Rodent Control and Prevention
The City of Allen does not exterminate nor treat for rodents on private property. Placing baits or traps in public areas such as greenbelts or parks drives rodents onto private property and puts other wildlife at risk. However, the Code Enforcement Department will investigate any area that may be harboring rodents. Citizens may report piles of trash, high weeds or other potential rodent hot-spots using the Online Help Desk or MyAllen App for iOS or Google devices. Homeowners should consult a licensed pest control company about treatment of private property.
- Droppings along a wall or in cabinets and drawers
- Gnaw marks near entry points or food sources
- Remnants of nests when moving old boxes, junk or yard debris
- Burrows dug in landscaping or under foundations
- Sounds such as scratching or squeaking, especially in walls or ceilings
In your home
- Seal or screen all holes, cracks and entryways around pipes, cables and wires with a material rodents cannot chew through. Suggested materials include steel wool, wire screens and special caulking materials. Even holes as small as 1/4 inch can allow rodents to enter a building.
- Ensure all doors, windows and screens fit tightly. Repair or replace any damaged screens. Seal garage doors using weather stripping.
- Cover gnawed edged of entryways with sheet metal to prevent further chewing.
- Keep inside doors to the garage and pet doors closed at night.
- Use self-closing exits on clothes dryer vents to the outside.
- Check roof and eaves areas and repair/replace vent screens.
Outside your home
- Remove trash and yard debris frequently to eliminate nesting areas.
- Keep grass and landscaping trimmed and away from the house.
- Keep food and grains (including pet food and bird seed) in rodent-proof containers. Instead of leaving pet food out, feed your pet only what they will eat, then remove it after 30 minutes.
- Remove dog waste daily.
- Repair water leaks and drips, and remove sources of standing water.
- Store garbage in rodent-proof containers and dispose of it promptly in weekly collection.
- Store boxes, firewood, lumber and equipment away from walls and at least 18 inches off the ground.
Rodenticides and traps are two methods of rodent control. When using a rodenticide outdoors, it is recommended that a rodent bait station be used to prevent other animals from ingesting it. A rodent bait station is a small box with a removable lid that allows for replenishing bait and a small hole to allow rodents access to bait while keeping larger animals out. Continue to monitor and replenish bait until no signs of feeding have been observed for five days.
Keep in mind that rodents poisoned by baits take several days to die. At the time of death, the rodent may be located inside a wall and therefore inaccessible. Decaying rodents can create foul odors and present a health hazard. It is advised to use poison/rodenticides only when trapping and rodent-proofing have failed to solve the problem.
Place traps along a wall or fence border as rodents tend to travel in these areas. Recommended baits include:
- Bacon, beef jerky or a slice of hot dog (Norway rats)
- Raisins and nuts (roof rats)
- Gumdrops and raisins (mice)
Rats are sensitive to changes in their environment and may avoid bait until the situation is proven to be safe. Because of this, it is recommended that you place bait on the traps, but do not set them. Once they take the bait, add fresh bait and set the trap. Traps should be inspected daily and stale baits replaced. If using live traps, it is not recommended to release rodents in fields or vacant lots as they will find their way back to properties. If traps will be reused, clean and disinfect before storing.
For increased success, set three traps side-by-side at right angles with the triggers facing the wall (Figure 1). Alternatively, set two traps end-to-end, parallel to the wall with the trigger facing out (Figure 2).
- Avoid direct contact with rodent carcasses or droppings. Wear rubber or plastic gloves when emptying traps.
- Spray carcasses with a 1:10 solution of bleach and water or any household disinfectant spray.
- Place the carcass and gloves in a twist-tie or zip-top bag and seal.
- Place the sealed bag in a second bag, seal, and discard in the trash for disposal during weekly trash collection.
- Wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water after handling any rodenticide or rodent carcass.
- Rats & mice information sheet (Department of the Environment, City and County of San Francisco)
- How to seal up, trap up and clean up after rodents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Rodent-proof construction methods (Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management)
- Identifique y prevenga las infestaciones por roedores (Environmental Protection Agency - Spanish)