This page deals mainly with residential rodent control, for commercial rodent control please follow this link
Make your home and it's environment less attractive.
Usually this involves clearing away things in your yard or around your house that give them areas to nest or food to eat. Very simply: clean up and de-clutter your exterior and remove food sources. Food sources for rats include bird and squirrel feeders, grass seed, pet food and pet feces, and fallen fruit.
Store your firewood on pallets supported by concrete blocks - and move it out away from your home. Get rid of piles of trash, lumber, or rubbish.
Invest in metal trash cans with tight fitting metal lids, or store your trash bins in your garage - if your home has been or can be rodent proofed. Why is metal important? Rodent teeth will chew through plastic, wood, and light aluminum like it's candy.
Store grass seed, bird seed, and pet feed in metal contains if possible, and / or store them in areas that are rodent proof. Only put out as much food as your pet can eat in one meal, and put the rest in a metal container.
Disposing of dog feces regularly, can have a huge impact on rodent activity. If you enjoy watching birds, invest in bird baths (best), put out hummingbird feeders (good), or squirrel and rat proof feeders (expensive and often don't work to keep away rats and mice).
Dispose of windfalls daily.
The average roof is built to keep out rain, not to keep out rodents. The average roof has dozens of gaps, or weak points that could quickly become entry points for rodents.
These include roof top vents. Many roof tops vents have an interior screen mesh that works to keep out insects. These soft fiberglass screens takes about 5 seconds for a rodent to chew through.
Most roofs have areas where different levels and angles of the roof meet, these areas almost always have gaps. Mice need a gap of a quarter inch and rats a gap of a half inch. All rodents have super hard enamel on their teeth that allows them to easily chew through wood. The word rodent, comes from the Latin word 'to gnaw', as in ' to chew'.
Keep all trees, bushes, vines, and any other vegetation at least 3 feet away from your home at all times.
Your home represent a safe and cozy home to rodents. For rodents who are on the menu for every cat, dog, coyote, raptor bird, you name it - getting a safe cozy nest, is a matter of life and death.
Trim back heavy vegetation around your home, such as ivy, or blackberries, or banks of vegetation against your structure, as heavy vegetation gives rodents a place to breed - before their population explodes and they make the move from outside - to inside.
Which brings us to the most important part of any control or prevention effort:
Inspection and rodent exclusion.
Mice can get through a hole the size of a dime, rats can get in through a gap of a half inch or a whole the size of a quarter. If rodents can get in they will. If you have had rodents, understand, if they can get back in, they will - and your previously infested home, is far more likely to be reinfested than a home which has never had rodents.