How to rodent proof your home
How to rodent proofing your home
Rodents can cause great damage to property, spoil food and spread disease. Home owners and businesses find themselves in the cycle of calling a traditional pest control company year-after-year in a never-ending cycle. Does this sound familiar to you? Are you a business or homeowner experiencing repeated rodent infestations?
This usually happens because traditional pest control methods rely on getting rid of a rodent infestation (extermination via rodenticide) instead of preventing one via integrated ecological pest control methods (identifying the source, prevention via proofing & monitoring). Just treating the symptoms with rodenticide will not relief you of rodent ingress. While your premises may have been subjected to repeated rodent infestations there is light at the end of the tunnel.It can be prevented by identifying the source of ingress followed by rodent proofing your property.
The first step in rodent proofing your premises is a thorough site survey and environmental risk assessment. Look out for rodent droppings, gnawing, damaged wires or recent electrical issues, smear marks on skirting boards, doorways or corners of buildings that will identify areas that need more investigation.
Here is a guide to assisting you to rodent proof your premises:
- Conduct a walk of the perimeter of your premises. Look out for holes or gaps in the foundation or exterior walls e.g. weep holes, gaps to the sides or under doors. Mice can ingress at less than 5mm (think the width of a pencil). Check all external doorways, ensure draft excluders are fully intact and not damaged. Are there gaps under the garage door, open vents or damaged vent covers? Perhaps a missing meter box cover. Repair holes or gaps with wire mesh, expansion foam or mortar. If gnawing is present on doors a metal kickplate should be installed to prevent additional gnawing.
- Inspect the roof. Are there openings in the roof? E.g. loose shingles, openings in roof tiles, metal flashing around roof vents, gaps around the chimney where brick chimneys have settles away from the house. Make sure the chimney is capped to prevent entry.
- Check utility entry pointsg. electrical, water, air vents/ducts, TV cables. These points can make easy access for rodents or insects. Ensure points are sealed with mortar, wire mesh or sheet metal.
- In the garden check to see if there are any branches or hedgerows overhanging or touching the roof lines. Walls with ivy make great corridorsfor transporting rodents to further destinations like the roof eaves, open vents or pipes entering your property.
- Brick or pebble dashed wall surfaces make for easy climbing access by rodents. Ideally ensure surfaces are smooth to prevent rodent ingress.
The list is extensive e.g. pet food and water sources, loose bird feed spilling on the ground, uncovered or overflowing bins, poor housekeeping practices, damaged or leaking waste water or sewage pipes, voids under decking or garden sheds, wood piles, chicken or rabbit housing. Call us today for that site survey and inspection. As Warren Buffet says,“Price is what you pay, value is what you get”.
Mervyn WalshBA(Hons), HDip.EnvMgt, MRSPH
Field Conservation Biologist