One of the most important things you can do when it comes to rodent control, is to secure your home so the rats and mice can't get inside to start with. There are several things you can do around your property to discourage rodents from getting in your home. Here are a few important ones you don't want to overlook.

Get Rid Of Hiding Places

Don't make it easy for rodents to hide in your yard or make nests close to your house. Move wood piles to the far end of your property and clear as much junk from your yard as possible. Rodents will infest anything that offers shelter such as old cars, a boat, or a storage shed. You'll also want to get rid of excessive plant growth that offers hiding places when rodents approach your home. Keep your grass mowed short and trim weeds. You might even need to move thick landscaping plants farther away from your house.

Make Access To Your House Difficult

Rodents will try to wiggle into your home through any means possible if they smell food or detect warmth coming from the inside. Walk around your home and examine it from top to bottom for cracks and holes, especially around doors and windows. Seal the cracks with caulk and cover vent holes with metal screens. Pay particular attention to the base of your home, especially around wood areas, such as an attached garage or storage shed.

If you see black trails left by rodents or see signs of chewing marks, you may need to reinforce the wood with a thin sheet of metal to keep rodents from chewing their way inside. Also, take down climbing paths. If you have a trellis, or even tree limbs close to your home, it makes it easy for rodents to climb to your roof where they can try to claw their way inside to get warm.

Use Rodent Traps

If you've seen signs of rodent activity around your home, you may need to exterminate the rats or mice that are already established. The best way to do that is with traps. However, you don't want to place snap traps outside or you could injure a squirrel or cat. Instead, use traps designed to lure rats and mice inside. You can hire a rodent exterminator to place the traps and empty them if you are squeamish about killing the creatures. Plus, hiring a professional ensures the traps are positioned and baited properly so they are effective on rodents, but safe for other small mammals in your yard.

If you're conscientious about rodent control on the outside of your home, you may not have to deal with rats or mice inside. Since rodents can do a lot of damage to your house, and since they can spread diseases too, it's worth the effort and expense to do all you can to keep them from getting into your living space.