Rats and mice will quickly take advantage of any source of food or shelter. These rodents consume 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.
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.
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. To be effective keep the bait fresh.
Reduce the population first before applying rodent-proof measures. Eliminate the rodent’s food, water and habitat wherever possible.
Use tamper-resistant bait stations to keep bait away from children, pets and non-target species.
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.
For more information on rodent control, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.