Because they’re small, can squeeze into tight spaces, and reproduce rapidly, rodent infestations in homes are actually quite common. Contrary to common belief, it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible housekeeper! About 37 percent of homeowners have faced a rodent problem within the past year.

But because rats and mice can indeed spread diseases and parasites, along with causing damage to your property, you definitely don’t want them in your home. These six “rodent proofing” tips can help to discourage rodents from choosing your house as their next address.

Landscape wisel. While lush landscaping adds curb appeal, it would be wise to trim back dense foliage from the walls of your home. Avoid creating convenient homes for rodents in your near proximity, because next they might decide to move indoors. And while you’re at it, planting mint in your garden works well to repel rodents.

Try the kitty litter trick. If you have an indoor cat, sprinkling a bit of his used kitty litter around the perimeter of your home can serve as a warning to rats and mice. They can smell the pheromones in their natural predator’s urine, and will likely heed the warning.

Store food securely. Food should be kept in airtight containers, because those cereal and cracker boxes are just too easy for a rodent to chew through. If you store things like pet food or birdseed outdoors, keep those in secure containers as well. Ideally you would stash those in a gardening shed at least twenty feet from the house, but of course not everyone has that option. If you store food in the garage, avoid leaving the doors open or rodents will move right in.

Avoid leaking or standing water. Like many life forms, rodents prefer to live near a source of fresh water. Repair any leaking or dripping pipes right away, and fix landscaping issues that lead to puddles around the house.

Seal it up. Check your home’s foundation and windows for cracks, worn weather stripping, or holes. Seal any potential entry points. Pro tip: Rodents have a difficult time chewing through caulking that has steel or copper wool mixed in.

De-clutter. We all have that one closet, basement area, or attic space where clutter has taken over. Set aside a weekend to de-clutter, and you’ll remove a handy nesting ground for rodents.

Of course, if you’ve already spotted rats or mice in your home, rodent proofing methods might not be sufficient to repel stubborn rodents. Give us a call, and we’ll review your options for rodent removal.