Because of the high risk to human health and potential damage to food, electrical wiring, insulation, clothing and personal effects rodent control should be taken very seriously in the home or business. Prevention is the best method of control.
The three R’s of rodent control:
1. Eliminate the Reason rodents are in or near your home or place of work:
FOOD: Rodent populations are always in direct proportion to the amount of food available. Bird feeders are probably the number one attractant for rats and mice around Canadian homes. Pet food, poorly stored human food, garbage and compost are other good food sources for rodents.
SHELTER: Mice and rats like to stay out of sight, even when feeding if possible to avoid predators. They do most of their food foraging in the dark. Clutter in the home, debris, construction lumber, firewood, wooden sidewalks and decks on the ground all provide a safe shelter for rodents. Once they sense the warmth of a building they will try to find entry points.
2. Eliminate Routes. Skull size is the only thing that restricts rodents entering small holes or cracks. For a mouse this could be as small as a pen. Rats will burrow or chew to make small holes large enough. Mice will often chew wiring where it passes through holes. Holes made for plumbing provide easy access from the basement or crawl space to all levels of a home and the attic. Steel wool packed around wiring and pipes will help keep mice out of living quarters. Metal flashing should be used for rats. Crawl space vents should be screened with tight fitting 1/4 inch mesh. Exterior doors must fit tight especially at the sill. Keep them closed if you have rodents. Repair foundation cracks with expansion cement. Use stainless flex screens to block brick wall weep holes.
3. Eliminate the RODENT
Snap traps are the most common and safest way to eliminate rodents in a building, if used properly. They should never be placed where other animals or children may come in contact. Poison baits are the most effective method of control when there are numerous rodents present. When bait is used, the directions on the packaging must be adhered to strictly.
Proper tamper resistant bait boxes are much safer and more effective than open space placement. Live trapping rodents is not effective and not recommended. ( Mice and rats are cannibals ) Rodents carrying disease and it is best not to help spread it to other locations. Tracking powders should only be used by licensed pest control service personnel.
Why you should not live trap mice.
See also: How to get rid of rodents