No one likes seeing an unexpected rodent in their home! If you've had rat troubles in the past or have neighbors that have struggled with rodent infestations, you may be worried about how vulnerable your house is to rat nests. Here's seven ways to prevent rats from getting inside your home.
1. Cover up those cracks
Any gaps or cracks, even those the size of a quarter, are enough room for rats to sneak through. While it's important that you scout all your outer walls and watch for any gaps, it's also critical that you don't stop there. You don't want any building on your property to be a refuge for rodents, and that includes sheds, garages, sunrooms and closed patios. So after having your home inspected by a professional, find and seal the cracks in the walls, foundations and roofing.
2. Inspect your insulation
Insulation plays an important role in covering cracks and protecting your home, especially in the attic and crawlspaces. But over time, insulation can degrade or prove insufficient to block enterprising pests. Shore up any weak spots in your insulation with foam insulation and other material that prevents pests from entering your home.
3. Clean up and cover trash
Rodents love exploring trash, and it's crucial not to give them any openings. That includes not only food, but anything they can chew through or hide under. Keep trash cans tightly sealed, because smells can attract a number of rodents. Move larger piles of trash to a waste disposal site quickly and clean up thoroughly after outdoor play or picnics.
4. Secure your food
Keep your pantry closed and sealed at all times. Don't store food where it can be easily chewed into or accessed from the outdoors. If you've had rodent problems before, it's a good idea to buy bins and containers in which to store flour, sugar and other ingredients, rather than leaving them in their original bags.
5. Guard your vents
Vents are designed to let cool, dry air into your home, especially into your attic and roof. However, that doesn't mean they have to let rodents inside too. Protect all your open-air vents with screens and proper sealing so that no creatures can get in.
6. Protect your pipes
If your HVAC system or any other drainage system in your house uses pipes that exit outdoors, make sure those pipes are properly protected. The common solution is to bury them under gravel in a drainage channel. Don't give rats easy entry into your home.
7. Use baffles on your bird feeders
In addition to protecting your stored birdseed, it's a good idea to install a baffle on your feeder as well. You don't want rats or squirrels to get accustomed to snacking on birdseed so close to your house.