Rodents are drawn to buildings to obtain shelter, food, water, and safety from predators. As a consequence, garages prove to be prime locations where rodent infestations are prone to occur. While it’s one thing to know how to eradicate rodents that take up residence in your garage, the ideal course of action is to be proactive and prevent mice and rats from invading your garage in the first instance. As part of that strategy, you need to understand what steps you can take to properly seal garage doors and windows to keep rodents out in the first place.
How Mice and Rats Enter Garages
Mice and rats are masters of entering structures of all types, including garages. These rodents can take advantage of existing spaces along the exterior of a garage, including garage doors and windows that have even minimal gaps in the manner in which they’ve been sealed. A rat can get through a hole or space the size of a quarter. A mouse can enter through a space the size of a dime.
Rodents have a common attribute in that they have incisors that grow throughout their lives. Thus, they need to gnaw to keep these teeth in check. In addition, these incisors provide invaluable tools to them when it comes to gnawing through materials of difference types to gain entry into a structure like a garage. Rodents can chew passages into garages by gnawing through the most common materials used to construct these structures. These materials include:
- Vinyl (siding)
As a consequence, even if there is a small imperfection in these materials along the exterior of a garage, rodents typically can enlarge it to create a sufficient entryway into the space.
As mentioned, rodents can manage to enter through improperly sealed windows and garage doors as well. Indeed, defects in the manner in which garage doors and windows are sealed can present the easiest entry point for rodents into your garage.
Sealing Garage Doors to Prevent Rodent Entry
There are specific steps you need to take to ensure that your garage door is properly sealed to prevent the infestation of mice and rats into the space. There are other benefits to properly sealing your garage doors as well, including regulating the temperature of your garage.
The primary tactic in sealing a garage door to prevent rodent entry involves inspecting what is called the “threshold” at the bottom of the door. The threshold is comprised of the strip of rubber at the bottom of a garage door that is designed to seamlessly fill the breach between the door itself and the ground.
The reality is that most people never notice the threshold and rubber strip unless there is major damage to it. The typical homeowner is not in the habit of inspecting it with regularity.
Even a minor defect in the threshold rubber strip can provide an easy accessway for a rodent. Bear in mind the small spaces rats and mice can enter, as discussed a moment ago.
If there is a defect in or damage to the threshold rubber on your garage door, you need to replace it. There really is no effective way to repair a defective or damaged threshold rubber strip along a garage door.
Given the opportunity, rodents can gnaw through rubber. Being nocturnal animals, mice and rats have the opportunity to attack rubber stripping along a garage door threshold in the dark. Thus, you want to take sealing your garage door up a notch. Seriously consider adding metal flashing along the threshold on the interior side of the garage door.
Finally, when it comes to sealing your garage door, pay attention to any defects in the concrete along the threshold. Defects in the concrete will result in an improper seal of the garage door and the creation of a passageway for rodents into the space.
Sealing Windows to Prevent Rodent Entry
When it comes to sealing windows to block entry by rodents into your garage, bear in mind that screens can be the first line of defense. Not all garage windows come complete with screens, particularly if the window is not designed to open. With that said, if you’ve garage windows that are designed to open, make sure that proper screens are installed.
Yes, the garage is a bit different of a space than the livable spaces of your home. Yes, many people do forgo screens on windows that open and close in a garage. But, not having screens on these types of windows in a truly does eliminate an important line of defense against rodent invasion and infestation.
Inspect windows to ensure that there is a seamless fit between the window and frame. If there is even what appears to be a small gap, you need to ensure that it is addressed. The best way to address sealing windows in a garage is to use silicon caulking. This needs to be applied around the perimeter of the window and frame.
Silicon caulk is a material that rodents are capable of gnawing on and penetrating if they are so inclined. Thus, you do need to regularly inspect the state of caulking at your garage windows to ensure that it is in proper repair.
The Importance of Regular Garage Inspections
A key practice you need to undertake is the regular inspection of your garage and grounds. Through a regular inspection, you will be able to notice the signs of mice or rats on your property or in your garage sooner rather than later. Consider undertaking an inspection of your garage and surrounding grounds once a month to see if signs exist the rodents are on your property.
You need to be aware of specific signs that mice or rats might be present on your property, even in your garage. These signs of the presence of rodents on the grounds of your residence or in your garage include:
- Greasy-looking smears or trails
- Gnaw marks
- Scratch marks
- Scratching sounds
- Gnawing sounds
- Scurrying sounds
- Smell of urine
If you detect any one of these signs, you must be quick to act to protect against a serious rodent infestation of your garage.