Rodents, especially rats or mice, can be one of the toughest pests to get rid of, and anyone who has battled a rodent infestation knows that. Besides damaging your property, these pesky pests can spread several contagious diseases, including leptospirosis, plague, murine typhus, typhoid, and salmonellosis.
Traps, rat poison, and chemicals are some of the conventional pest control methods that can be employed for making your home and farmland free of rodents. However, the use of poison is not preferred by many people for the obvious health risks it poses to children, pets, and also to the wildlife.
Therefore, gives you some natural rodent control methods that can protect your house and its surrounding from a rodent infestation.
Getting Rid of Rodents
Use garbage bins with tight-fitting lids for dumping scraps and food waste. Never leave any food item uncovered. Grains and all other types of food items, including your pet's food should be stored in tight, rodent-proof containers.
The areas frequented by rodents should be cleaned with a disinfectant. Do not sweep or vacuum places that contain rodent feces or urine, unless you have disinfected the whole area. While dealing with dead rodents and rodent excreta, always wear gloves.
Therefore, always use a tight lid to cover the compost bin, and keep wood piles and abandoned vehicles and tires away from the vicinity of your home. Cover all pipes and drains, and make sure that they are not leaking.
The bushes and shrubs of your garden can also provide shelter to rodents. Keep the lawn grass short by mowing it at regular intervals. Although good sanitation alone cannot eliminate rodents from your house, it can increase the efficacy of other rodent control methods by eliminating the sources of food and shelter.
Moreover, poor hygiene inside and outside your house can easily attract rats, mice, and all other types of pests to your home.
Make Your House Rodent-proof
Rodents make their way into your house through small holes and cracks. Therefore, it is essential to rodent-proof your house, without which complete rodent control is not possible. So, inspect the exterior of your house thoroughly for cracks or openings larger than ¼ inch, which can serve as entry points for rodents.
Be sure to seal off such holes or cracks with heavy wire mesh, copper gauze, or steel wool. Check the window and door frames. If you find any opening or gap, seal it off with any type of weather stripping. Secure tight-fitting window screens, especially if you have ground level windows.
However, the success of this method depends on effective placement. Traps need to be placed in areas of high rodent activity, and it is always better to place a large number of traps in the initial days, when the chances of catching rats are more.
Use different types of traps, like snap traps, glue traps, live traps, or electronic traps for effective rodent control. Some rats are very cautious of anything that seems new to them. For such rats, leave the traps unset with baits for a few days. As baits, you can use peanut butter, cake, fried bacon, chocolate, pineapple, cheese, and ground meat or fish.
Ultrasonic Rodent Repellents
These devices emit ultrasonic sound waves in a non-repetitive pattern that rats hate. Ultrasonic sound waves cannot penetrate walls and other objects, which means that you have to keep ultrasonic units in several rooms.
Moreover, how effective these devices are in repelling mice and other rodents is also questionable. Many experts are of the opinion that these devices at best work for the short run, till rodents get used to the sound.
It has been observed that a family of barn owls can eat more than 3,000 rodents in the nesting season. On an average, a family of barn owls can consume 15 mice in a single night.
To attract barn owls, you can place a shelter box in your garden, but make sure that the box does not contains nails and other items that can harm these birds. Some types of owls are endangered, and if such endangered owls are harmed, even if accidentally, you would get penalized.
Natural Rodent Repellents
In addition to proper cleaning and rodent-proofing your house, you can take the help of some natural rodent repellents to keep mice and rats away from your dwelling. Some such natural repellents for rodents are enlisted here:
You can soak some rags or cotton balls in peppermint oil, and place them in the entry points and also on areas where rodent activities are frequent.
» You can grow peppermint in your garden and entrances to deter mouse and other rodents from entering your house. Plants like daffodil, wood hyacinth, allium, and camphor are known to repel insects and rodents, and so, they can also be grown in the garden for natural rodent control.
To sum up, cleanliness is the key to control the population of rodents. However, it is equally important to consult a pest control professional to know more about the environment-friendly, pest control methods available for this purpose.
Finally, be sure to follow some precautionary measures while disposing dead rodents. Always wear rubber or plastic gloves while removing dead rodents, and cleaning or disinfecting the contaminated area. Put dead rodents in sealed plastic bags, and dispose them in trash containers having tight-fitting lids.
For disinfecting traps, you can use bleach or any other commercial disinfectant. Never forget to wash your hands and gloves with a disinfectant, or soap and water after handling dead rodents or objects contaminated by them.