As is true with many things in life, prevention is the best way to keep mice and rats from infesting your home. It's much easier to take some steps that deter them from ever coming into your home than it is to deal with an infestation once they've made your house theirs too. Here are three tips on how to reduce the likelihood that mice and rats find their way into your house and take up residence.

CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN AT LEAST DAILY

To mice and rats, kitchens are all-in-one resorts. They have lots of food and water, not to mention a bunch of different smells and some nesting materials. After nibbling on some cheese or scrounging through the trash bin, a mouse or rate may start chewing on a cereal box, paper grocery bag or popcorn bag to gather some nesting material. Of course, there are also plenty of cupboards and crevices that make for excellent hiding places.
Keeping your kitchen clean will go a long ways towards preventing mice and rats from making their way there. As long as they aren't able to smell or find food in the kitchen, they're a lot less likely to initially find the room or come back if they do. In addition to keeping a generally clean kitchen, the following helps:

•    Wash all dirty dishes by hand or place them in the dishwasher after each meal
•    Wipe down the countertops with an antibacterial spray at least once a day
•    Wipe crumbs off the table after each meal, and carry crumbs to the trash
•    Empty the trash at least once a week, if not more often
•    Put away all food whenever it's not being eaten
These simple steps take just a few minutes, but they'll greatly help keep mice and rats out of where you store, prepare and eat food.

KEEP FIREWOOD AT MINIMUM OF 30 FEET FROM YOUR HOME

While it may be convenient to keep firewood right outside your backdoor, stacking wood too close to your home makes it easy for mice, rats and other rodents to find their way from your firewood pile into your house. Firewood piles often attract rodents, and when the cold weather comes they may go foraging toward your home for a warmer place to live.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, keep your firewood at least 30 feet from your house. This will reduce the likelihood of any mice or rats that might nest in your firewood pile finding their way into your house. You can bring a few pieces of firewood inside to place next to your fireplace or wood-burning stove so you don't have to go out each time you want a fire.
(Better yet, having a gas insert installed would reduce the need for firewood altogether.)

HAVE A PEST CONTROL COMPANY SEAL UP YOUR HOME

Just as energy companies can seal up your home to improve energy efficiency, pest control companies can seal up your house to prevent animals from finding their way inside.

A pest control expert can survey the exterior of your home in search for potential openings that would be large enough for a mouse or rat. Most homes have openings. Mice can fit through holes the diameter of a number two pencil, and rats just need a hole the size of a quarter.
Whenever the pest control expert finds openings, they can use steel wool, hardware cloth and other materials to block the whole up. With materials like these in place, a rodent will have a hard time getting through.
To have a pest control company come and treat your home's exterior, contact us at Shelby's Pest Control Inc.