Rodents venture into homes in search of warmth and food in February and March, often causing great distress to homeowners.
Fortunately, pest control experts argue that control measures may be as simple as trimming foliage around the home.
Laurence Barnard, Professional & Speciality Solutions Manager, for BASF, explained that rodents rely heavily on vegetation when searching for entry points into houses.
“Cutting back vegetation and bushes around the building will […] help,” explained the expert. “This is because rats have a fear of open spaces, so by trimming back shrubbery they will be less inclined to cross an open space to gain entry.
Keep food waste outside of the home to repel rodents
“It also means natural predators, like cats, will be able to spot them more easily!”
Like many animals, rats and mice need three things to survive food, water and shelter – so the key to deterring the pests is to limit their access to all three of these.
To prevent luring the unwanted into your home, keep rubbish and other scraps of food as far as possible from the house.
Barnard suggests that the best approach is to ensure all scraps of food are promptly disposed of in a bin bag.
“It is less likely they’ll pick up the scent of food if it is stored inside a bin with the lid closed,” noted Barnard.
They continued: “Many people find the garages and sheds are more susceptible to infestations than the house itself.
“This is because outbuildings tend to be less structurally sound, often have less foot flow and are used as storage, which makes the perfect place for rodents to nest and hide.
“If you have rodents in your homes then it’s quite likely you have a structural defect either externally, or more often than not via the drainage system.
Mice are more likely to enter homes through areas that are not structurally sound
If signs of an infestation become apparent, it may be “time to find a suitable treatment and ideally use a professional pest technician,” noted Barnard.
“An […] aggressive but humane alternative to get rid of mice naturally from your home is the use of non-lethal traps,” explained Andrea Philips, from Airtasker’s editorial team.
“These traps can catch mice without causing any harm.
“They are bait-based, luring the mouse into an enclosure that they cannot climb back out of.”