Wash your dishes and cooking items immediately
after you use them, and clean up any food that spills on the floor. Also, don't
leave food out on the countertops.
If you have a pet, keep its food
and water covered. Store your pet's food in rodent-proof metal or thick plastic
containers with tight-fitting lids.
If you suspect a rodent
infestation, use spring-loaded rodent traps in your home as much as possible.
Put the traps near baseboards and against the wall where rodents tend to
In addition to traps, use an EPA-approved poison rodent bait
(rodenticide) under a plywood or plastic shelter along your baseboards. Be
careful when you get rid of dead rodents in the traps, because there may be
droppings in and around the traps.
To prevent rodents from getting inside your house:
Use steel wool or cement to cover all openings in
your house that are larger than
0.25 in. (0.6 cm).
Place metal flashing around the base of a wooden,
earthen, or adobe house. This will help form a barrier that rodents cannot
penetrate. Place the flashing at least
12 in. (30.5 cm) high and
buried at least 6 in. (15.2 cm)
3 in. (7.6 cm) of gravel under
the base of your house or mobile home so rodents cannot burrow under your
Reducing rodent numbers outdoors
There are many ways to reduce or eliminate rodents around your
house by eliminating places rodents like to nest. Try the following:
Dispose of trash and other junk. Put your
garbage in rodent-proof or thick plastic containers that have tight-fitting
Store hay, woodpiles, and garbage cans on elevated platforms,
and store them at least
100 ft (30.5 m) away from your
house, if possible.
Remove grass, brush, and dense shrubbery around
Clean up seed from the ground below bird feeders, and
store bird seed in rodent-proof containers.
Disposing of dead rodents
Wear gloves when you handle dead rodents, their droppings, or nesting materials. If you are in an
enclosed place, you may also want to wear goggles and a respirator with a
filter to avoid breathing contaminated dust.
Do not stir up dust by sweeping up or vacuuming up droppings, urine, or nesting materials.
Spray dead rodents, their nests, and droppings with a household disinfectant, such as Lysol, or a freshly made dilute bleach solution. You can make a bleach solution by adding 1 part bleach to
10 parts water [for example, add 1 cup (237 mL) bleach to 10 cups (2.4 L) of water]. Place dead rodents in plastic bags. Clean up droppings or nest materials with paper towels or rags and place them in plastic bags. Seal each bag before throwing it away in the garbage.
use a spring-loaded snap trap, you can clean an empty trap by pouring very hot water on it.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.