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How to deter rodents from entering your home

When the weather gets cooler, rodents love to find a nice warm space to take shelter. Many times, this is someone’s home.  It can be startling to see a mouse in your home, and you may even be afraid of it. Unfortunately, rodents are very good at finding ways into your house, and they can squeeze through some pretty small openings.

Why deter rodents from your home?

They may look cute as they scurry across your floor, but mice can cause a lot of damage to your home. They’ll also eat your food and leave behind droppings that put your health and the health of your loved ones at risk. Rodents carry bacteria and can leave it behind during their travels, including on your cupboards and kitchen surfaces. Sometimes they even chew on electrical cables, which presents a fire danger to your property. With the amount of damage they can do and the health risk they present, it’s best not to allow rodents to share your home.

Ways to deter rodents from your home

There are some different ways that you can deter rodents from entering your home. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, and your pets safe and healthy.

Get a cat

While not a fool-proof method, getting a pet cat or even allowing one to roam outside your home can deter rodents from trying to sneak into your home. Cats are good hunters, and mice make good prey.

Install traps

Another common way to deter rodents from your property is to place traps in areas where you think they may be getting access to your home. Use peanut butter or cheese to lure rodents into the live trap. Once they are caught inside, you can release them far away from your home.

Keep your home clean

Too much clutter in forgotten spaces around your home can make ideal nests for rodents. This includes items like:

    • Boxes in your basement
    • Clothing piles
    • Collection of magazines, newspapers, etc.
    • Old furniture, particularly if it has soft upholstery

Be sure to give your home a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. That means moving things and vacuuming or sweeping underneath them. You should also be using a disinfectant during your regular cleaning, including for mopping your floors.

Close your kitchen

Reducing the access to food in your home can help deter rodents from moving in. Take steps to seal up your food with storage containers, clean up spills quickly and only use a garbage can that has a tightly-fitting lid. It’s also best not to let your pet’s food sit out all day, as rodents can also view this as a food source.

Clean up your yard

Keeping your yard clean can cut back on potential food items that are attracting rodents to your property. Rake up any nuts or berries that have fallen from your trees, remove birdseed from around your birdfeeder, and ensure that your garbage does not spill.

Seal your windows and doors

Rodents can climb, so it’s best to seal up your windows so they can’t get inside. Be sure that if you’re going to leave a window open, there is a screen to prevent anything from sneaking inside. Check around your doors to see if there is enough space for a rodent to squeeze through. Don’t forget to investigate your garage door too.

Inspect and repair your foundation

Examine the outside of your home for any cracks in the foundation. Rodents don’t need a large hole to enter your home. If you see any holes or cracks, it’s best to repair them quickly, so they don’t get worse and leave you with unwelcome guests. Another way that rodents get into your home is if you have pet doors. Although it’s nice to offer your furry friend the freedom to come and go as they please, the risk of rodent visitors is too great. Replace your door or tightly seal the pet entrance to avoid unwanted guests finding their way into your home.

Seal your chimney and vent

It’s a good idea to put a cap on your chimney to block rodents from gaining access to your warm home. Using vent covers can ensure that your home still gets the ventilation it needs but that no unwanted pets find their way inside. You can also add metal mesh around any pipes you have for added protection.

Adjust your storage habits

Many of us put unnecessary items in a box and store the boxes in our basements. However, this can offer a free and easy hiding spot for rodents. To reduce the likelihood, they’ll find refuge in your storage area, clean out the boxes and discard items you really don’t need or want anymore. It’s also important to reduce clutter around your home and in hidden places, like under the stairs. Another tip is to store items higher up, like on shelves rather than the floor. Rodents will find them less inviting homes if they are up high.

Make adjustments

You can take many steps to keep rodents out, but you may find they are persistent pests and might find a way inside. That’s when you’ll need to make adjustments to your strategy. However, if you are diligent about checking your traps and inspecting holes and cracks, you should be able to identify a problem quickly. Remember that rodents have teeth, and they like to chew through things – including metal gates and vent covers. It’s vital to regularly check to ensure there hasn’t been any rodent activity and that your home is still secure.

Keeping rodents out of your home can be a big job. If you need some help securing your property, or if you already have pests invading your space, contact Swat Wildlife. Our skilled teams will come out and remove unwanted pests like rodents.


Learn how we repair and protect your home from all kinds of intruders. From chimney capping to vents to soffits to ventilation, we fix them all.


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