Advanced Pest Control Systems

How to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home

Mouse climbing on fencing

No matter how many cute depictions of rodents we see in TV shows or movies, there’s nothing cute about wild rodents sharing your home. Rodents are small, resilient mammals that come in many species and can live in many environments. Rodents can be quick and evasive – once they are in your home, they can be difficult to catch without professional help. As a homeowner, your best defense against rodents is to be aware of which rodents are local to your area and employ prevention measures. 


All rodent infestations are serious, but rats may be the most problematic. Rats are larger than mice, have dangerous bites, and are attracted to human food in a big way. When a rat finds access to the inside of a home, it will nest and breed until it is removed. Rats carry diseases that can be dangerous when transmitted to pets, children, and adults. Further, rats are naturally aggressive, especially when they track human food.


Mice are smaller and less likely to bite than rats, but they are still a huge problem for homeowners. Mice scurry across floors quickly and leave their fecal droppings all over your house. These droppings can spread diseases. Even if only one mouse has entered your home, the likelihood that others will track its scent and enter is high. 

Mouse against a white background

Voles and More

Rats and mice are the most common rodents that pest control experts deal with. However, there are other rodents that can cause problems based on your geographic area. In Missouri and Illinois, voles are common. They like to burrow in the ground but are more likely to burrow in yards and gardens than toward the house. If they burrow through the foundation of your house, this can present lots of costs.

Breeding and Habits

Rodents breed FAST. Unlike groups of larger mammals, rodents are often able to give birth year-round and have many babies at a time. Rodents also don’t take as long as some mammals to reach their sexual maturity, meaning a rodent could be as young as only a few months old before they can carry babies. Due to these breeding habits, rodents typically live in groups and travel together within the group. Essentially, a rodent infestation is a big problem for a homeowner.


While most rodents mainly eat plants, mice and rats are omnivorous. Mice and rats are attracted to human food and eat anything from garbage cans, crumbs left out, or pet food. In the rare event that mice and rats cohabitate in your area, rats will eat mice when they can. These two rodents can also be cannibalistic. 

Pest technician working outside of a home


Considering how much rats and mice love human food, one of the easiest prevention measures is to clean up food messes immediately and ensure all pantry food is properly sealed. Traps and rodent poisons may work in certain situations to ease the problem. However, trapping and killing one animal won’t prevent others from coming, and rodenticides (“rat poison“) can also harm pets and humans. If you are able to determine where rodents are entering your home, you should work to seal up that entryway and any other cracks you see. It’s always best to call professional pest control before the problem escalates.

PestShield is Here to Help

Look no further than PestShield for all of your pest control needs. We are known for our in-wall pest control technology that many homes in the Greater St. Louis area have, and we also have traditional pest control services (including rodents). Contact us today!