Mouse & Rat Proofing Your House To Prevent Rodents

Get pointers on how to eliminate food sources, minimize rodent habitats and block them from getting in.

Everyone strives for a Rodent-free home.

Rodent-proofing your home, apartment, farm or other buildings involves identifying and eliminating the conditions that make it possible for rats and mice to survive - mainly their food, water and harborage. Once you know the problem areas, follow the four major steps below to reduce or eliminate these conditions.

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home or Other Buildings

1. Remove Sources of Food & Water

Improving sanitation conditions is one of the best ways to prevent and to get rid of rodent problems. Rats and mice are opportunistic feeders that will eat any food discarded by humans. Eliminating their food and water is critical to controlling them.


  • Pick up trash and discarded food.
  • Keep tightly sealed lids on garbage cans.
  • Store pet and bird food in sealed containers.
  • Get rid of standing water by filling holes or unlevel places in the yard where puddles might form or by eliminating standing water in buckets, pools, or other containers.


  • Clean up spilled food in cupboards and on floors.
  • Keep counters and food preparation areas clear of food at night.
  • Keep all food packages tightly sealed.

2. Get Rid of Rodent Habitats


  • Remove clutter and debris.
  • Keep grass, shrubs, and other vegetation around your home trimmed.
  • Trim overhanging trees that cause shadowy areas where rodents feel protected.


  • Clear out boxes and other clutter in basements and storage areas.
  • Store materials off the floors on shelves, wherever possible.

3. Keep Rodents From Entering Cracks & Crevices

Identify areas that need to be fixed to keep rats and mice out. Rats can fit through an opening about the size of a nickel. Mice can squeeze through an area smaller than a dime.

  • Repair holes in the foundation of your home, garage or other affected buildings as well as exterior & interior walls.
  • Seal any openings over 1/4" - particularly around doors & windows.
  • Install self-closing devices on frequently used doors.
  • Install vinyl or rubber seals under garage doors to eliminate gaps.
  • Weather-strip gaps in doorways leading into buildings.
  • Make sure that the areas around pipes, drains and vents are tightly sealed.
  • Chimneys should to be capped and kept in good condition.

Recommended Rodent Proofing Materials:

  • Steel Wool
  • Hardware Cloth - 19 gauge or heavier
  • Perforated Metal - 24 gauge thickness
  • Sheet Metal (galvanized) - 26 gauge thickness or heavier
  • Cement Mortar - 1:3 mixture or richer

4. Utilize tracking and control methods around your perimeter and in common areas for rodents to enter.

Some areas are just more prone to repeated rodent problems, as they are close to wooded areas or are in urban centers. Rodents tend to enter homes as the weather gets cooler. To help stop mice around the perimeter of the home, place a bait station that is approved for outdoor use like Tomcat Mouse Killer in areas where mice may enter the home like near windows or vents.