An effective way to prevent rats, mice and squirrels includes pest proofing your home or business to keep these rodents out. Rodents are very good climbers, able to scale rough, vertical surfaces and walk along thin cables or wires. You will need to identify any gaps located higher up the building, or on your rooftop, not just those near the ground and make sure these are properly protected to block entry.
A large proportion of our rat and mouse jobs at Protech Pest Solutions are associated with ﬂats, terraced and semi-detached houses. This means that in a lot of these types of dwellings control just by using rodenticides may be short lived and re infestation is likely to occur.
How long before (or if) the dwelling is re infested depends on individual circumstances but unless the external access points are found and dealt with then re infestation is likely. In an ideal world the whole of the building (as well as sewers and utility pipes, cables & conduits) should be inspected for breaches and fixed. As in a lot of cases this is not possible then pest prooﬁng individual rooms from the inside may be the only option.
Rats and mice may travel some distance undetected through cavity walls, sofﬁts and loft spaces before either coming to an area where they are seen, they are heard or evidence (droppings, smells or damage) is noted. They may be entering a row of terraced houses several properties away from where they are actually appearing. The route into a building may be sub terrain. In many cases blocking access points externally is not possible so pest prooﬁng individual houses or rooms is the answer. If an area is boxed off (which is normal in modern bathrooms and kitchens) then holes and gaps around pipes are often left open by builders as they are not seen but which allow access by rodents.
Kitchens, lofts and bathrooms are the rooms with the most utilities in (kitchens have food as well) so these are the rooms in a dwelling that rodents will have easiest access to once they are in the structure of the building.
Mice can get through a 1cm gap. Pest prooﬁng for rodents needs to be carried out by someone who understands rodents & their behaviour.
Proofing your Home or Business:
- Air Bricks and Vents – cover these with fine galvanised wire mesh (especially if they are damaged) to allow air to circulate but prevent mice from entering.
- Doors – fitting bristle (or brush) strips to the bottom of doors prevents entry, especially in older properties where the door fit may not be snug.
- Drains and sewer pipes – Rats have been known to swim up damaged sewer pipes and get round u-bends in toilets, so get into the habit of keeping toilet seat lids closed. They will also use drain pipes and drainage outlets. Use tightly fitting metal grates or screens to cover drains, especially in basement areas. Regularly check pipe work and ensure any breakage is fixed immediately.
- Eaves – fix damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal any gaps.
- Entrances – Robents can squeeze through small gaps under doorways, so fit strips to the bottom of doors as a deterrent. They will also use cat flaps to get in and will enlarge gaps by gnawing to enter homes via integral garages.
- Gaps in exterior walls – Holes or small openings (around utility cables or pipe work) need to be filled with stainless steel wire wool and caulking or concrete. Steel or aluminium plating can be used. Rats can jump, so check up to a height of about 4 feet.
- Holes – these are often made in exterior walls for cables and pipes, check that old pipework holes are sealed too.
- Lawns – keep grass mown short to reduce shelter and seeds for food. Ideally leave a gap between the building foundations and the garden.
- Pipework – seal holes around existing or new pipes with coarse grade stainless steel wire wool and caulking (pliable sealant).
- Roofs – Rats & Squirrels climb along electrical cables or use overhanging branches to get into loft spaces and attics through gaps in broken roof tiles or under eaves. Repair roof damage and use wire mesh to seal gaps.
- Vegetation – trim tree branches back from the house and where possible avoid plants growing up the sides of your property. Vines, shrubs or over hanging branches can be used for mice to get onto roofs. Overgrown vegetation close to the walls will offer shelter and potential nesting sites.
Sometimes there is more than one entry point and only by prooﬁng many different areas will a solution be reached.
Any pest prooﬁng for squirrels should be done after the present family of squirrels have been eliminated. If done before then they will do damage trying to get back into their home. Unless there are existing holes squirrels coming across a roof will not try to access the loft as they don’t know it’s there. Squirrel infestations are usually dealt with using a combination of a special rodenticide poison and traps.
Prices for pest prooﬁng lofts involving Grey Squirrels start from £65.00 + VAT. It depends how high the areas that need work on are. (Prooﬁng for squirrels normally is done externally while rats & mice usually internally.) It also depends on what needs to be done. The Protech Pest Solutions technician in all cases can supply quotes for any prooﬁng work.
For information on our Pest Control Solutions please click HERE or call 0845 604 1288 and speak with one of our friendly team.