Once the weather starts to take a turn toward winter-like conditions, rodents search for a warm place to call home. Unfortunately, this means you may end up with an infestation. Since rodents are known for the destruction they cause, as well as the diseases they carry, it is important to take measures to successfully remove them. While poisons will work, it isn't the most humane solution. Instead, opt for one of the all-natural rodent control techniques listed below.
Eliminate Food Sources
A great way to encourage rodents to move on is to eliminate any food sources within your home. According to the University of California, rodents are more than happy to eat any food that you or your pets feast on. The university points out that a typical mouse only needs 1/2 teaspoon of food and 1/5 of an ounce of water per day to survive. This means homeowners will need to be vigilant in securing their foods and making sure the rodents don't have access to water. First, you'll need to place boxed and bagged foods in a plastic storage container. This includes pet food as well. Second, you must ensure there are no leaks along the piping in your home that could provide the mice with a drink.
Plug Up Entry Points
When it comes to all-natural rodent control, it is essential that you plug up any entry points that a rodent could use to enter your home. The Illinois Department of Public Health states that you need to seal any opening you find that is 1/4 inch or larger to effectively keep mice away. When sealing these holes it is important that you do not use any materials that a rodent could chew on or pull out to use as nesting matter. Metal and concrete are good choices as they are sturdy and have smooth surfaces.
Set Up Live Traps
If your goal is to capture the rodents so that you can release them into the wild somewhere far away from your home, then live traps are an excellent solution. The University of Florida IFAS Extension says traps that measure 16 inches by 5 inches by 5.5 inches are ideal for rodents. You'll need to place an enticing bait inside the trap, such as peanut butter, cereal, or canned cat food, and place it along a wall where you've seen evidence of mice or rats. Check your traps daily so that you can release any caught rodents back into nature before they become too distressed.