Dealing with a rodent infestation in your home or business? You may already know just how hard it can be to catch and exterminate these mammalian invaders. Rodents are small, resilient and quite adaptable. They’re infamous for avoiding traps and breaking into rooms, cabinets, cupboards and other closed off areas. Sometimes, stopping them can feel like an impossible task. To help you out, our pest control professionals here at EcoClear have put together this short guide where we discuss the main cause of rodent infestations: food. Not only is food the thing that attracts all rodents to human properties — it’s also the thing you should use to catch and exterminate rodents in your home or business. How? Simply by removing it. Well, almost all of it. Read on to learn why you need to remove (most) food sources to catch rodents.
What do rodents eat?
Perhaps the biggest things that make rodents so resilient as pests are their incredibly diverse diets. Put simply, rodents will eat anything and everything that we humans consider food. With a few rare exceptions, all rodent species are omnivorous, meaning they eat foods from all food groups. Most rodent species prefer nuts and grains, but they will also eat fruits, veggies, and dairy products. (Yes, the cliché that mice love cheese is true. …and they also love virtually every other type of food.) Rats have even been known to subsist on primarily meat-based diets. When it comes to the foods on your property, nothing is off-limits — even trash.
Common sources of food and water for rodents on your property
You might think that your food and drinks are safe and secure on your property, but most rodent pests will beg to differ. Rodents will find food from unsealed containers, such as bags of chips, rice, crackers, cereal, flour, sugar and other non-perishables. They’ll eat fruit from fruit bowls, and dried veggies hanging in pantries. They’ll even eat pet food and uncovered trash/compost. For beverages, rodents love to drink from leaky pipes. (Especially since pipes are often found in cupboards under sinks — a favorite hiding spots for rodents.) They’ll also drink from left-out pet bowls and human beverages.
Why limiting rodent food supply will help with extermination and rodent control
So, why will limiting rodent food supply help with extermination and control on your property? The first reason is simple. Without food, rodents will have significantly less incentive to make your property their home. Protecting your food and keeping it safely stored will go a long way in preventing rodent infestations. If done properly, it may even make current invasive rodents leave and make their homes elsewhere. Usually, however, more intensive measures need to be taken. That’s because rodents shack in human properties for more reasons than just food. Shelter is another key factor. Even without a clear source of food, many rodents will continue to stay in a human structure simply because it keeps them protected from the elements.
In addition to limiting food sources for rodents on your property, you’ll likely need to take more intensive measures by setting up baits and traps to exterminate these small invaders once and for all. Here, limiting food sources is still very crucial. That’s because most traps and baits utilize food to lure rodents. Without any competition from other sources of food in your home, baits and traps will work much more effectively. At EcoClear, our highly-effective RatX®, RatRid™, and MouseX® rodenticides require other food sources to be removed from an area to successfully lure rodents.
Limiting rodent food sources: Indoor tips
There are several steps you can take to limit rodent food sources inside your home or business. Use these indoor tips and tricks to keep your food out of rodent reach.
- Thoroughly encase all food items, especially non-perishables such as cereals, chips, and crackers
- Keep all surfaces free of food scraps. Even the smallest crumbs can attract rodents.
- Rinse food and beverage containers before discarding or recycling
- Keep compost and trash bins covered
- Repair leaky pipes
Limiting rodent food sources: Outdoor tips
The outside of your property is the first line of defense against rodent invaders. By taking these steps to fortify your building and maintain your yard, you can greatly limit rodents’ access to food and overall reduce the chances of rodent infestation.
- Repair and close up any cracks in your siding and foundation
- Keep compost piles as far away from structures as possible
- Keep grass under two inches tall
- Grow bushes, trees and other foliage at least two feet away from your building
- Avoid planting ivy — rodents love to hide and nest in it
- If possible, avoid bird feeder — this is a favorite food source for rodents
- Cover your trash bins
Want to learn more about products to help you with rodent extermination and prevention? Check out our EcoClear Products!