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Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home

Here at ABC Home and Commercial, we know that the best rodent control is prevention – and keeping rodents from entering your home in the first place. Professional rodent control and eradication methods require safe removal and installing barriers to prevent them from re-entering. Having a familiarity with the type of rodents that enter your house can help you decide the best prevention methods for your home. In North Texas, homes are prone to rats, mice and squirrel invasions. While these animals may seem small and easy to outwit, according to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management they have several physical abilities that make them designed to enter small spaces to escape the cold and harsh weather conditions.

Physical Abilities of Rodents:

  • Run along or climb electrical wires, pipes, fences, poles, ropes, cables, vines, shrubs, and trees to gain entry to a building.
  • Climb almost any rough vertical surface such as wood, brick, concrete, weathered sheet metal, and many plastic products.
  • Crawl horizontally along or through pipes, augers, conveyors, conduit, and underground utility and communication lines.
  • Gnaw through a wide variety of materials, including lead and aluminum sheeting, window screens, wood, rubber, vinyl, fiberglass, plastic, and low-quality concrete or concrete block.

Rats can:

  • Crawl through or under any opening higher or wider than a ½ inch.
  • Climb the outside of vertical pipes and conduits up to 3 inches in diameter.
  • Jump from a flat surface up to 36 inches vertically and as far as 48 inches horizontally.
  • Drop 50ft without being seriously injured.
  • Burrow straight into the ground for at least 36 inches.
  • Swim as far as a ½ mile in open water.

House mice can:

  • Enter openings larger than a ¼ inch.
  • Jump as high as 18 inches from a floor onto an elevated surface.
  • Travel considerable distances crawling upside-down along screen wire.
  • Survive and reproduce at a temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rats and mice are the most common home invaders this time of year as they are looking for a warm, safe place to spend the colder winter months. Being familiar with their unique physical abilities will help you spot possible entry points around your home that will require a barrier to prevent them from entering.

Follow these steps to install barriers to keep rodents out of your home.

  • Inspect your home’s foundation and repair any hole that is a ¼ inch or larger. Fill small holes with steel wool. Then, use caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place. Use lath screen or metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting for larger holes.
  • Replace weather stripping on all doors, door frames, windows and window frames that do not create a tight seal. Make sure the space between the door and threshold is not larger than a ¼ inch.
  • Make sure your chimney is capped.
  • Cover any gaps where utilities enter the home using copper mesh, pur black foam, hardware cloth and mortar, or sheet metal.
  • Have a rat slab installed in crawl spaces to prevent rodents from tunneling.
  • Equip all windows and doors accessible to rodents with metal window screening materials.
  • Install metal grates on floor drains.
  • Install guards made of sheet metal, or a similar material, on trees near the house to prevent them from crawling up the tree and over into your home.

If you think you may already have rodents in your home, it is important to eradicate them before installing barriers. Installing the barriers beforehand could trap them inside your home causing more damage in the long run. To safely and successfully eradicate and prevent rodents from entering your home, contact ABC Home & Commercial today. The sooner the problem is addressed, the sooner your home will be safe and rodent free!


Russell Jenkins

Russell Jenkins is the Chief Communications Officer for ABC Home and Commercial Services in North Texas. Russell has been working as part of the ABC Family since he was 12 years old under the direction of his father, Owner Dennis Jenkins, and has since held several leadership roles at ABC. Russell holds a degree in Agricultural Leadership from Texas A&M University, and is a Food Safety Specialist. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and two children, playing tennis, and gaming.

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