Catching and trapping rodents are ways to resolve an existing rodent problem, but getting to the root of the problem is essential – here are the top 5 areas to consider for exclusion around the home. Excluding rodents from your environment is an important part of any intelligent pest management solution.
Top Five Areas for Exclusion Around the Home
Exclusion is the process of eliminating areas in the home that a pest may enter. It is a long-term solution to a pest or rodent problem and an important part of Intelligent Pest Management.
Does exclusion sound like a great idea but you’re not sure where to start? When looking for areas to perform exclusion keep in mind that rodents enter a home in search of food, water or shelter. Experts say a mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime which is about ¼” in diameter. Rats can fit through an entry the size of a ½”. As a result, copper mesh is an excellent tool to fill in gaps and prevent rodents from entering.
Here are the top five areas to consider when performing exclusion work:
- The roofline of the home. Mice are excellent acrobats and can follow utility lines or even climb horizontally to enter via gaps in the roofline or damaged eaves. Consider going into your attic during daylight hours in search of areas where light may enter and secure them.
- Areas where plumbing and utilities enter the home. Plumbing, gas lines, damaged ducts and drainage pipes area all very common entryways into a home for rodents. Without a doubt, it is important to inspect these areas from both the inside and outside of the structure to ensure they are sealed tight with no gap larger than ¼”.
- Doorways and garage doors. Inspect the rubber sweep and weather strips on exterior doors and garage doors. Over time the rubber may wear down allowing mice an easy entrance right into your home.
- Gaps in the foundation, cement or brick. Some holes may accumulate over time as brick or cement break down. Those types of entries can be completely sealed. However, weep holes in brick walls serve a purpose from drainage to allowing a house to breathe. Weep holes should not be sealed tight, but you may use copper mesh to keep rodents and insects out.
- Trees, hedges and shrubbery. It is important to keep tree and shrubbery trimmed and away from the home. Branches and other greenery that meet the house offer a highway for rodents and other pests to enter.
Bonus Professional Tips
- Don’t forget to check and seal up any cracks or damage around chimneys, dryer vents or attic vent caps. Also, replace any damaged screens (Thank you to Ryan Ridgley from Hunstman Wildlife)
- Under the eve where the soffit meets the roof the junction will have a 1/8 to 2 inch gap allowing mice, insects and pests to enter. (Props to Gary Andrews from Prudential Pest Management)
- HVAC lines in particular can be a trouble spot and should be checked (Shout out to Cody Sandhoff from Sandhoff Services Pest & Termite)
- Ridge and gable vents can cause problems and so can any landscaping, particularly if it is against your home (Great tip from Josh McCloud with Hold Fast Enviro Pest Solutions)
Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/
Top 5 Areas for Exclusion around the Home – additional resources
Learn more about our full line of rodent management products here: https://catchmaster.com/product-category/rodents/
Finally, Learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/