Menomonee Falls Patch
Shane McCoy
October 11th, 2013

How to Rodent-Proof Your Home

Even though Ratatouille was a great movie, no one wants rats or mice inside their homes. Now that temperatures are starting to get cooler, mice will seek the warm shelter that a home provides. Instead of trying to solve an infestation, stopping mice from entering is your best defense. Here’s how:

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Your Home

If a mouse can fit its dime-sized skull into a crack, they can get inside. Pay attention to gaps and holes around pipes. You can fit copper wool into these holes and then seal them up with a caulk or a sealant. However, stray away from steel wool because it rusts quickly and foams because mice are able to chew through it. You can also use aluminum screens around vents as long as the openings are less than a quarter of an inch.

In addition to holes and cracks, rodents can also invest a home via open food sources. For example, leftover dog food in pet bowls is commonly eaten by rodents if your pet isn’t hungry for dinner. Rodents are nighttime creatures and dog or cat food is a tasty after dark treat.

One commonly overlooked attractant for rodents is dog food stored in the garage. Mice can smell the dog food and, when the garage door is open, they will follow their nose and come inside to find it. To combat this issue, I keep my dog’s food in a tightly sealed plastic container in the laundry room. While we’re talking about garages, try and keep yours shut when not in use and make sure it closes tightly. To make sure your garage door has a tight fit, go into your garage during the day with the door shut and see if any light is entering. If you notice a slight space, you can adjust your garage door opener or install a rubber garage door weather seal.


  • Clean areas under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers
  • Keep counter tops clear of food
  • Store dry food, pet food and birdseed in sealed containers
  • Clean pet bowls at night

Your Yard

You want to make sure that your yard and fence line is free of debris or clutter. Pulled weeds from the garden and bush trimmings should be removed and thrown away, instead of stored up against your house.. Also, while landscaping can be attractive, it provides shelter to rodents so keep your landscaping to a minimum. Garbage cans provide similar shelter, so make sure the lids are tightly closed.

Make sure your sheds or other storage areas do not become mice condos. A cluttered storage area can quickly become a Holiday Inn for a large number of rodents. Check through your old cardboard boxes frequently, maybe taking the opportunity to get rid of some things you haven’t used in over a year. Mice and rats urinate, leave excrement and chew through your stuff, so if you aren’t checking closely for infestations you might have to throw some belongings away.


  • Keep storage areas free of clutter
  • Rodent-proof hard-to-access areas that tend to be neglected
  • Store supplies or materials off the floor


Rodents are remarkable at getting into things they shouldn’t. The longer they are in your house, the more disease-carrying droppings they will leave and the more damage they will do.

Shane McCoy is an Associate Certified Entomologist with 17years of experience in Pest Management and is the Technical Training Director for Wil-Kil Pest Control servicing the Upper Midwest. To learn more about Wil-Kil, visit or contact your local office at 800-236-8735. Follow Wil-Kil on Facebook and Twitter (@WilKilPest).