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How To Keep Small Rodents Out Of Your Home

Home Maintenance
By on Mar 16, 2017
How To Keep Small Rodents Out Of Your Home

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There’s nothing worse than sharing your home with an unwelcomed guest, especially when they can cause so much damage to your home. Small rodents can cause problems both in and out of your home, with a mess left for you to take care of.

The discovery of small rodents in the home is certainly a surprise to both you and the animal. The process of safely eliminating can be a challenge for all. It’s important to make every effort as humane as possible too. However, the first step to eliminating small rodents from your home is prevention. Here are a few tips to do so.

In many cases, it’s best if rodent elimination is left to a professional, for both your safety and the rodents. Contact a pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.


Small Rodent List

You may be wondering what qualifies as a small rodent. It could be any mammal, from a hamster to a rat. But for this article, we’ll be focusing on the animals we don’t typically take in as pets. Here are a few of the small rodents you don’t want in or around your house:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons

Pest Control Costs

While there are many humane DIY options available for pest control, it’s a good idea to prepare for any costs that might be associated before purchasing materials or deciding to call a pro. The average cost to hire an animal control is $291, with most homeowners spending between $206 and $313.

Mice Control

Prevent Small Rodents In The Home

A rodent infestation always starts with a point of entry. While it may seem small to us, for small rodents, they are wide open entries into your space. In fact, a mouse can fit into a dime-sized space with ease. Start by sealing off small holes in walls, cabinets or areas specifically in or around the kitchen. Check for unsealed areas around pipes, windows and doors as well. Do this before the colder months hit, as that is when many small animals look for shelter to make it through the winter.

Next, you’ll want to secure any food and water sources. Non-perishable food should be kept in plastic containers whenever possible. Pet food is a common source of attraction for small rodents that many homeowners don’t think about. Keep all dry pet food in a sealed storage container to reduce the risk of infestation. Mice hate peppermint and won’t go near it. Keep cotton balls with peppermint essential oil in the corner of your cabinets to keep your food safe.

Keep garbage containers, both indoors and outdoors, always sealed. Another good practice for rodent prevention is routinely cleaning out your trash and recycling cans. This removes any small food crumbs that may attract rodents.

Possum Home

Rodent Control Outside

While mice are a frequent guest for many homeowners, small rodents can easily cause problems outside of your house. Under a deck, in a gutter, between firewood and bushes can all be suitable homes for small animals such as squirrels, opossums and rabbits. While often these infestations happen seasonally, they can cause damage to your existing structures and landscaping. They can also pose a danger to any pets you have in your home. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from becoming a problem in your yard.

To build a home, rodents need materials. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your yard and gutter free of any debris like dead leaves.

Watch for food sources in your yard. Clean your gutters out regularly and keep your grass cut. Bird feeders, sadly, don’t always attract beautiful birds. Many small rodents are attracted to the seeds both in and around the feeder. If rodents are a problem in your yard, avoid a bird feeder. Keep any outdoor kitchens or grills clean as to not attract rodents.

If your deck or porch is low to the ground, consider closing it off so animals don’t make their home underneath it.

Rabbit In Garden

Rodent Control In The Garden

If you have a garden, you might be familiar with the sight of a rabbit taking a bite out of one of your beloved leafy greens. It’s time to take back your garden. Short chicken wire or temporary plastic fencing can be your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your garden. You may also want to consider planting fresh peppermint around the perimeter of your garden, as many vermin won’t go near it.

Compost can also attract small rodents to your garden, rats particularly. If you have a compost pile, be sure that it’s properly sealed and keep it moist.

Squirrel On Fence

When To Call Animal Control

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Many homeowners are confused as to who and when to call an animal control service. Some jump right to calling their local animal law enforcement, or animal control. While guidelines vary by state and city, local animal control generally handles stray domestic animals, dead or injured animals over 15 Ibs., or dangerous animals such as snakes.

An animal control service, however, can help you take care of your small rodent infestation. Even with preventative measures, if you suspect a problem, you should call. Animals like mice and rabbits can reproduce quite quickly, so it’s important to call as soon as you can. They will also know the most humane way to go about removing the animal from your home. For sick or injured animals.

For your safety, never handle a sick or injured animal on your own. If you feel unsafe or threatened by an animal, call a pro.


Small rodents are pests to your home. But with humane preventative measures, you can keep your home critter free.

Looking to get rid of more unwanted guests? Read DIY Pest Control Solutions For Your Home.

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