Many residents of Southern California, and communities across the country, experience problems with rodents in their garages. Although there are strategies to eliminate mice and rats from garages after an infestation occurs, the ideal course is to avoid a rodent “invasion” in the first instance. There are a number of key steps you need to take to shield your garage from mice and rats in the first instance. You can best protect your garage from rodents and their dangerous droppings by taking a comprehensive approach utilizing these various strategies to shield the premises.
The Importance of Regular Garage Inspections
The best way to prevent a rodent infestation and associated problems – including the potentially serious health risks associated with mice and rat droppings – is to be consistently persistently vigilant about the signs of the presence of these invasive varmints at your property. As part of this proactive, vigilant conduct, you need to undertake regular inspections of the interior and exterior of your garage. (You also need to walk the grounds around your home as part of this inspection process to identify any signs of rodents on the property.)
The most commonplace warning signs that you’ve rodents in or around your garage include:
- See a mouse or rat out and about
- Rodent droppings
- Gnaw marks
- Scratch marks
- Urine odor
- Squeal sound
- Scratching noise
- Gnawing noise
- Rodent nest
- Holes chewed in exterior of garage
Eliminate Clutter in Your Garage
A major step that you must take to shield your garage from mice and rats, that dangerous rodent droppings, is to eliminate clutter in your garage. Many people not only use their garages to park their cars but also as dumping grounds for “stuff.” Oftentimes, this accumulation of stuff really amounts to poorly managed clutter. And, clutter in a garage is a compelling invitation for rodents of different types – particularly mice and rats in Southern California
A key strategy you must employ to shield your garage (and ultimately the livable space in your residence) is to eliminate unnecessary clutter from your garage and keep what you must have stored in your garage in good order – always.
Eliminate Clutter in Your Yard
In a similar way, you also must eliminate clutter from your yard if you want to protect your garage from a rodent infestation and associated dangerous mice and rat droppings. Eliminating clutter from your yard includes:
- Keep leaves, grass clippings, and other lawn and garden waste raked up
- Place a firewood file away from and not next to the exterior walls of a garage
- Keep garbage in tightly sealed containers or cans
Seal Holes in Exterior Walls
A truly vital step that must be taken to keep rodents out of your garage (and the livable space in your home) is to seal any and all holes or cracks on exterior walls on your garage. Mice and rats are highly adept and getting through even the smallest of holes and cracks. A mouse can get through a space the size of a dime; a rat can make its way through a hole or crack the size of a quarter. Moreover, rodents are very capable at gnawing through an array of different types of materials that are used in the construction of garages. These materials include:
- Vinyl siding
An effective way to patch holes that potentially provide access to rodents is to use galvanized hardware cloth. This is one of a handful of materials that rodents cannot chew or gnaw through. It provides a solid means permanently blocking holes on the exterior of a garage.
When sealing holes in exterior walls of a garage you also need to pay attention to where utilities enter into a garage. For example, if there are pipes or electrical wires that enter into a garage from the outside, care must be taken to ensure that the openings where these conduits enter a garage are fully secured. There can be no gaps between the exterior wall and such conduits. Galvanized hardware cloth can also work well to deal with these potential spaces around utility conduits as well.
Create a No-Rodent Zone Around Garage
Finally, if you want to effectively shield your garage from mice, rats, and their droppings (and the associated health hazards), consider making a “no-rodent zone” around your garage. The first step in creating a no-rodent zone is to make certain that there are bushes, shrubs, and other plants growing directly next to the exterior walls of your garage.
You can take the creation of a no-rodent zone around your garage one step further. You can lay gravel around the exterior walls of your garage to a width of about 20 to 24 inches. Rodents will not be likely to try and cross this type of gravel perimeter because it leaves them too exposed.