Rodent Exclusion and Sanitation

Learn rodent exclusion tips and techniques.

Rodent Exclusion

Use Stuff It Copper Mesh around pipes and utility lines stuffing into the openings such as openings where pipes and wires enter the foundation and siding, e.g., around outdoor faucets, receptacles, gas meters, clothes dryer vents, and telephone/cable TV wires. Check to see that shingles are tight.

PUR Black Gun Foam will expand into voids, cracks, and crevices. PUR Black Gun Foam is a polyurethane and moisture curing foam. It is convenient to seal the entry points where rodents, bats, birds, squirrels, or insects may enter structures. PUR Black Foam also bonds on surfaces as a cured foam and will not decompose under direct sunlight.

It will also seal and stop the passage of air, gases, water, dust fibers, sound, and odors.

Where rodents are abundant, you have plenty of shelters and food provided. It will have a high impact on reducing the rodent population if you remove or reduce these factors.

  • All openings greater than 1/4" should be sealed to exclude mice, but it may be impossible to seal all openings.
  • All openings greater than 1/2" should be sealed to exclude rats.
  • Likely access points for rodents are where utility lines come into walls and openings around air conditioning, drainpipes, and vents.
  • Look for broken basement windows, warped doors, and unscreened vents as possible points of entry. All spaces beneath doors should be checked if the opening is too large and reduced if needed.
  • Roofs should be checked to see that shingles are tight and sheathing is complete. Also, check roof ventilators, screen vents, and louvers in wall vents.

Exclusion Materials

Exclusion techniques
Exclusion techniques

Hardware cloth may be used to seal openings such as attic vents, as shown in the picture. Install 1/4-inch wire mesh (hardware cloth) over attic, roof, and crawl space vents to prevent birds' entry, bats, squirrels, rodents, and other wildlife. Wearing gloves when cutting hardware cloth would prevent cuts since the fabric is sharp.

Metal flashing
Metal flashing

Metal flashing may be used to seal up openings around the gutters( in the picture).

Without removing possible food sources and shelter resources, a trapping and bait program would be unsuccessful. Using only rodent poison baits and traps on an intermittent basis to control rodents, these rodent populations would quickly and repeatedly rebound without any attempt to control other factors. Even the highest quality of rodent baits would not be able to compete well with the available foods. The current rodent population is already and comfortably accustomed to feeding.

Sanitation Importance

  • All rubbish piles and refuse need to be eliminated.
  • Landscaped areas need to be appropriately maintained with wood piles elevated off the ground.
  • All garbage containers and dumpsters should have a tight-fitting cover.
  • Rodents can live on the spilled and surplus food from bird feeders and pet food.
  • It is difficult to eliminate all food and shelter sources for mice because of their lesser food requirements due to their smaller size. However, the more food and shelter the mice have, the higher a mice population or infestation. The higher population, the harder it will be to control.
  • Rats require a lot more food and water. They also need more shelter. When there is a severe infestation of rats, it is usually indicative of a sanitation problem.
Importance of SanitationImportance of Sanitation
Importance of Sanitation
Chimney cap
Chimney cap

Chimney caps exclude birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other nuisance wildlife

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.

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