DIY humane rat and mouse eviction

Ridding one's home of mice and rats can be a bit labor intensive, frustrating at times, but, once completed, the home should be rodent-free for many, many years.

The following post describes how to protect your home from rats and mice, for good, without using poison or other lethal means. 

Before using live traps, you'll want to find out how they're getting in. 

Think about it this way - if you're in a boat that's filling with water, you would want to find and plug the holes before bailing, right? 

So, the first step is to locate the intrusion points. Look for holes and gaps that are 1/2" and larger. Be meticulous. 

Heavily used entry points will usually show staining.

Entry points can be sealed using caulking, copper mesh, and 1/4" hardware cloth. Avoid using foam - mice and rats can easily gnaw through it. 

If you find a breach that is 4" or greater, there could be larger animals inside - like a raccoon or an opossum. You'll need to take a different approach, especially during baby season. Give us a call for advice.

Where a hole goes into a wall or an area where you won't be able to set a cage trap, a one-way device allows an animal to get out and not get back in. The video below shows a one-way device in use.

The same day we finish sealing a home we set live-capture traps, like the Little Giantinside the crawlspaces - the attic and subfloor area. 

Rats can be neophobic - scared of new things, and may not go into a cage trap for a few days, so, in addition to placing bait in the trap, we also set a few small pieces on the outside of the cage. If the bait disappears, we know there is a live animal present.

Live traps must be checked every morning, as early as possible so the animals don't suffer long in the cage. The animals can be released just outdoors in familiar habitat. No need to take them anywhere else if you've done a good job of sealing your home.

In addition to removing the animals from your home, check your yard for attractants - what's drawing them to your property? Wildlife will be attracted by food and shelter resources - wood piles, bird feeders, compost bins, fruit trees, pet and livestock feed. Do your best to reduce these resources or the rodents access to them.

Just in case you're planning to use snap traps, never set them outdoors, unprotected, where other animals and children can reach them. There are special protective boxes that can be used to enclose snap traps.

Don't use poison! 

Rodenticide is passed to other animals when poisoned mice and rats are consumed. Rodents are the target but not the only victims - it's a serious issue - read all about it HERE.

We believe the only wildlife-safe rodenticide in the US at this time is RatX. HERE, EcoClear states RatX is 100% non-toxic to people, pets and wildlife yet 100% deadly to rats and mice, with no risk of secondary kill and no environmental pollution. You can now find RatX online and at the Home Depot.

If you have a large enough yard and live in an area frequented by barn owls, consider installing a barn owl nest box to encourage more owl activity. They are excellent predators of mice, rats, voles and gophers. Check out the recent news article about our barn owl boxes, HERE.

Check out one of our barn owl nest cams, HERE. (seasonal)

If you have any questions or concerns or if you'd like to set up an appointment, give us a call at 855-548-6263.

No comments: