Whether you live in the city or out in the country, rodents such as rats, mice and gophers can transmit diseases and damage your home and landscaping. Modifying your landscaping and maintaining your yard can help drive existing pests away and discourage new infestations. The best way to decrease the rodent population is to remove the things they need to survive, including food and shelter. Maintaining a clean home and yard is an important first step in preventing rodent infestations.
Inspect your garden and landscaping for signs of rodent infestation at dusk. Aside from spotting live mice, signs of an infestation include droppings, gnaw marks and tracks. If you spot greasy track marks or droppings, sweep up the area and wash the area with a mild bleach solution. Also, focus your rodent control efforts in the following steps on the areas where the mice appear to be living.
Remove any garbage and debris from the yard. If you compost, ensure the compost bin is not attracting mice and cannot be accessed by the mice through burrowing. If necessary, place chicken wire underneath the bin to keep rodents out. This will help eliminate a food source and hiding place for the mice.
Weed landscaping regularly and trim tall grass.
Place mulch and plants 6 inches away from the house's foundation and keep the lowest branches of your shrubs trimmed. Mice often burrow against the foundation of a house, using the surrounding plant life for cover, so this will eliminate the hiding spot they want for their homes. If you spot an unused burrow, one that is covered in spider webs or leaves, cover it with dirt and stomp the dirt solid.
Maintain space between your shrubs, flowers and other plants, avoiding dense planting.
Inspect your garden and landscaping regularly after completing Steps 2 through 4 to monitor the effectiveness of the steps. If you do not see any new signs of mice infestation, maintain the landscaping as described in those steps. If you see new signs, repeat Steps 2 through 4, moving your focus to any new areas where you see evidence of an infestation. If this fails, proceed to Step 6.
Place rodenticides, glue board or mice traps in the landscaping, near the areas where you see signs of rodent infestation. Follow the manufacturer instructions carefully concerning placement and the amount you should use. Keep children and pets away from the rodenticides or traps to avoid injury, poisoning or death.