Rodent Control Tips
The City of McKinney does not exterminate or treat for rodents. The city cannot apply pesticides or rodenticides to private property. There is a potential risk to domestic animals and pets by applying these toxins to private property. Placing baits or traps in public areas would only cause the rats to move to private property.
Rodents are active year-round. However, a change in the weather, large construction projects and even feeding pets and wildlife can increase their visibility and activity. By eliminating food, water and shelter you can reduce rodent harborage.
Homeowners should consult a Licensed Pest Control Company about treatment of private property. The City of McKinney Code Enforcement Department will investigate any potential area that could be contributing to rodent harborage.
Signs of Rodent Infestation
- Droppings along walls or in cabinets and drawers.
- Gnaw marks where the rodents have entered the residence or have found access to food.
- Greasy smudge marks where rodents have entered the residence or rubbed along beams, pipes, rafters or walls.
- Remnants of nests when moving old boxes, yard debris or junk.
- Burrows dug in the landscaping or under the foundation.
- Sounds such as gnawing, clawing, climbing in walls and squeaks.
Rodent-proof Your Home
- Seal or screen all holes, cracks and entryways around pipes, cables and wires with course steel wool, wire screen or other suitable caulking materials that the rodents cannot chew through. Holes as small as 1/4 inch will allow entry into a building. Concrete may be used to prevent rodents from burrowing under the foundation.
- Ensure all doors, windows and screens fit tightly. Repair or replace any damaged screens. Garage doors may be sealed using weather stripping.
- Cover the gnawed edges 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 or replace vent screens.
Sanitation & Prevention
- Remove trash and yard debris frequently to eliminate possible nesting areas.
- Keep grass and landscaping trimmed and away from the house.
- Keep foods 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 or drips. Remove accidental sources of water.
- Store garbage in rodent-proof containers and dispose of it promptly through bi-weekly collection services.
- Store boxes, firewood, lumber and equipment off the ground at least 18 inches and away from walls.
Rodenticides and traps are two methods of rodent control. When using a rodenticide outdoors, it is recommended that a rodent bait station be used. 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.
Place along a wall or fence border as rodents tend to travel in these areas. Continue to monitor and replenish bait until no signs of feeding have been observed for five days.
- 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-lock bag and seal.
- Place the sealed bag inside a second bag, seal and discard in the trash.
- If traps will be re-used, clean and disinfect before storing.
- Wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water after handling any rodenticide or rodent carcass.
Simultaneous treatment of the premises with insecticide is also recommended as this will kill any insect parasites which may have been carried on the rodents.
Avoid direct contact with rodent carcasses or droppings. Wear rubber or plastic gloves when emptying traps. Always wash hands with warm soapy water.
Many brands of rodenticides are available at home improvement, hardware and feed stores.