Part 1. Make the environment around your home less attractive to rodents.
Rats and mice will live outside structures in blackberry bushes, brambles, ivy, and other dense vegetation during the warmer months. The thick vegetation shields rodents from flying predators and provides an early warning system for ground based predators. Consider thinning thick vegetation and removing blackberry bushes.
In the same way, piles of debris, stacks of building materials, and other stored items outside a structure provide shelter. A quick trip to the dump can help you keep rodent free. That old car you never drive? Rats will quickly move into unused autos sitting idle.
When the weather turns colder, rodents will move into nearby structures to survive the winter. As rodents go about their nightly routines, they are always scoping for places to hide should they find themselves in danger from predators. Rodents living many houses a way will check out your yard and home, not only for shelter, but for food sources.
Speaking of food sources, dog food, left out in dog dishes all day – is a huge draw for rats. Rats will attack dogs in groups and train dogs to leave them alone as they eat the pet’s food. Pet food should never be stored outside. It should be stored in your garage in a metal container with a tight fitting metal lid. Dog feces are also a huge draw. All dog owners know that some dogs will occasionally eat dog feces. Rodents prefer fresher food than humans – but when it’s all you can get…
Make sure to store your trash in containers that have tight fitting undamaged lids. If your trash can has holes chewed in it – request a new one from your collection company. If you don’t use a collection service, then get new lids. Consider metal cans – rats can’t chew through them.
Bird feeders a huge draw too. Consider planting plants that attract humming birds and installing bird baths instead of feeders. If you must have a feeder, try to get rodent resistant feeders and understand that you make be drawing rats to your home – you should defiantly have your home inspected for rats every few years of you feed birds.
Keeping ground fall fruits picked up can help keep rat populations down too. What to do with the ground falls? Composting great, but understand that composting can draw rats. These steps may help: Add screens or hardware cloth to areas where rats and other burrowing animals can get through. If your bin is placed on the soil, lay a piece of screen between the soil and the bottom of the bin. Turn material regularly to prevent nesting. In especially tough cases, add a vertical screen (6 to 8 inches into the ground) around the perimeter of the bin. Avoid adding materials that attract pests (meat, dairy, oils) and ensure food scraps are well concealed beneath a 2-3 inch layer of “browns” such as fall leaves.
When planning future landscaping projects, keep in mind that rodents like to nest in rockery. It’s full of all kinds of perfectly sized gaps for them to burrow into or behind. Well built walls made of concrete products, such as blocks or pavers, can eliminate harborage areas.Share on Facebook