Posted in: General
Published: 25 May 2020
Coming back to a beautiful cosy home is not only attractive to you; rats and mice simply love to come indoors when the weather turns foul. If you don’t want a close encounter of the ratty kind, best you ensure your home is pest-proofed before the cold really sets in. Read on for our suggested solutions.
Store potential food sources, like birdseed, grass seed or pet foods, in rat-proof containers. Keep your compost bin a good distance from the house and never put animal products or grain-based food into the compost. Remove dog droppings daily. Trim tall grass and get rid of woodpiles and other junk that could create a suitable rat habitat. Keep barbecue areas clean and free of food debris.
Rats can fit through very small holes! That means you need to seal up all gaps and holes. You can use copper or wire mesh, shoving it into those tight spaces that might tempt rat teeth. Finish the process with foam insulation and caulk. Make sure no tree branches or shrubs are touching your home - particularly near roof lines - because rats can climb foliage and then find ways into the structure. Try a metal collar around tree trunks that are situated close to the home.
Above, Left: Predator-Free NZ sells effective tunnel traps; Middle: Use steel wool to plug holes in a pinch; Right: A metal collar can prevent animals from climbing trees to steal fruit or gain entry to roof space.
Non-lethal traps work but will leave you with the challenge of releasing the catch somewhere, which may cause new misery for someone else.
Rodenticides may work, but these poisons can take weeks to have an effect and can harm other animals. Also, any animal or insect that feeds on the dead animal will carry the poison, spreading it through the ecosystem.
Old-school snap traps may be your best bet. Put a dollop of peanut butter the size of a pea on the rat traps. When you place the trap near a wall, create a T-shape with the bait next to the wall, because rats prefer to run right next to walls rather than out in the open. If you're setting traps in the attic or basement, place the traps where you have found rat droppings.
Predator-free NZ sells a professional-style rat trap and tunnel that is very effective. The trap sits inside a tempting, cosy tunnel and is not obvious to the rat until it has entered to eat the bait. Once set off, the tunnel can be carried away for simple removal of the trap and rat for disposal or burial. Here’s a link to buy one.
Old, rotting garage doors that don’t close fully are like an invitation to vermin looking for a place to nest. Side gaps and missing bulkheads are also common pest entry points. An insecure garage is a sitting duck to burglars, who always seek the weakest point to enter. Once they have breached the garage door, the whole house is on offer, with a large exit point and a driveway to escape down. Ensure your garage door is secure from vermin, with a new Garador Garage Door. Increase security and convenience with a garage door opener and smartphone access. Garador accessories make it much harder for intruders to enter, you can manage your garage door 24/7 and you’ll be alerted if someone tries to open it. Win, win, win!
Above, Left: Garador's Sierra leaving no chance of pest entry; Right: This property is well lit, with Garador Allegra leaving no gaps.
Rats can start breeding just three months after they're born, and they can have six litters of roughly 12 pups each year. Let’s leave the maths there because the numbers are truly staggering!
You can get sick from rodents if they bite you (which does happen!) or if you touch rodent urine, faeces or saliva.
Rodents can cause nasty infections like salmonellosis and leptospirosis. Just as bad, you can become very ill if ticks, fleas, or mites feed on an infected rat and then bite you, resulting in diseases like Lyme disease, West Nile virus, typhus and others.
Rat teeth grow continuously at a rate of up to 12.7 cm per year. Therefore, rats gnaw on just about anything to file down their teeth. From cinder blocks to metal sheeting to electrical wiring in homes and vehicles, rats can cause major damage and potential fire hazards.
Rats make their presence known with faecal droppings, urine stains, gnaw marks and the presence of live or dead rodents on or in the home. Rats have oily fur and leave oily stains on surfaces that they frequently use. Many homeowners notice behavioural changes in their pets, too, as dogs and cats may stare at walls or exhibit excitement when they detect rodents that humans cannot.
Feral cats are notorious for breeding under houses or using the area as their personal litter box. Possums have been known to make their dens in the roof cavity of houses, but this is not common behaviour in urban areas.
Wasps, mason bees and other insects can also make their home in your home, which can be troublesome - no one wants a wasp nest in their house! Thorough and regular checking should uncover any issues before they become problematic. Treating the area around the outside of your home with approved insecticides can be helpful in the case of infestations, but making sure that gaps and holes are closed over is usually sufficient. Only ever use poisons in extreme cases, following guidelines to the letter or using a professional exterminator.
Much more dangerous than rodents, human intruders are always on the prowl. Prevention is the best deterrent, protect your home with these simple solutions:
Keep outside access points well lit and install sensor lights if possible.
Keep bushes trimmed around your property, so that they can’t be a hiding spot.
Always tell neighbours or friends close by when you’re planning to be away from home for a few days.
Fix gaps, locks, hinges or anything that looks like it could be forced open.
At Garador, we know there's no such thing as a typical Kiwi garage. We manufacture your garage door to your specifications for the perfect fit and long-lasting performance. Every door is made with care and precision for increased security and ease of operation, and they’re smartphone compatible for convenience.Back to articles