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SPRING CLEANING: The feed room - prevent a winter rodent infestation
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SPRING CLEANING: The feed room - prevent a winter rodent infestation
on 18 May 2018
Early spring the ideal time to tackle the feed room and put measures in place to prevent a winter infestation, writes Leanne O'Sullivan

WHEN the weather turns mild, it’s time to tackle the feed room.

Most people won’t have rodent problems during the spring and summer. The weather is mild and food is plentiful so they tend to migrate back outdoors, making early spring the ideal time to put measures in place to prevent a winter infestation.

Keeping feed areas as clean as possible is an important strategy in controlling rodent numbers. The last thing you want to do is provide them with food, as well as shelter. Clean up every scrap of feed from the floor, tidy and clean feed utensils. Remember less clutter means less places to hide.

Rodents will chew through feed bags in the blink of an eye. Keep grain and other feeds in rodent-proof containers, such as drums or metal bins with snug-fitting lids. Rubbish bags should also be put in metal bins with securely fitted lids to stop them feeding from contents.

RODENT-PROOFING

It would be great if we could make every building rodent-proof, but this may prove too difficult. Try, where possible, to keep hay away from stables and feed rooms, as the seeds can provide a good source of food for rodents.

Remember, if you can get a pencil through a gap, there’s every chance a mouse can get through, too. Once your feed room has been cleaned, checkto see what options you have for rodent-proofing the room.

  • Fill any holes with concrete, a durable caulking compound, a fine steel mesh, or even steel wool. Pay attention to where pipes and wires enter the building.
  • If the walls of your building have air vents, use a fine metal mesh which will stop rodents getting in while at the same time still allowing the wall space to breathe.
  • Doors and windows must not have gaps bigger than 6mm. Screw a steel kickplate along the base of doors to prevent rodents chewing their way in and keep the doors closed.
  • KEY FACTS

  • A rodent is likely to ruin 10 times as much food as it eats, by contaminating it with their urine, droppings, and fur.
  • A rat will typically eat 10% of its body weight a day and cannot live without access to water.
  • Mice do not need to drink. They can get enough moisture from the food they eat to survive.
  • Rats and mice are usually most active at night.
  • A mouse can squeeze through a gap as little as 6 to 7mm wide – about the size of a pencil.
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