Right now we are going through a little bit of a cold snap! Though before you know it the weather is going to get warmer. I can’t wait for the sun to shine a little warmer, and to see those first spring flowers popping out to greet me. What I can wait for though is the return of rodents in our garages. As the weather gets warmer and warmer, squirrels, mice, rats and more will be looking for food and new places to burrow. Make sure that your garage space is well protected from those little buggers!
Protecting your garage from rats and other rodents is pretty simple and inexpensive if you do it before it even becomes a problem. Waiting until your garage has a bunch of rats or squirrels is not the time to deal with them. The best time is now! Because if you start now, it is likely that they won’t ever get into your garage at all.
The first thing to do is to check around the perimeter of the garage so that you can make sure there are no holes or weak spots in the walls of your garage. My garage has walls that are uninsulated so it is just studs and siding. This is why it is so important for me to check my garage walls at least twice a year to make sure that they are in good condition. Not only for the structural integrity of the garage itself but also in order to make sure that no unwanted visitors can make it even if my doors are closed.
After you have checked all your walls, make sure that you check your door seals as well. For both the man door as well as the garage door, the door seals are made of plastic. Rats chew through these seals very easily and all the time! These crafty little buggers are always chewing through the bottom of the door seals to get in. It is probably the most commonplace that they get into the garage. They usually chew at the ends of the seal, so make sure that it is uncompromised. If it has any holes, rips, or chew marks in it then I suggest replacing the whole bottom seal. You can get it at our shop, and it is pretty inexpensive as well as easy to install yourself. We do have a special rodent-proof bottom seal that is pretty effective in keeping out the rats. The issue with the rodent-proof bottom seal is that it is really expensive and difficult to install yourself. If the rodent-proof bottom seal is not an option for you, I suggest stuffing a little steel wool into the ends of your bottom seal. Another trick to protect your seal is pretty odd but surprisingly effective! Take a little bit of hot sauce like tobacco (I like to use some extra spicy just in case) and dip it onto the ends of the seal. The spicy peppers are a huge detraction to the rodents and keep them from chewing the bottom seal!
The last check that you should make is the vents in the ceiling of your garage. This is the most labor-intensive part of this whole thing because you need to get your ladder out and make sure that all the vents are in good condition. The vents should be covered by a wire mesh; if any are ripped, bent open, or completely missing, then they need to be replaced. These vents will keep the squirrels in particular out, as well as birds that may get in!
One of the best things you can do to keep pests out of your garage is to keep it tidy. This is the most difficult thing for me to do because the garage can become so much of an afterthought. It is so important though that any food scraps or anything of the like is put away. If you keep any pet food in the garage make sure that it is in a sealed container and is swept up at all times. Same thing with bird feed! Don’t forget that rats and squirrels like birdseed as well.
If you make sure that you keep the perimeter, and entry points well checked at all times it is unlikely that you will ever have a rodent issue at all. AS Benjamin Franklin once said, “A stitch in time saves nine.” This is true for so many things in life, and it is true for keeping rats and other rodents out of your garage too.