There are many things you can do to avoid having a problem with mice and rats, many of them are simple and things you can do in your day-to-day life. You can exclude rodents from your home by repairing external structural faults such as:
- Gaps beneath external doors - draught excluding brush or bristle strips can be attached to the door or the threshold can be renewed or raised
- Holes surrounding pipes - these can be blocked with wire wool and then filled with cement or expanding foam
- Air vents - damaged or old-style vents with holes over 2.5cm can be replaced or covered with fine mesh (do not block air vents)
- Prevent access into buildings by blocking access into cavity walls by replacing missing bricks and seals around windows and doors.
You can make your home and garden environment less attractive by using the following tips:
- Ensure your house is kept clean
- Keep food (including pet food) stored inside and off the ground. Keep opened packages in sealed containers
- Outdoor pets - prevent your pets creating a food source by attaching a board to the front of their cage to catch discarded food and removing dog fouling on a daily basis
- Bulky waste - remove any collections of materials (such as old furniture and carpets) kept close to your house as rodents may use these to live in
- Avoid the build-up of domestic refuse outside your property. Use suitable containers such as wheeled bins and ensure they are regularly emptied and stored away from vertical surfaces where possible
- Cut back tree branches so they do not overhang your property. Wall-climbing plants should be trimmed and not allowed to reach from ground to roof level
- Ensure your garden isn't overgrown.
Wild bird feeding is now one of the most common reasons for rat infestations around domestic homes. To reduce attraction of rats to your garden you should:
- Use suspended wire feeders with trays for waste
- Not put bird food directly on the ground
- Only put out enough bird food for the day and clear any spillages
- The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has more advice on how to
keep your feeding pest-free.