How Can You Decrease The Rodent Population?

How can you decrease the rodent population? Find any crack or hole that is bigger than a quarter of an inch, then seal it. No one wants to discover rodents in their residence. But if you do, you'll need...

No one wants to discover rodents in their residence. But if you do, you'll need to know how to get rid of them.

Stoy Hedges, an entomologist and Director of Technical Services at Terminix International, says, "As far as keeping them out of your home, find any crack or hole that is bigger than a quarter of an inch, then seal it. Put proper weatherstripping on the bottom of your doors, including your garage door. Also, put screening on your foundation vents on your attic. It is a good idea not to have heavy ivies or heavy vegetation on the ground cover next to the house. This provides shelter or certainly attracts rodents. Eventually, they will find their way in."

According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program website, "Effective control involves sanitation, exclusion, and population reduction. Sanitation and exclusion are preventative measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction such as trapping or baiting is almost always necessary."

The UC-IPM website recommends starting with eliminating the mouse's food and shelter resources. "While good sanitation will seldom completely control mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them, and will permit them to thrive in greater numbers. Pay particular attention to eliminating places where mice can find shelter. If they have few places to hide, rest, or build nests and rear their young, they cannot survive in large numbers."

Next, the UC-IPM website states you should begin exclusion. "Exclusion is the most successful and permanent form of house mouse control." To do this, you bar the rodents entrance to your home by eliminating any holes, gaps, or cracks larger than 1/4 inch. Look closely at plumbing, vents, windows and doors. If using materials that are gnawable, consider using things with metal edges.

According to the UC-IPM website, "Trapping is an effective method for controlling small numbers of house mice. Although time-consuming, it is the preferred method in homes, garages, and other structures where only a few mice are present."

There are a few different types of traps available. The simple, cheap wooden snap traps are effective, but if several mice are suspected of having moved in, you might want to try multiple-capture live traps to reduce the work. Finally, there are glue traps available, which are not advisable for use around pets that might accidentally become stuck, or children.

Set the traps in dark locations where you have found evidence of mouse activity. Keep in mind that you should set them close to the walls, and space them no further than 10 feet from other traps.

The other option for population reduction is baiting. The UC-IPM website states, "Baits to control rodents are formulated with an attractant (generally food) and a rodenticide (toxin).

Most rodenticides used to control mice around the home are already mixed with an attractant in commercially ready-to-use baits. The rodenticides in these baits are either anticoagulants or other rodenticides such as single-dose toxicants and chronic rodenticides."

Anticoagulants work by causing internal bleeding, while the others are more basic poisons. As with any toxic or poisonous materials, you must use extreme caution, especially when pets or children or other wildlife might be in contact with the same area you are baiting.

No one wants rodents in their home, but there are many options available to control the pests.

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