Rodents in Orange County come in many shapes and sizes. Not all rodents are created equal. If you're hoping to keep them out of your home and prevent them from damaging your property, you need to understand how they behave. Join us today as we look at how to keep rodents away with natural prevention tips, and how to get rid of rodents if they've already invaded your home. These are expert tips that will provide a foundation for understanding rodent infestations and how to stop them. As always, we want to remind you that immediate assistance is available if you need it. Your HomeShield Pest Control team is here to help. We provide the highest level of professional pest control in Orange County and we provide service with a smile. Jump over to our contact page and connect with us—or simply call. With that said, let's dig into our subject matter for today.

rat on fence

Characteristics Of Common Rodents

We have a variety of rodents in Orange County and they don't all act the same. Do you know that some rodents never get into homes? They stay outside in the yard. We're not talking about squirrels. We're referring to rodents like gophers or voles. We're not going to focus on those yard rodents as they are different from the rodents that enter homes. Since this is an article about protecting your Orange County home from rodent damage, it seems appropriate to focus on the three types of rodents that enter homes and present a threat to property. They are rats, mice, and (sometimes) squirrels. How are these three similar?


It is common to find rodents in attic spaces. The reason they often enter this space is that rodents are impressive climbers. Squirrels aren't the only rodents that scale trees. All three of these types of home-invading rodents can climb a tree, scale a pipe, or climb up a rough exterior surface. They also get into the downspouts of gutter systems and climb up. If they get to your roof, they'll likely find a way into your attic. Prevention is key to keeping them out.


All rodents have long, strong incisors. These teeth are designed for chewing. While a mouse won't do as much damage as a beaver, both rodents are adept at chipping away at a piece of wood. So, it isn't good to have rodents find their way to your roof. They can make short work of seals around roof penetrations or a thin piece of soffit. Prevention is key to keeping them off your roof. 


Have you ever wondered why rodents get into walls? It is easy to understand when you consider where they prefer to nest in nature. All three of these rodents may make a nest in a hollow log, tree cavity, or stump void. While there are some differences in nesting preference—for instance, Norway rats like to dig ground burrows and Squirrels don't do this—all three are known to use wood cavities. So, finding rodents in walls is common. Can you guess what we're going to say next? Prevention is key to keeping them out of your walls.

We'll discuss prevention tips in a moment. First, let's look at what rats, mice, and squirrels do inside your Orange County home, as it relates to protecting your home against damage. Some of the ways rodents harm property are not commonly understood.

Rodents Can Make You Sick And Damage Property

We don't have to tell you that rodents can make you sick. We're sure you are aware that they leave droppings in your attic and in the places they explore within your home. They also spread harmful organisms, from salmonella bacteria to ticks. But the worst outcome of a rodent infestation is usually property damage.

  • Rodents chew holes that can allow moisture into your home. Moisture creates many problems for homeowners. It can cause wood rot, fungus, mold, and other issues. 
  • Rodent holes can allow other pests into your home. If a rodent creates a hole large enough for it to squeeze into your home, other common pests around your home can squeeze in as well. Some of them are worse than rodents. We have wood-damaging pests. 
  • Rodents damage stored items. As rodents frolic in your attic space and find nesting areas, there is a good chance they'll damage your stuff. For example, it is common for mice to rip the stuffing out of a stored chair and build a nest inside the drawer of a stored dresser. 
  • Rodents soil attic insulation. Rodents rip up insulation and leave their droppings and urine on the insulation. Soiled insulation is a source of contamination and a health concern for humans. The scent of soiled insulation invites more rodents into your home as they are drawn to it.  
  • Rodents chew on wires inside walls. If a rat, mouse, or squirrel cuts a live wire, it can cause a spark. If the conditions are right, a tiny spark can ignite a housefire and present a life-threatening situation.  

It isn't good to have rodents hiding in your home! Even an itty bitty mouse can present a significant danger. That is why prevention is so important. Let's turn our attention to ways you can prevent rodents from invading your space.

Four Simple Yet Effective Rodent Exclusion Tips

You have many options when it comes to rodent prevention. We'll tell you upfront, it isn't easy. You'll need some handyman skills. But, with a little know-how and a bit of labor, you can stop rodents from getting into your home.

1. Deal With The Food

There are many ways you may feed rodents and encourage rodent activity near your home. In the case of squirrels, some residents feed them directly, by putting out nuts for them to eat. Keep in mind that this may encourage squirrels to do something you don't want them to do, and that those nuts are also a delectable food source for rats and mice. It is best to refrain from feeding the animals. Here are a few more quick tips:

  • Keep trash in covered containers.
  • Remove bird feeders or protect feeders from tampering.
  • Protect berries and vegetables with fencing.
  • Band fruit trees with metal flashing to prevent rodents from climbing them to access the food, and pick up fruit from the ground.
  • Pick up nuts that fall from trees.

You can't get rid of all the food, but reducing food options will have an impact on rodents.

2. Remove The Hiding Places

Rodents hide in and under the objects in your yard. Store items inside to help prevent this. Pay close attention to natural hiding places, such as a stack of lumber on a wood palette or a pile of dead branches. Trim landscape vegetation to open up your landscape. Consider applying fencing material to protect voids under structures, like a back deck, porch, or shed. 

3. Remove Access Routes

Consider routes rodents may use to enter your home and block off those routes. There are many ways to do this. Here are a few tips you should know.

  • Stuff some wire mesh into the downspouts of your gutters so rodents can't climb up to your roof.
  • Attach guards on exterior piping to stop rodents.
  • Trim tree branches that are near or touching your roof.
  • Apply guards to prevent rodents from using powerlines to get onto your roof.

These tips, and similar prevention methods, can guard your home from these adept climbers.  

4. Patch Tiny Holes

While a rodent can chew through wood and soffits, they typically don't. What they do is make small holes larger. They'll gnaw and pull at a tiny gap in a soffit, or gnaw on the concrete around a pipe that enters your home. Look for tiny gaps or holes and use expanding foam to seal them. Often, quick patches like this are enough. If more is needed, use metal flashing or hardware cloth to guard vulnerable spots. 

If you have trouble applying these tips and need some assistance managing rodent activity around your home (or keeping rodents from entering) remember that HomeShield Pest Control is always available to help you. Jump to our contact page to request ongoing pest control for your home. If you already have an infestation, let us know, and we'll steer you toward our rodent pest control services.

The Pros To Know For The Best Rodent Control For Your Home

When you need rodent control in Orange County, why should you choose HomeShield Pest Control? Our technicians are highly trained career professionals. They have the specialized knowledge and equipment to address rodent problems. But more than these, our technicians are taught to uphold our core values. We believe in offering the safest and highest quality service to our customers, and we live by our seven core principles: work to create happy customers, be passionate about helping, live with character, strive for excellence, grow in knowledge, be polite, and remember that the key to living is giving. Contact us today for assistance with any of your pest concerns. We're here to guide you toward the best solution for you, your family, and your home.