There are so many fun things to do during the fall season. But if you’re a responsible homeowner, you know that one of the most important things to do before winter comes around is to start rodent-proofing your home.
There’s no question: various critters and pests will seek refuge come wintertime. After all, they not only need warmth, they also need food, water, and a safe place to weather out the cold. That’s right– your comfy little home is just perfect for all their needs.
So even this early, get a leg ahead of these rats, mice, and other rodents (as well as other bug and house pests) by making it difficult for them to actually gain entry into your home.
That said, here are five tips for rodent-proofing your home this season.
1. Inspect the Perimeter
The first thing you’ll want to do is walk the perimeter of your house, looking for holes, gaps, and cracks where rats, mice, and other critters can potentially use as an entry point.
Check up in the soffits and eaves, the foundation of your roofing, as well as the base around your home where wires or cables come in. Remember, rats and mice have the uncanny habit of squeezing through the smallest of holes so go right ahead and use latex caulk or expandable foam on all these possible entry points.
If you see any noticeable gaps in the base of your doors, go ahead and install some door sweeps as well so critters and vermin can’t squeeze their way into your home.
2. Secure Any Vents
You’ll want to check a couple of key areas: vents both up in the attic area, and down along the foundation of your property.
Make sure you have adequate, strong lattice screening across those vents on the inside or the outside. If you already have screens, check for holes or areas that might have been pried open. Secure these to make sure they don’t gain entry.
You can even put some lavender, mothballs, or other suitable pest-repelling plants (or plant oils) just inside, around the window sill or outside in a plant bed of sorts to further deter rats, mice, and other rodents from entering.
3. Check Your Roof
In addition to checking the soffits and eaves, you’ll also want to pay particular attention to areas where overhangs meet a lower part of your house. Raccoons, in particular (while not a rodent) are notorious for gaining entry into attics this way, prying open loose panels to get inside your home.
Go ahead and climb up to your roof and do an inspection there as well. Check all possible entry points, even looking for edges along the base of vents that might have curled up or been pried loose.
Your chimney, pipes, and other vents should have some wire mesh in place to deter critters from gaining entry into your home. This way, rodents can’t come crawling down from above.
4. Secure the Space Under Your Home
Especially if you have a raised deck, you’ll also want to cover that up with lattice to keep out the bigger critters from invading your home from underneath.
If you can, use a harder, sturdier screen around the perimeter, and dig down real deep (about four-and-a-half feet down) so rodents can’t easily burrow and enter from under the deck.
5. Trim Tree Branches That Connect To Your Home
To further discourage rodents and other vermin from entering your property from above, make sure that, if you have any trees nearby, you trim away any tree branches leaving at least three or four feet of clearance from your roof.
A Final Word About Rodent-Proofing Your Home
For rodents out in the cold, and that includes rats and mice (as well as the occasional raccoon, badger, or some other critter), your home is not only much-needed shelter from the winter weather, but it’s also a source of food, water, and warmth.
If you do your rodent-proofing of your home in the fall, you also help keep other bugs and household pests from wintering in your home. Remember, the price of a rodent-free home is a little bit of vigilance, a little bit of diligence, and a little bit of preparation.