The presence of rats and mice in your home is not only repulsive, but can also lead to health and safety issues. There are many methods for ridding your home of rodents, but rodent control must be practiced in a manner that is effective but doesn't cause risk of harm to human occupants. 

This is especially true of residents with compromised health, children, and the elderly. All methods of rodent eradication involve at least a minimal risk, but with with both prevention and safe control practices, you can keep your home rodent free.

What are the signs of rodents in the home?

Rodents will enter a home looking for food, water, and shelter. Packaged foods are a prime target for rodents, so you are likely to traces of their passage in cupboards or other places where bagged goods such as rice or boxed foods such as crackers are stored.

Chewed packages, scattered pieces of paper, food crumbs, and rodent droppings may be found in these locations.

You may also see small holes along baseboards or doors, or small piles of sawdust and chew marks along the bottom edges of doors. Droppings may also be found on the floor along walls, because rodents tend to run as close to walls as possible.

Prevention is the most effective means of rodent control

Keeping rodents from entering your home involves removing temptation and sealing possible access points. All stored foods should be placed in airtight containers as soon as they are brought into the home. Keep all trash outside in cans with tight fitting lids, and clean all recyclables completely.

Access points should be blocked with 1/4" or 1/2" wire cloth (screen). These points of entry may include attic fans, open spaces where pipes protrude from exterior walls, and any opening that is at least 1/2" wide, because rodents can flatten their bodies to fit through any opening of that size.

Keep shrubbery, firewood, and compost piles far enough from the home that they cannot provide shelter or concealment for rodents to gradually chew through walls or doors. Cat and dog doors should have an interior locking mechanism to be locked when not in use.

Safe and effective eradication of rodents on the home

Rat poisons should never be used in the home. They contain powerful anticoagulants that can cause poisoning through ingestion or inhalation, and a poisoned rodent may die and decompose in the walls of the home after ingesting poison.

Although some homeowners see catch-and-release traps, which trap rodents alive, as a more compassionate alternative to kill traps, they may actually be more cruel, and possibly illegal.

Rats that are released close to other homes will cause the same problems for other people, and may die a slower death from hunger, poisoning, and attacks from predators. This is also true of rodents released into the wild, an environment to which they are not accustomed and where they face starvation, death from exposure and a large number of predators.

Mechanical or electric quick-kill traps are the most effective, effective, and compassionate method of rodent control in the home. These include the traditional spring and bar traps or battery operated traps that kill immediately by electric shock.

When using spring loaded traps, it is best to have a pair of pliers or vise grips to hold the spring bar in place while you set and bait the trap. You can then use the pliers or grips to position the trap along walls, in cupboards, or behind furniture.

If you have young children at home, you can buy spring loaded traps that are installed inside plastic boxes to eliminate the possibility of a child springing a trap and injuring themselves.

If you want to be truly compassionate, prevention is the most important component in rodent control. Contact a company like Xtermco Inc to learn more.