Identify and Prevent Rodent Infestations

You may never see a mouse or rat unless an infestation is severe. Look for signs of rat or mouse infestation:

  • Rodent droppings around food packages, in drawers or cupboards, and under the sink.
  • Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter. 
  • Signs of chewing on food packaging.
  • Holes chewed through walls and floors that create entry points into the home.
  • Stale smells coming from hidden areas.

Discourage rats and mice from taking up residence on your property by removing food and water sources, and items that can provide them shelter:

  • Seal holes inside and outside the home to keep rodents out. This may be as simple as plugging small holes with steel wool, or patching holes in inside or outside walls.
  • Remove potential rodent nesting sites from your property, including leaf piles and deep mulch.  
  • Clean up food and water sources in and near your house.
    • Keep kitchen garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
    • Turn compost piles to cover newly added food scraps.
    • Stop feeding outdoor birds while you are controlling an infestation or feed only huskless items that leave less residue that can be food for rodents.
  • More prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Design your buildings to exclude rodents (PDF)  Exit and use rodent-proof construction methodsExit
See pictures of and information about rodents commonly found in the United States: