Mammals which have got a pair of incisors that keep growing are categorized as rodents. Some well-known rodents include rats, mice, gerbils, chinchillas, chipmunks, and hamsters, although there are much more kinds of mammals categorized in the rodent family. Among many kinds of rodents, there are some most bothering ones when coming into house pets. Those include rats, mice, gerbil, and chipmunks. These rodents can be a nuisance around the house—indoor and outdoor and are capable of carrying diseases which are transmittable to humans and house pets. Since rodents commonly breed fast, getting rid of them is essential, and need to be done thoroughly.
Susceptible areas for rodent infestation
Rodents might be found almost anywhere in the house since they invade houses for both shelter and foods. Rats and mice are commonly found in the attic, basement, garage, and kitchen, or other areas where food sources are plenty. In addition, chipmunks often wander around the yard, digging holes for burrows and thus, destroying the lawn. When disturbed, those critters may bite, although they still tend to run away, and their droppings can possibly be infected with bacteria carrying multiple diseases.
How to kill rodents in house
In many countries, controlling rodents by killing them is legal—although it is quite inhumane. However, in some states, a permit is needed prior to rodent extermination by killing them. There are some methods for killing rodents which may eliminate their colonies and thus, reduce their population by numbers.
Killing rodents by poisoning them
Poisoning has been a method which is frequently used by homeowners who intend to get rid of rodents—rats and mice, especially, in their houses. There is various store-bought rodent poison which can be instantly set up by mixing it with baits preferred by the culprits. Nowadays, some poisons can even kill rodents by dehydrating their organs, making it possible that the carcass will not smell bad. However, poisoning other rodents may not be easy, as chipmunks, for instance, are not attracted to bait used for rats and mice, which is commonly mixed with rodent poison. If you have a large infestation of rodents which has started to make severe damages around the house, poisoning might be your choice, which can be done through these steps:
- Mix rat poison with baits—or directly put store-bought poisoned baits in a small flat container and put them around susceptible areas.
- Make sure you put these poisoned baits in places which can be reached by children and pets.
- Rodents are made blind by the poison and are going to be dehydrated so that they will run into bright places outside the house once the poison works. However, if you find some carcasses indoor, immediately dispose them to prevent harmful bacteria.
- Wear gloves when processing the method, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap after setting up the baits.
Killing rodents using traps
- The snap-style traps
Snap-style rodent traps are designed to kill rodents quickly. When a bait is placed and rodents pass through the snap to get into it, the snap will be automatically triggered, smashing rodents’ body parts, causing death. Snap traps can be bought in a wide market with affordable price. However, many people think this method of rodent removal is inhumane and cruel. Besides, trapping rodents might not be easy, so that it needs time to make the instrument work.
- The glue traps
If snap traps kill rodents quickly by smashing the critter, glue traps is another rodent killing alternative which traps the culprit with strong glue, leaving it eventually die. Many people think glue traps is very inhumane since it holds trapped rodents by its feet until it runs out of breath and dies. This type of rodent trap may be effective for smaller rodents, such as mice and baby rats, and might not be effective for killing larger rats, as they may manage to escape.
- The box traps—Sherman and Tomahawk rodent traps
Box traps are known as one of an effective and more humane method of trapping rodents. Box traps—the Sherman trap for smaller rodents and the Tomahawk traps for larger ones can be placed either indoor or outdoor, and can be effective to be used with mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, possums, and even raccoons. To use the box traps, follow these directions:
– Put your chosen bait inside the box.
-Place the box trap in places where rodents are often wandering around or mostly seen.
-Relocate trapped rodents minimum two miles away from your house in order to prevent them from coming back.
- The bucket traps
If you prefer using your self-made traps for killing rodents foraging around the house, you might want to try using the bucket rodent traps. This trap is made from a 5-gallon bucket which can be modified without any expert help. If you want to try making this trap, gather things you are going to need, such as:
- A 5-gallon bucket
- An empty soda or beverage can or a condensed milk can
- An iron dowel
- A boarding ramp
Here is how you are going to set the trap up.
- Drill holes on top of the bucket, in two opposite sides.
- Drill holes in each flat side of the soda can, right in the middle part—the upper and the bottom sides.
- Insert the iron dowel through the holes on the bucket side, passing through the soda can, so that the can is now located hanging in the middle of each side of the bucket.
- Put your bait in the soda can. As the can is hanging, jam—or peanut butter is the most effective and simple bait to use. Spread the butter around the can to attract any rodents passing through the bucket.
- Put the boarding ramp one side in the bucket mouth and another side on the floor surface. This will be the crucial instrument for any rodents to get up, trying to catch their bait.
- Any rodents attracted to the smell of the bait will try to reach the soda can in the middle, while the distance between it and another side of the bucket mouth is too far. This will cause the animals to fall into the bottom of the bucket without being able to climb back up.
- If you want the bucket trap to be lethal, add some water and few drops of dish soap at the bottom of the bucket, so that any trapped animals which fall down are going to eventually die. On the other hand, if you want to trap rodents and leave them alive, do not add any water at all. Hence, immediately relocate them after caught.
Killing rodents using folk mixture
Cornmeal which is mixed with plaster of Paris is said to be an old-fashioned method for killing rodents. This mixture is non-chemical, but lethal to rodents. To make the mixture, you only need to mix the two ingredients in 1:1 proportion and feed it to rodents by placing it around the place they are foraging in. this cornmeal-plaster of Paris mixture is going to harden in rodent’s stomach and thus, killing them from digestion failure. Despite its effectiveness, many people think this method is as inhumane as killing rodents using toxic chemicals, and thus, many homeowners dealing with rodent infestation use this as their last resort.
Getting rid of rodents without killing them
Although killing rodents invading the place you are living in seems effective and permanent, this may actually affect the entire food chain and ecosystem. Rodents are natural prey for hawk and eagles, and their population might extinct without sufficient food sources. Hence, getting rid of rodents without killing them should be considered more. Making your house rodent-proof is one of the best methods of repelling rodents so that you will not end up having to kill the critters. There are various ways to consider in preventing rodent infestation around the house as follow:
Preventing rodents from getting into your property is an essential step in performing effective prevention method. Rodents might invade the house, garden, garage, attic, and basement through some entry points you might not notice well. Create physical barrels as follow:
- Cover all entry points—holes in the attic and basements, frequently-opened back door, and uncovered vents.
- Caulk every crack which can be intruded by small rodents, especially mice and baby rats.
- Fix broken flooring, especially in the part which is connected to the outside part of the house.
- Cover house ventilations using fine wire mesh, which cannot be chewed by potential rodents.
- Trim tree branches heading to your windows, attic eaves, and garage to prevent squirrels and chipmunks from infesting the uninhabited parts of the house.
- If you need to often open the back door for fresh air, install an inner screen door to prevent rodents from getting into the house through the door.
Rodents—any kinds of them may be tempted by food sources or hiding places your house offers. In order to avoid this, you need to stop tempting them by removing either the food source or possible hiding places. To perform this method of prevention, do these things:
- Keep your trash bin enclosed at any time. Do not let any garbage scattered around outdoor trash bins, as it may attract squirrels, rats, and raccoons. Emptying indoor trash can is as important, since this may also be an easy food source for existing rodents infesting your indoor areas.
- Outdoor, remove any possible food sources, such as those put in a bird feeder. You also need to feed the house pets indoor if possible, since any leftover from pet foods may also attract rodents to come to taste it.
- Indoor, keep your kitchen area and other food-keeping areas clean and tidy. Wipe off stains and spills and remove all food crumbs. Clean the floor and cabinets by wiping it off with a wet cloth after cooking, to minimize rodent attraction.
- In storage places, such as attic and basement or garage, minimize scattered and unorganized clusters. These untidy things might be an easy spot for rodents to breed since clusters provide warmth and safe spots for them. Organize all things you are keeping in boxes or containers, but avoid card boxes as it may keep moisture which ends up bringing in small pests, such as bugs and insects.
- Check gutters for any debris, as debris—especially dried leaves can be used by squirrels, chipmunks, or mice and rats to build temporary nests. Remove existing debris which is trapped inside your rainwater gutter and sweep piles of leaves sitting on the ground.
Besides some natural prevention methods which can be done related to the way you do the housekeeping and home maintenance, getting rid of rodents can also be done by repelling the critters using some effective ingredients around you, such as:
- Peppermint oil spray—made from a mixture of peppermint oil and water, which is sprayed to potential entry points every night.
- Vinegar and ammonia, which is mixed with 1:1 proportion and swatch in uninhabited spots of the house, such as the attic, garage, and basement to repel potential wandering rodents.
- Cayenne pepper powder, which hurts rodent’s eyes, damaging their sense of sight, and is simply sprinkled around outdoor spots which are susceptible to rodent infestation.
Besides those effective natural repellents—which are also side-effects free and affordable, you might also use another method of rodent-repelling by exposing these critters to their natural predators. The easiest predator you might come up with will be your house pets—the cats and the dogs. To perform this method, you can do either way:
- Release the cats or dogs into your yard or lawn soon after dark for several hours to scare potential critters which start to wander around your property. Releasing them in the afternoon might be less effective as rodents might not have been active yet.
- Use cat or dog litter to scare the potential intruder by spreading it around the backyard and other outdoor spots passed by rodents. This litter will give them a sense of their natural predator, and thus, they will mistakenly think that this predator is around, or that the area belongs to this natural predator. Hence, this will deter squirrels, chipmunks, possums, rats, gerbils, and mice from infesting predator-owned territories.
You can also buy a store-bought rodent repellent which uses botanical rodent repellents and can be effective for repelling potential critter for some weeks after application. Look for some choices in local hardware stores to find the most fitting products to your needs.