Fall and winter are the peaks of rodent season. As cold winter air moves south rodents seek a nice warm place to shelter. Your home is the perfect place for them to live in comfort.
Seal up any opening ¼” or greater in size.
People underestimate rodents and how good they are at squeezing into small openings. If a rodent can fit its skull through a hole, it can dislocate its joints to pull the rest of its body through also. The magic number is no more than a ¼” gap to make sure rodents cannot get inside. Check around doors, rooflines, soffits, water pipes, other utilities, etc. to seal as many openings as possible to stop rodents before they get inside.
Use preventative bait stations around your home.
Preventative bait stations are pet/child resistant boxes that are placed around the perimeter of the home. Either rodent baits or snap traps can be placed inside the bait stations. The idea is to take care of the rodents before they find a way inside your home. A typical home only needs about 4 stations (one every 50 feet). It is much easier to prevent rodents with these first two steps than it is to deal with them once they get inside.
Know what type of rodent you dealing with.
If you do get rodents inside, trapping will be needed. Keep in mind that most rat traps will not catch mice and most mouse traps will not catch rats. Mice are 1-2 ounces in size (about the size of a gerbil) and rats are about 1 pound in size (about the size of a squirrel). Once you know this you are ready to pick which traps to buy.
Use a lot of different traps and different types of bait.
Rodents may prefer a certain type of trap or bait. Sometimes one trap will work better for a certain job than other traps. The next time, you might get better results with a different trap than you did the first time. The best solution is to use a mix of two or three types of traps and use several of each. If you only put out one trap, it may take weeks to catch a typical family of 5 to 6 rodents. The more traps the better. They are cheap and you can reuse them. I recommend 8 to 12 traps for rats and 24 or more for mice.
Using several traps will also allow you to use several types of bait on each type of trap. Try to use at least one bait from each of the “four rodent food groups” which are grains, dried fruits, sweets/chocolates, and proteins. My favorites of each are a peanut/oatmeal/granola bar, dried apricot, Snickers bar, and a Slim Jim respectively. Also, if you know what they are eating currently, use that for bait on a trap.
Don’t forget, we have pre-selected the best products and assembled them into easy to use rodent kits for you. Visit our Rodent Kit Page to view our ePestHero.com Rat Control Kit, Mouse Control Kit, or the Preventative Rodent Baiting & Trapping Kit.
If you need assistance let us know. ePestHero.com has a team that includes an Entomologist with over 20 years of pest control experience. We are here to help. AskaHero@ePestHero.com