Seal All the Gaps! A Guide on How to Protect Your Home from Rodents
Food and rubbish lying around your house invariably attract rodents. Rats, mice, and other vermin can squeeze through entry points like gaps, cracks, or holes in your wall. Apart from vermin being generally unpleasant, infestations need to be taken very seriously as they leave bacteria-filled droppings everywhere.
Shredded paper or clothing, a pungent scent of urine, droppings near food, and chewed-up food packaging are telltale signs that rodents are lurking around.
While it isn’t always the case, your rodent problem may have started from poor sanitation within your home. It pays to be tidy as infestations are generally associated with leaving crumbs and rubbish out. These pests can smell and see clutter-filled areas in your home as nesting spots. They also like to build their nests inside small warm parts of your home, inside vehicles, and within piles of timber. And, because they gnaw on everything they can find, they can get their paws on, they can cause widespread disrepair in your home.
Find rodent entry points
Mice or rat infestations can be controlled if you know what areas in the home they’re using as entry points. That way, you know which gaps, cracks, and holes in walls need to be sealed.
Inside your home, you can find these openings in practically every corner including:
- Inside closets
- Around doors, vents, and the fireplace
- Under sinks and around pipes
- Inside the attic and the basement
- Floor drains
- Junctures between the floor and walls
Do note, though, that you can also find gaps and holes in roof eaves and gables, as well as holes made for electrical and gas wirings, plumbing and cabling.
Rodents are very flexible; stories of mice flattening their hip area so they can wiggle through a gap between a door and the floor are not uncommon. This also includes water lines, gutter pipes, air conditioning units. Entryways of this kind are easy work for mice and even some rats.
If you do have an infestation, be sure to lay traps or poison near any pipe entryway.
Even if your ridge vents are way up on your roof, rodents will climb up and enter through this opening in order to gain access to your attic.
Sidings have gaps between them and the foundation. Rodents can easily fit in and climb through with ease.
These openings, also known as weep holes, are meant for water and air to pass through so the building can “breathe”. If these holes are at least the size of a 50p, mice can fit through effortlessly and make their way into your home.
Vinyl siding corner cap
Rodents can climb upside down even through small gaps like vinyl sidings. Through these, they can make their way to the roof or find an opening so they can enter the house.
Unsealed construction gaps are a common sight in homes, providing another entry site for rodents to get to the attic.
Preventing rodent infestation requires lots of patience and resourcefulness. These critters are cunning, especially when they need to hunt for shelter, food, and water.
It is not safe for you and your family to have rodents infesting your home as, aside from damaging your personal belongings, they pose serious health risks. They can spread diseases like leptospirosis, salmonellosis, hantavirus, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. They can also wreak havoc on your home’s electrical system as rodents have a propensity for chewing through insulators, causing short circuits.
As—like all wildlife—rodents hunt to survive, the best means for keeping rodents away is by depriving them of their basic needs.
Arm yourself with materials that you can use for cleaning your home, and make food storage a priority, as well as sealing any gaps and holes. Sealed containers can be used to store dry goods including pet food. If you have items that are only meant for occasional use, seal tightly with tape or anything that can securely lock the container.
Cardboard boxes can be gnawed on. You can use plastic organiser boxes and get them off the floor and onto shelves.
- Cover up all the entry points by doing the following:
- Use a coarse steel wool to fill small holes and keep it in place using caulk.
- Use cement or metal sheets to close large holes.
- Cover the chimney with a cap.
- Caulk the holes where appliance pipes pass through.
If the infestation has occured because of structural issues, it is your landlord’s responsibility to contact an expert to handle pest eradication. This is why it is critical that you take images and videos on your first day in the flat or home and email them to your landlord. This will serve as your evidence that all the disrepair in your home, including the infestations, were already present even before you moved in.
Your landlord should respond to you within 21 days after you first reported the issue to them. If they do not respond, send them an email or an SMS again to make a follow-up on the case.
If your landlord ignores your repair request after your follow-up call, you can seek the help of the housing disrepair experts at DisrepairClaim.co.uk. You can claim compensation for the stress and the inconvenience the infestation has caused you and your family.