely to occur – basement, garage, and attic. We’re sorry, but out of sight, out of mind won’t cut it this time.
- Don’t leave food lying around.
If rats and mice consider clutter an open invite, they take food scraps for a royal welcome. It’s like you’ve organised a feast and they’re the guests of honour. Ensure all food leftovers are properly sealed (even the one you plan to dispose of). Odours are what attracts rodents the most. Close the buffet!
- Carefully inspect your home for viable entry points.
Examine the inside and outside of your home for any possible entry holes. Mice can use any opening with a diameter bigger than half a centimetre. Rats are bigger, but they can also easily squeeze into relatively small holes.
- If there are any entry holes, seal them.
In order to seal the entry points with you can use either a mouse proof mesh or a rodent-proof expanding foam. They both work great and depending on your problem different materials will do the job. Holes smaller than half a centimetre can be sealed with an expanding foam, and it will hold up well. For anything larger, you will have to use a rodent-proof mesh made out of metal. Meshes work best for larger rodents like big rats, while still doing a perfect job protecting from mice.
- Have a look around your house for branches near the roof.
Rodents often climb on trees, use stray branches to access the roof, and get in through there. If you remove those branches, you also remove a huge entry point for rats and mice.
- Put your rubbish bins away from the house.
Place your rubbish bins as far away from the house as you can. Rodents love the smell of rubbish, because our waste is actually their food. Thus, the further away you place the bin, the better.
- Use gloss paint for the lower parts of the pipes and house.
A great way to rodent-proof your home is to use a gloss paint for the lower parts of the house and the pipes. This makes it more difficult for rats and mice to climb.
Natural Rodent Deterrents
There’s a number of natural rat and mouse deterrents you can use to aid in your endeavour. It’s important to note these won’t work on their own. They have to be used as methods to enhance the rodent-proofing process, not as a replacement.
- Acacia polyacantha (subsp. campylacantha).
This plant is also known as Senegalia polyacantha (subsp. campylacantha), whitethorn, witdoring, Umnga, and a variety of other names. Like a rose by any other name would smell just as lovely, so would this white-stem thorn. It has a myriad of medicinal properties, can be used as firewood (though its thorns make it a bit difficult) and its strong scent ensures many animals avoid it. This includes (but it’s not limited to) rats, mice, snakes, and even crocodiles. The tree is native to Africa, but it can be cultivated under certain conditions in Australia, as well, though it usually involves a conservatory and it’s not for everybody. Still, if you can arrange some roots and place them on strategic locations, it’s pretty effective.
- Peppermint oil.
Peppermint oil has a fantastic odour and also moonlights as a mice and rat repellent. Because of its strong and sharp scent, it irritates rodents and masks other smells coming out of your home and thus keeps some pests at bay. They’re not likely to pester you if they don’t think there’s food around.
- Commercial organic deterrents.
Some companies produce organic rat and mouse deterrents on a natural basis. They extract the ingredients and mix them in ecologically friendly compounds. As such, their effectiveness has often been debated, but as we’ve said, none of these methods should be used on their own, anyway.
- Ultrasonic repellers.
These devices emit a sound at a frequency high enough to be basically undetectable for humans, but rather annoying for rodents because they can actually hear it. The problem with this is that if you have a pet (cat, dog, hamster), they will also hear it. So this isn’t exactly a universal solution. Also, it’s pretty limited in effectiveness and scope.
- Acacia polyacantha (subsp. campylacantha).
Why You Should Rodent-Proof Your Home
As we’ve said, prevention is the best cure. A rodent-proof home decreases the chances of an infestation. However, there are still no guarantees. Yet it’s better to make an attempt because this issue is bigger than simply your household.
Oftentimes people attempt to get rid of an infestation, themselves. However, they do not take the necessary precautions, which leads to two negative outcomes. The first one is they’re unable to deal with the rodents, and the other one is they endanger the wildlife that preys on said rodents.
Commercial pesticides are not at all that effective when used improperly. Professional pest controllers know how to ensure the rats or mice are dealt with in an efficient manner by locating the infestation and striking at the heart of the problem. They also make sure the little pests don’t have a route of escape, so the entire infestation is dealt with and contained. No wildlife is endangered. However, what is often observed when people attempt this on their own is this – they feed rodents poison, but since this form of pest control doesn’t kill them right away, the poisoned rodents escape into the wild and become a predator’s dinner. Consequently, local wildlife also gets poisoned. Birds of prey become prey themselves. And not just aerial predators, of course. All of this can be avoided if you simply rodent-proof your home before an infestation becomes a problem.