3 Tips to Prevent Rats and Mice from Warming Up Inside Your Home

Black rat on table
As the weather turns colder and the rain returns, do you ever notice how much faster you move to get indoors? We're anxious to get inside because it's warm and dry there. 

That point is not lost on rats and mice. They will do the same thing as they look for ways to find shelter from colder, wet weather. And rats and mice will often look for that shelter in your home.  

That's why the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District says if you are seeing evidence of rats and mice (usually droppings or nesting material) contact the District to request rat and mouse service because now  is the time   reduce the risk that a rat or mouse could get into your house because they not only make a mess, they can also make us sick. 

Disease Risk from Rats and Mice     

Rats and mice are known to pose a risk of bacterial contamination of the food and water that we eat and drink. They also pose a risk of viruses that can be transmitted through rat and mouse feces and urine. The risk of disease makes it more important than ever to take the necessary steps to reduce the risk that rats or mice could get into your home. 

3 Tips  to Prevent Rats and Mice
  1. Remove vegetation, water and food that will attract rats and mice to your property
    • Vegetation including ivy can provide shelter; leaky faucets or a water bowl left outside can provide a source of water; and ripe fruit and vegetables, fruit trees, nut trees, bird seed and pet food left outside can be sources of food.
  2. Practice Good Environmental Management
    • Trim trees and climbing vines at least four feet from a roof, wall or fence; store wood at least 18 inches off of the ground and 12 inches away from any
      structure; and harvest ripe fruit and vegetables.
  3. Conduct Building Maintenance 
    • Close all openings larger than 1/4 inch; repair or replace damaged vent screens; use sheet metal collars around pipe entrances and sheet metal edging along the bottom of doors; and install 1/4 inch galvanized hardware cloth all around the base of a shed. 
When Contra Costa County residents request District service for rats and mice  from  the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, a  District employee will provide a property inspection and advice on any additional steps that are needed to reduce the risk of rats and mice on the property. 
By taking these steps now, you can can reduce the risk of rat and mouse-borne disease while preventing rats and mice from becoming uninvited guests to your home during these cold, wet months. 
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