When rodents invade a Houston area home it is important to discover how the pests are gaining entry into the structure. Baiting or trapping alone rarely solves the problem. New rodents coming in quickly replace the rodents you catch. Rodent proofing whether done by you or the pest professional should go hand in hand with other control measures.
Rodent proofing does three things:
- It blocks rodents’ access,
- It makes it difficult for rodents to move around inside the building, and
- It seals gaps to prevent rodents from finding an edge to gnaw a new entrance hole.
There are differences in the sites you rodent proof depending on whether you are controlling roof rats, Norway rats or mice. For example roof rats often enter from the top. You will need to seal openings near the roofline. Be sure trees touching the structure are trimmed back.
For mice if the tip of your finger can fit through the hole it needs to be sealed. Mice only need ¼ inch to fit through. A rat needs only ½ inch to gain entry.
How to Seal Holes from Rodents
You will need to use appropriate materials to seal the opening. Caulks and foams, although they look efficient are easily chewed through by rodents. Materials to use would be things like: concrete, brick, glass or ceramic tile, sheet metal 24 gauge or thicker, perforated metal 28 gauge or heavier, Aluminum 22 gauge, hardware cloth for mice 24 guage, 1/4 inch mesh, for rats 19 gauge, 1/2 mesh, steel wool or copper mesh.
Metal guards or collars can be placed on pipes or wires to prevent rodents from using them as an entryway.
Where to rodent proof:
- Screen vents and exhaust fan openings
- Fan openings in basements
- Crawls spaces
- Bathrooms, kitchens
- Attic vents
- Rooftop ventilator openings
- Gaps around windows
- Replace broken glass
- Seal cracks or breaks in the foundation
- Fit wooden doors with a metal cuff and channel or kickplate
- Seal openings around pipes
- Screen or grate floor drains making sure the openings are no larger than ¼ inch
After rodent proofing do a final check to see if you have missed any areas. If you do not feel confident you have done a thorough job have a pest professional complete the work for you.