How to Keep Mice and Rats Out of Your House

Now that you're rid of those unwanted guests; keep them out.

How to Keep Mice and Rats Out of Your House

If you've managed to get rid of mice and rats in your house, you want to make sure they don't come back. What keeps mice away? To stop these pests from entering your house, you need to deprive them of what they want most: food and shelter. Follow these 5 steps to help keep mice out of your house:

1. Cover Your Trash

How to keep mice away can start with simply covering your trash. Make sure your outdoor garbage cans have snug lids and are made of metal. If you have to use plastic trash cans, make sure that there are no holes in them.

2. Store Your Pet Food

Mice and rats love pet food. If you feed your dog outside and leave food out, you're inviting every pest in the neighborhood to visit. Store pet and bird food in glass or metal containers with tight lids to repel mice.

3. Watch Your Composting

Composting can be problematic if you have a pest problem. To avoid attracting rodents, raise your compost container at least 1 foot off the ground, especially if you compost food scraps. If possible, move your compost bin 100 feet or more away from your house.

4. Pick Up Fallen Fruit

If you have fruit or nut trees, clean up any fruit that has fallen on the ground.

5. Clean Up and Seal Openings

In your kitchen, store dry goods in airtight storage containers and jars; a sparkling environment is part of what keeps mice away. Clean up leftovers and spills as soon as they happen. Wash dirty dishes rather than leaving them in the sink.

In the garage or shed, lawn seed, tulip bulbs, and bone meal are food sources for mice and rats. Store them in metal or glass containers with tight lids. Don't store firewood in your garage, because it's a potential site for rat nests. Organize and store boxes off the ground to eliminate places for mice or rats to burrow. Wipe down outside cooking areas and keep grills clean.

If you want to take preventative measures even further, consider applying a rat and mouse repellent around the perimeter of your home. The essential oil formula typically used is safe around kids and pets, but mice and rats find it repulsive. It's a perfect method for deterring mice and rats before they ever have the chance to get inside—an easy trick for how to keep mice out of the house.

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