Now more than ever rodents are prevalent in our homes and landscapes. Whether they are eating plants, burrowing behind retaining walls or stoops, or entering basements for warmth this winter they cause significant damage! Four ways to prevent rodents from damaging your property include removing debris from the landscape and foundation of home, eliminate overgrown landscaping, check for small holes and crevices for rodents to enter your home, and finally use peppermint oil to deter rodents from making a home for the winter.
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First, leaving leaves and other plant debris in planting beds, along foundation of home, or even in lawn areas creates the perfect hiding place for rodents. This is prime location that offers warmth, food, and protection encourages the rodents to burrow and create tunnels especially in preparation for winter weather. Have you ever noticed brown tunnel like lines in your lawn in the spring? This is because rodents were tunneling under the snow all winter long. It is important to keep your lawn and landscape clear of any debris. Don’t forget to check areas around retaining walls, ponds, and stoops where it is easy for debris to collect.

Second, eliminate overgrown landscaping. Make sure trees are not creating the perfect bridge for a raccoon to reach the roof. Keep shrubs trimmed away from the exterior of the home. For best results check your landscape three times a year for minor trimming. This helps keep all rodents and even insects from entering or damaging your home.

Third, check for holes, crevices, or openings in your home that might allow small rodents to enter for warmth this winter. It is best to check from inside your home in the basement or crawl space. Most rodents find openings under doorways or where the concrete foundation meets the sill plate. It is best to seal these openings with steel or copper wool.

Fourth, 100% peppermint oil is excellent for deterring rodents. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in locations where there is already evidence of rodents or potential places where they may hide out for the winter. Check places such as stoops, retaining walls, ponds, waterfalls, walkways, driveways, planting beds, near perennials or ornamental grasses, around foundation of home, and under sheds. Warning: peppermint oil has a strong scent and you may want to consider wearing gloves when handling.

These four tips will help keep your home and landscape healthy and free of rodents. Now is the time to take action!

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