It’s that frustrating time of year, when the rats, mice come looking for nice warm spot to spend the winter and your place looks just right!
So how do you get them out of your rental property? I’m sure you’ve had experience with your tenants ringing in a state of panic, after they have spotted a mouse or two.
So how do you deal with these uninvited guests? The ones who can slip through the smallest of spaces? In fact, a mouse can often fit through a hole the size of a pencil! That’s due to their flexible bones, they can flatten their ribcage to fit through cracks. So before you get your tenants start calling in a panic, take a trip to your rental property and take some preemptive action. Although it’s probably a little on the late side, since rats and mice have already started coming indoors. During the summer months is a good time to have a look, but it’s better to do something a little late, than not at all.
Check for holes:
So your first point of action is to check for holes and block them off. Spend time walking around you property with a pencil in hand. Remember if your pencil can if in the hole, then so can a mouse! Make sure you concentrate on walls and the eaves of the property. It’s not worth your time and money to use chicken wire, as it doesn’t slow rats for long. They can be very motivated to either pull it out or pull it apart, especially if some of their family is on the other side.
Plastic and timber aren’t viable options either, as rats will gnaw through that too.
So what will stop them?
Steel wool is a good option, especially in smaller holes, as the wool is too sharp for them. But you have to really stuff it in the holes hard, otherwise they will just pull it out.
You can also purchase a very strong, fine wire mesh that will help with larger holes.
Once the holes are blocked up, make sure to take away the food sources. Check for spilled food behind the fridge under the furniture and in the cupboards. Ensure your flour, and grains are in sealed containers. You don’t want to give any kind of invitation.
Now the holes are sealed and you’ve taken away the food, add some bait. It’s practically impossible to make a space 100% rodent-proof, and you may in fact be too late if you have left it until now. So depending on your philosophy, lay out bait or traps in areas such as the ceiling cavity, behind the fridge and dishwasher to get any last stragglers. But bait and traps are not sufficient on their own, as they will only catch the ‘dopey’ ones. Using chocolate or peanut seems to get the best results.
If you have taken measures early enough, then your rodent problem hopefully will be minimized. This is especially important if you have a property that you are hoping to rent out at this time of year. If your previous tenants have mentioned that they have seen rodents – or evidence of them – then get in quick, otherwise your new tenants won’t be very impressed!
The other option of course is bring in the professionals to deal to it for you, but it is important that you see the issue yourself so that you are motivated to get rid of them.
What have you used to deal with rats and mice?