How to deal with uninvited guests this winter

True Property - How to deal with rats and mice

Now that winter has truly set in, you may find that your rental property has had some extra guests move in. Tenants will probably phone you at all hours in a panic if they have discovered these guys running around.

They are 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.

If your tenants have a rodent problem, to be honest, it is probably too late. It is better to walk around the property during summer and carry out some prevention maintenance. However, it is better late than never and you can still get rid of rats once they have moved in.

Check for holes:

So your first point of action is to check for holes and block them off. Spend time walking around the property with a pencil in hand. If your pencil can fit in the hole, then so can a mouse! Make sure you concentrate on walls and the eaves of the property. They will pretty much gnaw through anything, so what will stop them?

Steel wool is a good option, especially in smaller holes, as the wool is too sharp for them. Make sure you push it in quite hard though because if you don’t, they will be able to pull it out.

Food Sources:

Once the holes are blocked up, make sure to cut off the food supply. Clean behind the fridge, under the furniture and in 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, 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. If your property is vacant, check with previous tenants to find out if they had 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 to bring in the professionals to deal with 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?


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