How to Prevent a Rodent Infestation in 9 Steps


Scuttling sounds in the attic and walls can be unnerving for any homeowner. Chewing marks on packaged foods. And droppings. Yuck! If you’re dealing with a rodent problem and you’re losing the war, let’s explore how to get rid of rodent infestations. Or, better yet, how to prevent rodent infestation so you’ll never be faced with this. You can keep your home protected from these unwanted intruders by taking these nine steps. So read on and learn how to get rid of rodent infestation and how to prevent rodent infestation in your home.

Step 1: Seal Up Entry Points

All animals seek shelter from the weather, predators, and as a place to raise their young. A home that is not properly sealed is like a beacon for rodents and insects with tiny cracks and gaps serving as a “vacancy” sign. Some rodents can squeeze through an opening as tiny as a dime. Figuring out how to prevent rodent infestation at your home starts with identifying entry points and sealing them up. Let rodents know there is “no vacancy” at your home, and they’re not getting in.

Start by doing a thorough pest inspection of your home’s exterior. Check for cracks in the walls, gaps in windows and doors, and spaces around pipes or vents. Seal these potential entryways with caulk or steel wool secured by caulk to make your home less accessible to critters. Depending on the size of the opening, wood, cement, or material may be needed to properly seal the opening. Not only is this an effective way to get rid of a rodent infestation, but it also keeps a host of other pests outside where they belong.

Step 2: Keep Your Home Clean

Rodents are opportunistic creatures. When they invade your home, they’re not just searching for shelter; they’re also hunting for their next meal. Dirty dishes, accessible trash bins, pet food left out, and crumbs on countertops serve as a free rodent buffet. And who doesn’t like a free meal? Once the word is out, you’ll have a full-blown infestation on your hands. Effective rodent prevention requires shutting down the buffet line. Washing dishes promptly, taking out the trash regularly, and keeping food secured in containers, and storage areas crumb-free denies these freeloaders the free food they crave. Don’t forget cluttered areas like basements and garages provide perfect nesting material, as well as a great place to hide. Remember, a clean home not only sparkles but also keeps rodents at bay.

Step 3: Store Firewood Properly

What looks like an innocent stack of firewood may be a cozy hideout for the local mice and rats. Improperly stored firewood is an open invitation to these pests, who can nestle between pieces and be carried inside with the next load. So, it’s important to learn how to prevent rodents from hitching a ride. Start by storing firewood at least 20 feet away from your home. Cover it with a tarp and keep it raised about a foot off the ground. This also helps the wood dry out, so it is less attractive to rodents and other pests. A well-maintained firewood pile is a small but significant step toward robust rodent prevention.

Step 4: Trim Trees and Shrubs

Overhanging tree branches and lush shrubs around your house can inadvertently become a welcome mat for rodents. These climbing critters can easily use branches as direct routes to your chimney, attic or walls. So, let’s determine how to prevent rodents from making this trek. If you trim trees and shrubs to maintain a 6-foot distance from your house, you’ll disrupt the rodents’ travel plans. They won’t have a direct passageway to your home, and they’ll have no cover, so you can more easily spot any signs of rodent infestation. Your garden is your first line of defense in keeping your home rodent-free. Planting herbs around your garden can serve as a protective wall to keep rodents out of your home. Herbs that emit a strong smell, such as mint (especially peppermint), catnip, rosemary, sage, lavender, oregano, and basil are effective at keeping these unwelcome visitors away from the area.

Step 5: Install Screens on Vents and Chimneys

We rely on vent and chimney openings to maintain healthy air quality in our homes. Unfortunately, they also provide easy access for rodents. Want to know how to get rid of a rodent infestation on your roof? Install screens or caps on your chimney and vent openings! Installing vent screens is pretty simple, but it may require access to your roof. This essential step will support your rodent prevention efforts and stops other unwanted critters from dropping in too. Regularly checking your screens for damage and ensuring they remain securely attached is also an important part of this process.

Step 6: Keep Your Yard Tidy and Clean

Just as an untidy home can attract rodents, so can a cluttered yard. Overgrown foliage, garden waste, scattered birdseed, uncovered pet food, and fallen fruit can create a haven for rodents, leading to a potential rodent infestation. And they can easily venture from the yard to your home. So, how do you get rid of a rodent infestation in your yard? You shut down the smorgasbord by keeping your yard well-maintained. That is a key piece of guidance on how to prevent rodents from venturing into your home.

Regular lawn maintenance, including mowing, pruning, harvesting, and debris removal, can help dissuade rodents from setting up camp in your yard. Make sure to pick up birdseed and cover pet food tightly. When your yard is not providing a feast, rodents will be less likely to descend upon it.

Step 7: Fix Leaks and Moisture Problems

Like us, rodents need water to survive. Even the smallest leak can turn your home or garden into a rodent watering hole. Addressing leaks and moisture problems both inside and outside of your home is a crucial part of how to prevent rodent infestation. Check pipes, faucets, and irrigation systems for leaks to ensure that they are working effectively. It’s also important to keep gutters clean and working properly so water doesn’t accumulate around the exterior of your home. Fixing these issues prevents damage to your home and also removes a key attractant for rodents (mosquitos, too!). Remember, when it comes to rodent prevention, a dry house is far less inviting.

Step 8: Use Natural Deterrents

You can also keep rodents away from your home with natural deterrents. One way is to leverage their strong sense of smell against them. Using scents they find unpleasant Like, cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil or vinegar that are placed near entry points or in areas where you see signs of rodent activity can prove to be very effective. These scents are known to deter rodents, as does cayenne pepper and cloves. Once rodents get a whiff of any of these, they’ll be happy to seek shelter elsewhere.

Step 9: Hire a Pest Control Professional

In the battle against rodent infestation, sometimes the best strategy is calling in the experts. Pest control professionals like Mosquito Joe® utilize in-depth knowledge, experience, and access to professional-grade tools and products to protect your home and property. They offer comprehensive pest control services that not only help in getting rid of an existing infestation but also provide strategies for future rodent prevention.

Your friendly Mosquito Joe pest control expert can show you how to get rid of a rodent infestation effectively and efficiently. So, let us take this unpleasant task off your hands! By identifying and blocking potential entry points and removing attractants, we can protect you and your family from rodent issues. Remember, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

Don’t Wait — Take Action Today!

Understanding how to get rid of a rodent infestation starts with a proactive plan and consistent execution. Remember, rodents breed quickly, and a small issue can become a large infestation in no time. Begin by inspecting your home for signs of rodent infestation, sealing up potential entry points, and maintaining cleanliness both inside and outside of your home. Don’t allow rodents to make your home theirs.

Finally, for rodent control you can trust, call on the pros at your local Mosquito Joe. The Neighborly Done Right Promise™ and the Mosquito Joe® Satisfaction Guarantee back all our work, so you know you’ll be pleased. Request a free estimate online or give us a call at 1-855-275-2563.

Let Mosquito Joe put an end to your rodent infestation.


BBQ Essentials in Every U.S. State


The best part of indulging in BBQ lies in that first succulent bite of fall-off-the-bone ribs, leaving you licking your fingers and wearing sauce all over your face. Backyard barbecues are a cherished tradition where good food and good company gather together. From hot dogs and wings to some of the best BBQ side dishes like pasta salad and collard greens, BBQ gatherings are a feast for the senses.

As grills sizzle this summer, we wanted to discover the most iconic BBQ dishes in every U.S. state. Prepare to tantalize your taste buds as we unveil the culinary delights that define BBQ culture across the nation.

The Most Popular BBQ Dishes in Every U.S. State

U.S. map showcasing the most popular BBQ dishes in every state

As spring rolls into summer, BBQ enthusiasts across the United States are firing up their smokers and getting ready for unforgettable BBQ cookouts. In six states, including Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, and Rhode Island, BBQ chicken has claimed the spotlight and captured the taste buds of many.

Meanwhile, Idaho and New Hampshire have developed a deep affection for pulled pork as their ultimate BBQ delight, while wings have soared to prominence in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Brisket has become a beloved favorite among residents of Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas, while West Virginia has maintained a long-standing devotion to the classic hot dog.

In a predictable turn of events, collard greens have asserted their dominance in southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, while the timeless baked potato has garnered significant adoration in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The best BBQ side dishes according to other states included coleslaw, which won out in Maine, and biscuits which dominated in Kentucky.

When it comes to BBQ sauces, a sweet and tangy concoction like honey BBQ has triumphed in six states, including Utah, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Turning our attention to dessert, banana pudding has captured the hearts and palates of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee, while both D.C. and Florida have gravitated toward key lime pie.

America’s Backyard BBQ Plate

 Infographic showcasing the most popular BBQ foods overall

As you prepare to host a memorable gathering, impress your guests with the best BBQ essentials that have conquered the hearts and taste buds across the map. Get ready to elevate your backyard BBQ game and leave your guests craving for more.

Burgers were a clear crowd favorite and most beloved in 17 states, including Washington, New Mexico, Tennessee, and North Carolina, just to name a few. Coming in a close second is sausage, which delighted the taste buds of ten states, including Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Indiana.

Let’s talk about the sauce — because no one likes dry brisket. We examined different types of BBQ sauces to see which one was a fan favorite. Our findings reveal that buffalo sauce, featuring a tantalizing blend of cayenne pepper for a touch of tangy heat, emerged as the top choice in 16 states. From Alaska and Florida to New Jersey and North Dakota, the craving for this zesty sauce knows no bounds.

Surprisingly, in the second spot, we have St. Louis-style BBQ sauce, which failed to win over its home state of Missouri. Instead, it conquered in ten states, including Arkansas, Iowa, and Maine.

No picnic is complete without side dishes for your guests to gobble up — and we’re not talking about mojitos (okay, maybe we are)! Both french fries and watermelon were crowd favorites, dominating 19 and seven states, respectively. French fries captured the west coast in places like California, Arizona, and Nevada.

While you may be tempted to grab store-bought cookies and call it a day, there’s no better way to end a picnic than with fresh-out-of-the-oven brownies. Brownies are the best dessert according to 19 states and a classic, sweet treat everyone can agree on!

BBQ Essentials According to Every U.S. State

Curious if your taste buds align with your state? Review our map to see how your state builds the perfect backyard spread.

Closing Thoughts

There you have it — the best BBQ in every U.S. state! From cheesecake to grilled lobster and baked mac n’ cheese, it’s clear that no matter where you live, BBQ food has a way of bringing people together.

Now picture this: the smell of burgers wafts through the air, bowls of chips are laid out, lemonade is being poured, and your guests are arriving, there’s just one tiny problem — your backyard is inhabited by mosquitoes. Don’t fret! To prevent this potential disaster from occurring, make sure you schedule Mosquito Joe event services so you can get back to enjoying good food and even better company.


To find out which BBQ dish was the most “essential” in each state, we compiled a list of typical BBQ meats, side dishes, desserts, and BBQ sauces that one would typically devour at a summertime backyard BBQ. We looked at a total of 53 keywords across the four categories on Google Trends for the summer of 2022 (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend).