Rodents don't need too much space to get in your home. Rats can squeeze through a hole as big (or small) as a half dollar, while mice only need one the size of a nickel [source: CDC]. Keep your house rodent-free by sealing up as many openings as possible.
Here are some ways to keep your house rodent free:
- Check all entrances for openings. Seal any openings you find.
- Install rodent barriers around decks, patios and porches.
- Eliminate moisture by fixing a leaky roof and clogged gutters.
- Install a chimney cap to your chimney.
- Trim trees so they don't overhang or touch the house.
- Remove fruits, nuts, pet food, etc. from your yard.
- Check around the foundation for openings and seal any you find.
- Weather strip and caulk all windows and doors, including your garage door.
- Move plants and shrubs away from the house.
- Keep firewood a distance from the house and garage, and remove any infested logs.
- Store woodpiles off the ground and cover them with a tarp [source: Critter Control].
Rodents often enter a house through a crawlspace. Here's how to keep them out:
- Inspect your home's crawlspace, inside and out, and seal every opening and crack -- no matter how small. Be sure to check beneath walls, in corners and in the cracks between the door and the wall. Use caulking, foam insulation or wood (for larger openings).
- Create a water barrier between the ground and the crawlspace to minimize moisture, which attracts rodents.
- Move hedges and brush away from the walls of the house.
- Build a small concrete wall and floor around and beneath the house. This prevents rodents from digging their way beneath the crawlspace.
- Lay traps around the crawlspace wherever you suspect the rodents enter. Check the traps frequently and dispose of any that were tripped. Note where the rodents are most active and seal those areas.
- Be vigilant. Once you seal up one entry point, rodents will probably find another one [source: Do It Yourself].