Are you having trouble controlling pests such as rats and mice? Unfortunately, there are many reasons why your home might be a magnet to rodents. From setting traps to sealing windows, there are many ways to prevent infestations. However, some homeowners overlook the importance of cleaning and sanitation when it comes to prevention.
Let’s talk about what there is to know about sanitation for controlling rats and mice.
The Link Between Sanitation and Controlling Rats and Mice
The truth is that rats and mice are attracted to mess. This is especially true when the mess involves food sources, water sources, and a place to nest. If these 3 needs are present, you might have some trouble when it comes to controlling rats and mice.
Here’s how it works. You leave some food on the counter or on the floor for a short period of time. A mouse or a rat is already living in your home, where they find the crumbs you leave behind. They find a leaking pipe that gives them fresh water at a moment’s notice. And with their sharp teeth, they chew through the wall to make a cozy nest. Ahh, life is good–but not for you!
Being mindful of food waste
Remember those countertop crumbs we talked about? The primary attractant for rodents is food waste. In terms of outdoors, improperly secured garbage bins and compost heaps become feasting grounds for rats and mice. The leftovers and scraps in these areas provide a constant food supply, making these locations ideal for rodent habitation.
In outside areas, littering and unmanaged trash collection points contribute to the problem. Rats and mice have a keen sense of smell and are adept at navigating to these food sources.
Don’t overlook sneaky water sources
Drip, drip, drip. Is there an undetected leak in your home? Water sources, such as leaky pipes, pet water dishes, and standing water in yards, also attract these pests. Florida’s humid climate can make the problem worse, as it creates more areas of moisture accumulation.
So, what’s the fix? Be sure to manage any potential water shortage and fix leaks. If rats or mice don’t have water, they won’t last very long.
Can you spot potential shelter opportunities?
Rodent shelter is another reason you might have a tough time controlling rats and mice. Clutter, overgrown vegetation, and debris provide excellent hiding and nesting spots for rats and mice.
Rodents prefer quiet areas where they can nest and breed without disturbance. Cluttered storage rooms, unkempt yards, and disused buildings are prime real estate for these rodents. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these areas are essential in disrupting their habitat and deterring their presence.
Sanitation tips for controlling rats and mice indoors
Feeling stuck on where to start to controlling rats and mice?n Try some of these cleaning and sanitation suggestions.
Establish a routine cleaning schedule. This includes vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping to remove food particles and potential attractants for rodents.
Proper Food Storage
Store food in sealed containers. Make sure that pantry items, pet food, and leftovers are not accessible to rodents.
Dispose of garbage regularly and use bins with tight-fitting lids to prevent rodents from accessing food waste.
Minimize clutter, especially in storage areas, to reduce hiding and nesting spots for rodents.
Repair any plumbing leaks promptly. Rodents are attracted to sources of water, so eliminating these will make your home less inviting.
Sealing Entry Points
Check for and seal any cracks, holes, or gaps in walls, floors, and foundations where rodents could enter.
Inspecting and Cleaning Appliances
Clean under and behind appliances regularly, as crumbs and spills can accumulate in these areas, attracting rodents.
Wash Dishes Promptly
Wash dishes right away and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
Regular Trash Cleanup
Regularly clean and disinfect the areas where trash cans are located to eliminate residual odors and food particles.
Pet Food Management
Avoid leaving pet food out overnight. Store pet food in sealed containers and regularly clean feeding areas.
Outdoor sanitation and landscape management tips
When it comes to routine cleaning, your job doesn’t stop outside the home or property. Here are some outdoor sanitation and landscape management tips to try.
Regular Trimming of Vegetation
Keep trees, bushes, and shrubs well-trimmed. Overgrown branches and dense foliage offer rodents a safe passage and hiding spots near your home. Trimming back vegetation, especially those touching the house or outbuildings, can limit rodent access.
Regular mowing and raking of the lawn prevent the accumulation of leaves and debris, which can serve as nesting materials for mice and rats. A well-maintained lawn offers fewer places for rodents to hide.
Eliminating Outdoor Clutter
Remove yard clutter such as piles of wood, old garden tools, and unused equipment. These often become nesting grounds for rodents. Keeping the yard clean and orderly will make it less appealing to these pests.
Proper Storage of Firewood
Store firewood off the ground and away from the house. This reduces the likelihood of rodents nesting in the woodpile and then easily moving into the home.
Securing Compost Bins
Be sure that compost bins are well-maintained and secured. Compost can attract rodents if not properly managed. Using rodent-proof compost bins and regularly turning the compost can help deter pests.
Managing Water Sources
Eliminate standing water and ensure proper drainage in the yard. Rodents need water to survive, so removing these sources can make your yard less attractive to them.
Keep an Eye on Your Garden
If you have an outdoor garden, do not allow vegetables or fruits to rot. You’ll also want to keep an eye on plant spacing. If a plant or garden is less than 2 feet away from your home, it can attract pests into your house.
Look for Rodent Activity Signs
Regularly inspect your yard for signs of rodent activity. Promptly addressing these signs can prevent a small problem from becoming a larger infestation.
Get Help Controlling Rats and Mice with World Class Wildlife
Serving the Tampa community, we love to help homeowners and property managers control rats and mice. If you have concerns about mice and rats in your space, please reach out and contact us today.