How to keep rats and mice away from the home

Did you see something move swiftly across the floor out of the corner of your eye? Have you been hearing an unfamiliar scuttling when the lights are off or do you keep finding small nibble bites on your furniture and food? 

All this could be a sign that you are sharing your home with a rat or mouse. Rodents are most likely to enter your home in search of a warm place to sleep – and they will take any opportunity they can to sneak into your space. Learn how to keep rats and mice away from your home with our tips below. 

How do I know if I have a rat problem?

A sure sign of rodents is droppings. They appear like little black pellets and you will likely find them in the darker corners of your home. Also keep an ear open for strange noises in the night, especially on the roof. Insulation on the ceiling is generally fairly thick, so you may not be aware of the rats or mice that have moved into your home. That is, until their unmistakable smell starts wafting into your home – or they move their entire extended family in, too! 

How to repel rats and mice from the home

The first step to repelling rodents is to remove all sources of temptation that might encourage them to venture inside your home. So, what do rats and mice look for as they scout for their next place of shelter?  

First and foremost, keep all food products covered so that rodents are not attracted to it. This means keeping fruit bowls covered, and clearing away anything on your kitchen bench or stove before you go to sleep. Rats are nocturnal, so they are most likely to wander your home when you are not awake to chase them away.  

If you have pets, make sure to empty dog bowls so there is no food or water left on them overnight, and keep birdcages as clean as possible. You may want to keep your pet’s bowls away from the floor while you are dealing with your rodent problem – just in case your pet finds themselves unexpectedly sharing their meal with a vermin intruder.  

By undertaking all these steps – and ensuring your home is regularly cleaned and maintained, it should be easy to keep mice and rats away.  

How to stop rats and mice from entering your home

That said, rodents will take any opportunity they can to enter your warm, food-filled home, so, as well as taking steps inside the home, it is important to ensure your property itself is properly sealed too 

Walk around your property and look for cracks, gaps or holes that might be big enough for a rat or mouse to squeeze through. Rodents are surprisingly flexible, so even one that is the diameter of a pencil will need patching up. You can use strong mesh from a hardware store, steel wool or expandable foam. Do not forget to check around door frames and window frames, sealing them all the way around.  

As a final task, make sure you check your roof, ventilation and vents – as well as the chimney if you have one – and make sure they are all secure, undamaged and sealed. Locate the utility entry points, piping and electrical cables around your home, too, ensuring they are rodent-proof accordingly. 

If, despite all these measures, any rodents do sneak in, tempt them in a different way. Mortein PowerGard Ratkill is designed to attract rats so they feed on the deadly cakes. Simply break them up and place them in areas of your home where you believe rodents might frequent. As a bonus, its unique formula should ensure that most rats die outdoors, so your home itself remains rodent-free. Get more tips on how to kill rats in our article on the topic.