Minimise the risk of rats and mice in your home

Mice and rats may be discouraged and infestations prevented by improving hygiene and by blocking access points to your home:

make sure that air bricks are in place and intact (do not block them)
look for access points around gas, electricity and water pipes
check that doors fit tightly
fit cone guards around the bottom of drainpipes to prevent rats from climbing up – you’ll be able to get these from your local hardware or DIY store
fit metal balloon guards to the bottom of drainpipes to prevent them climbing up the inside – again, you can get these from your local hardware store

Improved hygiene will restrict the availability of food for mice and rats, reducing the chances that they will remain and breed successfully. Examples of how hygiene can be improved are:

store food carefully so that they do not have access to food sources
sweep up any spills as soon as they happen
remove rubbish
clean up under work units and other areas where food debris can build up

Controlling mice There are two methods of control available:

trapping

poison baiting

Controlling rats

Before you attempt to deal with a rat problem try to find out where rats are living, feeding and drinking, and the routes they take between these areas. Look for:

holes and burrows
runs and tracks
droppings
footprints
other signs such as sightings or a musky smell

Find out how the rats are getting into your home – this can be done by blocking any holes with newspaper and coming back 24 hours later to see which holes have been re-opened. You can then take preventative action to permanently block the access holes.

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