Rats and mice will quickly take advantage of any source of food or shelter. These rodents will consume any food discarded by humans, and they can fit through the tiniest of openings to access your home. Learn how to eliminate these pests from your home, and prevent them from returning.
The most common rodent pathways are sill ledges, fence rails, foundations, electrical wires, pipes, tree branches and conduits. Inspect your home, outbuildings and landscape for these rodent signs: droppings, gnaw marks and burrows.
Rats can fit through a 1/2-inch opening or the diameter of a thumb. Mice can fit through a 1/4-inch opening, or the diameter of a little finger.
The Three Lines of Defense
Most baiting programs start once an infestation is discovered. By baiting along the three lines of defense, you're working on preventing an infestation from occurring.
Perimeter of the Property
Use tamper-resistant bait stations along the perimeter of property.
Use block bait as it can be secured inside bait stations on vertical or horizontal securing rods.
Choose the correct product to reduce the risk of secondary poisoning to non-target animals.
Rodents tend to gravitate to warm air currents or where food odors emerge. Tamper-resistant bait stations or traps should be placed every 30 to 50 feet, depending on the severity of the infestation. Place bait or traps around every entry door.
Rodent device placement depends on the type of infestation. For mice, space placements at 8- to 12-foot intervals depending on the severity of the infestation. For rats, space placements at 15- to 30-foot intervals, depending on the severity of the infestation.
There are six key principles to successful baiting:
Whatever rodent treatment product you choose, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Do this to ensure your own safety and to maximize the efficiency of the product.
Choose the right bait for the job. Your choice of rodenticide depends upon the environmental conditions and the severity of the infestation.
Place the bait where rodents travel. Your inspection will identify the problem areas and the species involved. Place bait where rats and mice will find it.
Place enough bait to get rid of rodents. Keep a fresh supply of bait, and remove any spoiled or rancid bait.
Read the rodenticide label before placing bait. The label instructions give useful information on bait placement.
Use bait stations wherever safety is a concern. Tamper-resistant stations keep bait away from children, pets and non-target species.
Eliminate the rodent’s food, water and habitat wherever possible. Reduce the population first before applying rodent-proof measures. Disrupting the rodent’s environment may send them scurrying.
Identify areas in need of rodent proofing, but don't proceed until you've eliminated the rodents.
Build Rodents Out
Recommended Rodent-Proofing Materials
Eliminate Pest-Friendly Conditions
It's important to identify conditions that enable the rodent problem to exist, and then implement corrective measures.