They may be cute, but not so much in your house—mice, squirrels and other rodents can cause all kinds of damage to your home and even your health.

When seeking out some warmth in winter, they can damage your home’s insulation, ducts and structure, and leave droppings that may carry disease.

Not to mention sharing your pantry!

So how can you stop them from making themselves at home? Let’s start by looking at how they get inside.

Where do rodents enter?

Mice and squirrels usually have no trouble finding an opening to sneak into your home. A tiny hole is all the invitation they need.

Rodents can take advantage of a simple weakness in a joint or the attachment of a gutter to gnaw their way in. Mice can enter through an opening intended for a cable, pipe or air vent. Any crack or small hole in the wall and say hello to your new tenants!

So how do you make your home as impenetrable as possible?

What you can do

To prevent rodent infestation, you need to make your home less welcoming. Here are some weaknesses to address:

  • Caulk all windows and openings around cables, pipes and vents
  • Inspect the condition of your roof and any areas of weakness, such as the edges of the chimney, eaves, where repairs have been made, and around the air conditioning system
  • Seal all cracks between boards, joints and where gutters have been attached
  • Repair rotted wood
  • Cut branches near your roof and walls to deter squirrels
  • Walk around the foundation and walls to make sure there are no cracks—if you find any, repair them!

If possible, use metal to cover any openings around vents as rodents can make their way through nearly anything.

Make your environment less inviting

One way to mitigate rodent infestation is to make your home and surroundings less inviting:

  • Inside—store your food in airtight containers and clean up your pets’ leftovers
  • Outside—use trash cans that can withstand furry intruders, such as raccoons

What if the rodents are already inside?

Having a cat can solve all or part of the problem if your feline is a born hunter. But you’ll probably have to take care of things yourself.

You can use traps and poisons, but these solutions aren’t always successful.

Our advice? Use specialists to help get rid of any unwanted visitors and then “secure” your home so rodents won’t return.