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How to stop mice and rats getting into your home

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Rats and mice are always trying to get into our homes, especially in winter. You can’t blame them wanting warmth, a nice supply of food and plenty of interesting things to chew. There are lots of ways however to discourage these furry creatures.
What you'll need: 
Bristle-strip draft excluders
A kitchen bin with a well fitting lid
Containers for food storage
Fine mesh panels
Plastic bags for rubbish
Make sure your kitchen bin has a well-fitting lid and keep it clean
A mouse can get in through a gap that a pencil will fit beneath. So the first place to check is that the threshold of doors fits properly - if there is a gap then make sure that a bristle-strip draft excluder is fitted to the base of the door.
Check around the outside wall to make sure that the air bricks are all intact – the larger Victorian airbricks often have gaps large enough to allow mice in. Fine mesh panels can be fitted over the airbricks to successfully proof them.
Remove kick plates from the bottom of kitchen units and clean out any food debris that may have collected beneath them and to check for any signs of mouse droppings. With a single mouse producing up to 80 droppings per day, they will be easy to see if they are around.
Go under the stair cupboard and have a clear out. Quite often, the gas pipes and other services come through the floorboards under the stairs and these cupboards are often storage ‘glory holes’ that all manner of rubbish gets stored in. The base of these under-stair cupboards often provides an undisturbed area for mice overwinter.
A quick check of loft spaces is always a good idea. Both rats and squirrels can climb the outside walls and get into the loft through damaged soffits and fascia board. They can then make nice, warm harbourages in the loft insulation and will happily chew their way through paper and cardboard boxes containing valuable family heirlooms and Christmas decorations.
If all practical proofing measures have been carried out - and no building, whether new or old can be made totally rodent proof - and you still get mice rats or squirrels in, then it is time to get in a professional pest control company – preferably a member of the British Pest Control Association such as Cleankill. Make sure that you get an agreed price for a course of treatments first – and any treatment against mice should be a minimum of three visits. This should include one to lay the bait, one to check on progress and increase baiting as necessary, and one to remove baits at the end of the treatment.
If you haven’t been provided with a wheely bin, don’t leave rubbish for collection overnight in plastic bags – put it out at the last minute


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