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How To Rodent Proof Your Maine Home

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How To Rodent Proof Your Maine Home

When rodents get into a South Portland home, they can destroy property, spread illness, and introduce parasites such as mites, ticks, lice, and fleas. So, it is a pretty good idea to keep them out. If you've been looking for some ideas on how to do that, you've come to the right place.

Inspection

  • Start by doing a thorough inspection of your exterior walls, roofline, and basement walls. Look for any holes, gaps, or cracks that are larger than ΒΌ of an inch. A mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime and some rats can get through a hole the size of a quarter.
  • Inspect in hard-to-get-at places.
  • Be sure to look closely where pipes and utilities pass through your walls. The objects often have gaps.
  • Look closely around air conditioning units.
  • Inspect door sweeps, weather stripping, and the mortar around basement windows.

Exclusions and Deterrents

  • If you find any broken windows or torn screens during your inspection, look into getting these repaired. While window screening isn't going to keep a mouse out, it can deter them from perching on your window sill and chewing on its frame.
  • If you find open holes such as exhaust openings or vents during your inspection, it is important to cover those openings with hardware cloth. Larger rodents can chew through cement and thin mesh.
  • If you have tree branches that hang over your roof and come near to it, it is important to trim them back. Some rodents, especially squirrels, will use these to jump onto your roof and get into your home through broken shingles, gaps around your chimney, your roofline, and unprotected soffits.
  • If you see damage to soffits, you should repair the damage and reinforce these areas with metal flashing. This is also an important exclusion to apply if you have gaps around your gutters.
  • Put wire mesh in downspouts. Rodents can use your downspouts to climb up to your roof and gain access to your vulnerable roofline. Putting mesh in your downspouts will prevent them from getting up, while still allowing water to flow out.
  • All outside food sources in your yard should be eliminated. If you have a tree that produces fruit, a bird feeder, a vegetable garden, berry bushes and such, you'll need to implement some form of deterrent or exclusion to keep rodents away from these food sources.
  • Outside traps can be helpful in monitoring how often rodents are visiting your exterior. Be sure to get a trap that is not harmful to children or pets that come upon them.
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Attractants

  • Trash cans. Rodents can find quite a bit of food in a bag of trash; so, when they smell trash, they are inclined to come running. Make sure all your exterior trash is in sealed containers. This will also protect your trash from wildlife invaders as well.
  • Reduce places rodents are comfortable. If you have firewood near your home, rodents will enjoy playing and nesting in the gaps and holes of your firewood stacks. Consider moving your firewood at least 20 feet from your exterior walls and elevating the wood stacks off the ground. This is also a good idea if you want to prevent wood damaging pests, like carpenter ants and termites, from coming near to the wood of your home.
  • Maintain your landscape. Keep vegetation trimmed so that it doesn't become overgrown and give rodents safe cover as they work their way in toward your home. Some rodents have predators that attack from the sky and feel unsafe without cover. If you have a wide patch of neatly mowed grass around your home, you'll have some protection from curious mice and rats.
  • Remove lawn clutter. Any items in your yard can provide cover. If you have any unnecessary clutter or debris such as leaf piles, rock piles, construction materials, toys, old cars, equipment, cinderblock piles, and such, they should be removed. If it is not practical to remove these items, consider building a shelter for them at least 20 feet from your home.
  • If you have had a mouse or rat infestation before, it is vital to clean up any urine with a bleach product. Rodents have a strong odor to their urine. This odor helps them to navigate in a home and find places of interest. If a mouse or rat is in your yard and it catches a sniff of this odor, they will be sure to check it out.
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