While sheds and garages are ideal for storage, these spaces are also appealing to mice, rats, and other pests. Insects and rodents that move into a steel garage or shed can damage your belongings, spread disease, and damage or deteriorate the quality of the building. While metal garages, carports, and buildings are ideal for defeating termites, keeping out the mice and seasonal insects requires more effort.

Follow this simple guide to pest prevention for your metal building:

Designing a Tight Seal Around the Foundation

The seal between the sides of the metal building and its foundation is the primary form of control for pests in garages and sheds. If you install your shed directly over raw soil, you’ll end up with gaps where rats and mice are burrowing through the dirt to get into the building. A level concrete foundation slab is essential to keep mice out of garage structures by creating a tightly sealed seam around the base of the walls. Sheds and garages already installed over bare soil should be surrounded with buried wire mesh to discourage rodents and insects from moving in.

Closing Up Cracks and Gaps

Pests will start attempting to come in at the seam between the wall and floor of the shed or garage. If that area is tightly sealed, they’ll climb or fly to the nearest gap around a window or door instead. Seal all doors tightly with foam weatherstripping to block uneven frames. Use expanding spray foam around windows to close up gaps that could let insects or mice into the building. Looking for signs of light around wall openings and seams will reveal points that need sealing to keep mice out of garage spaces.

Discouraging Mice with Deterrents

Strong odors like peppermint and cedar oil have long been used as deterrents for rodents, and these products are easy to apply around a metal shed or garage. Sound and light-based repellents are also popular, but they’re not always effective for larger pests and insects. Predator urine products are rarely recommended for mouse and rat deterrent around the home. Still, it may be necessary for intense infestations that keep recurring despite the use of other options and clean up methods.

Remove All Food Sources

Finding any forgotten food sources and removing them from the shed or garage is a simple yet effective method for keeping pests away. Most mice, rats, and insects move into a garage or shed because of some attractive smelling food. While human snacks are an obvious culprit, one type of pest may lead to another. If you have a cricket infestation, they will attract scorpions on the southwest. If you have a mice infestation, they will attract snakes. Insects can eat many materials you wouldn’t think of as food, including cardboard and paper that gets wet and spilled liquids with sugary ingredients.

Add Traps and Bait as Needed

Traps tend to offer better results than poisonous baits, whether you choose old-fashioned spring traps or humane cages for relocation. If you choose to relocate mice or rats, take them at least 3 to 4 miles away to keep them from returning to your shed or garage. Returning pests too close to home will do little to keep the mice away. Turn to bait and poison only as a last resort since it’s the riskiest method of pest control. The rodents and insects that eat the bait wander away and can become a meal for an innocent creature, including your pets. Traps that don’t involve poison offer a more humane and safer way to control insects and rodents. Some traps even work for both, including inexpensive glue sheets you can place around the perimeter of the building.

If you’re managing pest control on your own without the help of a professional, check the interior and exterior every month to prevent infestations. Look for signs of pest damage, including gnaw marks, new openings or holes, and droppings. Prevention is the best method for pest control, but if insects and pests are damaging the items inside of your building, it’s time to call a professional pest control service.