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Securing Your Home From Rodent Invasion

Your emergency supply of food and water will be useless if it has been despoiled by rodents.  Rats and mice can make short work of your emergency rations; they can chew through foil or plastic containers, and even if you store your food in cardboard or wooden boxes, these will not stop the sharp and busy teeth of these vermin.  Even canned food can be contaminated by the droppings left on the top of the cans, which will have to be washed with hot soapy water before they can be used safely.  It is possible to keep emergency food and water in galvanized garbage cans, but working to keep rodents out of your home, and eliminating those already there, will keep you and your family safer.  Rodents will even get into stored clothing and bedding and will chew it up and leave their feces and urine in these items.

Traps or Poison?

If you have children or pets, do not use poison to rid your home of rodents.  Not only is there the danger of young children or your cat or dog eating the poison itself, but the poison can make the corpse dangerous to pets.  Dogs, especially, will eat a dead rodent if given the chance, and if it has been killed by poison, this poison will be in your dog.  Eating a poisoned mouse can even kill a full sized mastiff.  Also, a poisoned rat or mouse will often perish in the walls, causing a horrid stink that will last for a week or more. 

Traps are a much safer alternative, and you can choose either rat or mouse trap.  Some caution should be exercise when placing the traps, so that children or pets cannot snap them.  Rat traps, too, are very strong and you should be careful while setting them as well.  Remove dead rodents immediately, wearing gloves.  Besides spring traps, there are also sticky traps that will hold rodents firmly until you are ready to dispose of them. Our emergency kits all have lids on them that protect your supplies from any animals or the poisons you set out to get rid of them.

Try To Keep Rodents Out In The First Place

Although it is probably impossible to rodent-proof your home entirely, there are steps you can take to minimize the invasion as much as possible.  The first thing to do is to make your home unappealing to rodents by keeping food unavailable to them.  Do not leave open garbage cans out, either in the home, garage, or outside – always cover them.  Cupboards should be kept closed at all times; you would be surprised as how easily mice can climb up a smooth wood surface to get into a cupboard far above the level of the floor.

As soon as you see holes in the walls, plug them up with a wad of tinfoil, which will be difficult for mice and rats to chews through.  You should check the outside perimeter of your home, too, to look for cracks or holes where rodents could enter.  Use cement to repair holes in the foundation.  

If there are weeds or brush growing next to your home, cut them back, and try to avoid planting shrubs next to the house, as these can provide cover for rodents.  Rodents follow the urine trails of other rodents, so digging up the soil around your home can also interrupt this trail and keep rodents away, at least for the time being.

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