How to deal with rodents in your home or rental property

As a landlord, you have many extra responsibilities for the maintenance and smooth running of your properties and this can include dealing with some not-so-welcome visitors. It is your responsibility to follow the correct procedure and deal with rodents in your properties as soon as possible. This blog takes a look at what you need to do in the event of rodents making your home, their home too.

Finding a mouse or a rat in your house is not only disgusting it can be extremely stressful. Once you spot the little guys it is hard to sleep at night until you know they have been dealt with and won’t crawl up your bedposts and into bed with you. First of you need to know the signs that could suggest your home is under an invasion.

  • Dropping: The first sign that you may have some new residents in your home is droppings. Mice and rats usually like the kitchen area so if you see small black droppings on the floor it is probably time to look underneath the cabinets and suss out how much debris has been left.
  • Blurry movements: Many homeowners spot mice out of the corner of their eye. Some people think they are a bit mad until they realise they have mice (or rats).
  • Gnawing: Have you noticed damage to furniture that looks like little teeth gnawing away at the wood? This could be a sign that you have some pests in your home. Also, shredded material, such as a newspaper can be used to make a nest.
  • Scratching noises in the wall or ceilings: Waking up at night to scratching sounds? Chances are you have a mouse or rat situation.
  • Smell: You may notice a distinctive, ammonia-like smell. This can be significantly stronger in enclosed areas.

What types of rodents take up residency in your home?

This will either make you feel better or worse:
– House mice, wood mice, yellow-necked mice and brown rats are common in British homes.
– House mice and brown rats are mainly found in homes close to cities.
– Wood mice are in the suburbs.
– Yellow-necked mice stick to the countryside.
– Mice and rats are found in roof spaces, cellars, cupboards and wall spaces.

What to do:

First of all, take a deep breath. It is not the end of the world to have mice or rats in your home and trust that they won’t be there for long. You need to keep them at bay and make sure they don’t multiply any more than they already have.

First steps:

  • Holes: Mice can get through the tiniest of holes, so it is important to seal any holes that you can find that allow your new little furry friends to travel around your home from the exterior to the interior. The particularly like traveling along pipework.
  • Food: Store your food in airtight containers and clean your pantry or cupboards regularly so the mice and/or rats have less to feast on.
  • Ultrasonic repellent: This gadget produces a sound that only rodents can hear and can be used to deter them. They quickly get used to the sound though so this isn’t a foolproof plan.
  • Contact a pest control company: see what they have available to deal with the rodents. You will probably need to use some kind of exterminator to deal with the problem thoroughly.

How to get rid of mice?

  • Snap traps are humane but very unpleasant.
  • Live traps do appeal to many but you risk the rodents returning or dying in the wild as a result of your ‘relocation’.
  • Sticky traps: These will catch the mouse alive and then you have to kill the little guy. Some people can cope with this responsibility but others find it even more unpleasant that the snap trap.
  • Anti-coagulant poisons: These can cause the mice to have a very painful death.
  • Prevention: Sometimes simply repairing a broken floorboard to sealing a hole can solve your mouse problems. You should do this regardless to avoid any future mishaps with rodents.

After your little friends have left the building it is vital that you clean everything thoroughly as mice carry many diseases that you don’t want to give to your family. Wipe down surfaces, tabletops, dishracks and stovetops.

Have you dealt with a mouse or rat issue recently? Let us know your story below and any tricks you had for getting rid of the little pests.

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