Rodents aren't just an issue in your house, they can also be a major problem in a detached shop. If you enjoy carpentry and have a shop on your property, you may find rodents, namely mice or rats, taking up residence inside. This isn't just a nuisance – rodents can ruin tools by chewing through wires or destroy materials by soiling on the items. The following tips can help you create a pest-free zone inside your shop.
Tip #1: Plug all holes
Walk around the exterior of your shop and look for any holes or cracks that a rodent could squeeze through. As a general rule, if a mouse can fit its head into a space, their body can follow. Stuff any holes you find with steel wool and then spray some expanding foam insulation into the hole to make a mouse-proof patch. Alternatively, patch it with a board or a new piece of siding. Another thing to check is the weather stripping around any windows and around the door. Make sure it is in good condition and doesn't have any gaps that a mouse could fit through.
Tip #2: Clean up the shop
Wood shavings can be an attractive bedding material for rodents. Take a few minutes to sweep or shop vac the shop after you finish working in it every day. The few shavings and piles of sawdust, the less potential bedding to worry about. Also, make sure to clean up the piles of dirty shop rags, since rodents may also bed in these or even eat the fibers. Keep dirty rags in a sealed metal container. As an added benefit, these containers are fireproof, which is a safer way to store rags soiled with paint thinners and other woodworking chemicals.
Tip #3: Get rid of food sources
Most rodents choose a nesting spot because they have easy access to food. Beyond some wood products, common food items in a shop are likely to made of paper or cardboard. Store all items, especially those made of paper, cardboard, or cloth, in a closed cabinet that doesn't have any gaps in it to allow rodent access. Also, check the area around your shop. For example, many shops are placed in back gardens, so it isn't uncommon to have a bird feeder nearby. Rodents could be gorging on the spilled seeds from such a feeder, so you may want to move it further from the shop.
For more help with preventing or eradicating rodents from your shop, contact a pest control professional in your area.