How to Store Food to Avoid Attracting Rodents

how to keep mice from coming inside

Television and movies always seem to depict rodents nibbling on a piece of cheese, and while it is true that mice and rats will eat cheese, that is far from the only food they’ll eat. Mice particularly like fruits, seeds, and grains. Rats like fruits and vegetables. However, both pests are omnivorous and will eat whatever they can find when coexisting with humans.

With their appetites, your pantry can be an appealing place for a rodent. These tips can help you store the food in your kitchen without it attracting rodents or serving as a source of sustenance for invading pests.

Food Storage Tips for Your Kitchen

When planning how you will store food, knowing that rodents have powerful noses and teeth are important facts to remember. Mice and rats can sniff out food from a distance and will chew through almost any material they can to reach it.

To store food without having to worry about rats and mice:

  • Leave Food in Original Packaging – Until you open it, food is often safest in its airtight, original packaging. Since most foods are sealed in plastic, rodents will not be able to locate them through smell until the seal is broken. It is helpful to check each grocery item when you bring it home to make sure the packaging is not damaged.
  • Use Hard-Sided Containers – After opening food, rolling up the bag or using a cardboard tab to close the package is insufficient. Rodents can easily chew through the cardboard and the plastic bag. Transferring food to glass or plastic containers with hard sides protects food from rodents, as well as other pests like pantry moths.
  • Don’t Store Food on the Floor – All food should be stored off the floor. This includes avoiding the bottom shelf of any cabinets that sit directly on the floor. While this is a common storage practice for bags of potatoes and oversized packaged foods, it provides easy access to any hungry rodents.
  • Get Rid of Spoiled Food – Food that is going bad lets off a more intense smell and while it might make us sick, rodents can often digest rotten food. Throwing out food as it begins to turn, and immediately taking out the trash, will avoid attracting mice and rats to your kitchen.
  • Seal Your Trash – Attracting rats outdoors makes them more likely to come indoors. When you bring your trash outside to your trash can, make sure that the bags are tied and the can itself closes as close to sealed as possible.

Remember that human food is not the only type of food rodents will snack on. Pet food and bird seed is a common food source for mice and rats, and should be stored in the same types of glass or plastic containers you use for your own food. This applies to packages that you keep in your kitchen, or elsewhere in your home such as a garage.

Limiting potential food sources is one of the most effective ways to keep rats or mice from nesting in your property. Without proper sustenance, you force any rodents that do make their way inside to move on quickly.

If mice or rats have already infested, working with a professional rodent control company in Virginia can help you get rid of them so that you can begin effectively storing food going forward. To get rodent control from ExtermPRO, call our team today.


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