How to Vermin-Proof Your Home

Part of “The Doctor” D M Lloyd Jones’ work was to help tenants in need with potential issues surrounding their rented home. Part of this, in the early 20th century, was to help them with rodent infestations and vermin-proofing their homes.

One of the common signs of disrepair in your home is the presence of rodents. These pests are quite difficult to catch because they can move fast, climb over wires and cables, and scale vertical surfaces. They can also go in and out of small cracks in your home, like poorly made construction joints. As such, it is important to vermin-proof your home, especially during the cold winter season. Brown rats and other rodents come out of their hiding places in cold weather and they typically find shelter in wall cavities, garages, and attics in your home.

If your rented home is in disrepair, it will attract rodents because the holes and gaps will serve as good shelter for them. Once they are inside, removing them will be a challenge, unless you call for help from a pest control company. Thus, there are two things that you should do: ensure your home does not have disrepair issues and find time to rodent-proof your home. After all, prevention is always better than solving a challenging vermin invasion.

Rodent-proofing tips

Here are some simple tips that you can follow to prevent rodents from feasting in your home:

1. Find all cracks and holes in your home, particularly those that are more than ¼-inch. Use expandable foam to cover them. If you rent your home, consult your landlord before using any foam. 

Your doorways must be secured as well. Use brush or fitting bristle strips to cover the bottom part of all the doors in your rented home. Gaps are attractive to rodents because they are easy entryways. You can also use aluminium or steel plating to cover gaps and holes. Since rodents are climbers and can jump, it is good to check for gaps or holes up to at least four feet.

Pipework, wires, and cable holes must be checked as well. Use a stainless steel wire wool to cover the holes, and if you cannot find one, pliable sealant or caulking will do. 

2. Sewer pipes and drains are entryways, too, as rodents can swim. Ensure your drainage outlets aren’t damaged. Aside from always closing the toilet seat lid, you can protect your home by installing drain covers or metal grates. 

Do not leave any damage to pipes unattended. Once you’re sure that there is disrepair, get in touch with your landlord and request for the dilapidated areas to be fixed. Addressing the root cause of a problem is always a good thing to do. 

3. If you have foliage, ensure it is nowhere near your walls or roof line so rodents do not have a way of climbing to the attic or the roof. 

Other possible entryways for rodents outside of your home include bird feeders, your garden, and rubbish bins. Refrain from leaving residue on bird feeders so they won’t attract rats. Additionally, keep your garden clean at all times. Cover your compost heap, if you have one, because it can provide food and warmth to rodents. If you cut the grass regularly, ensure that they are always properly disposed of. 

Rubbish bins must be well-maintained. They must be durable and their lids should be secure. Trash inside, especially food, must be disposed of properly.

4. Never leave food on your dining table, especially if you’re retiring for the night/planning to go out; once rodents smell food, they’ll feast on your leftovers. Food must be stored inside sealed containers and, if possible, inside the refrigerator to keep them away from rats and other rodents. 

If you have pets, always empty and clean their food bowls after every meal.

5. Ensure all entry points have been identified. You can do this by walking around your home, inside and outside. Aside from the loft, check the garage and balcony as well (if you have one). Don’t forget to look through all the vents, too. 

It is also recommended to move appliances and furniture that are leaning or rested on walls. This will allow you to check for all entry points. Open cabinets and cupboards to make sure there are no entry points there as well.

6. Repair what needs to be fixed.

As mentioned earlier, you can use stainless steel wire wool, expandable foam, and caulking to seal holes and gaps. If there are holes around your pipes, use a metal mesh to cover them. Door sweeps will cover gaps or spaces under your doors. Vent covers are also effective in keeping rodents away from your home.

7. Regular home maintenance is important.

It is vital to regularly check for signs of rodents in your home. Even if you’ve successfully vermin-proofed your home, they can still reinfest your home. Keep your home clean and organized at all times. If there are damages, inform your landlord so the housing disrepairs can be immediately addressed. 

Disrepair in your home

Damage or disrepair in your home is a powerful magnet for rodents. If your landlord has been ignoring your repair request, get in touch with a disrepair expert who can help you file a compensation claim. The expert panel of solicitors at know exactly what has to be done to help you get your housing disrepair compensation.