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Do Peppermint Oil, Moth Balls, or Ultrasonic Mouse and Rat Repellers work?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 9:31:45 AM America/Los_Angeles

Xcluder materialThe internet is awash with home remedies and electronic devices that are supposed to keep mice and rats out of places you don't want them. Some of the most frequently recommended solutions include things like cotton balls doused with peppermint oil, mothballs or herbal packets. The theory is that mice and rats will find the odor unpleasant and avoid the area. Also highly prevalent are electronic devices that emit ultrasonic sound that rodents are supposed to find unbearable. It is understandable why these types of solutions are so appealing. They promise that all you need to do is place the product in the space where you have the problem and the intruders will simply leave - there's no killing, no poison and dead mouse or rat disposal and cleanup issues are avoided. Sounds great, but are they effective? The short answer is no. Despite the frequency with which these solutions are suggested on the internet there is little scientific evidence to support their efficacy. In fact, the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, a university based organization whose mission is to "consolidate existing and future information on integrated pest management (IPM) in wildlife damage management," has conducted extensive research on the topic of mouse repellents and states that there are "No effective ones known, including sonic devices." This includes, Peppermint Oil, Moth Balls, Dryer Sheets, ultrasonic devices and other heavily promoted herbal type pouches and remedies.

The only recognized, effective solution for preventing and controlling a mouse or rat infestation is a three step process consisting of:

  1. Exclusion: Thoroughly inspect your home from top to bottom looking for gaps 1/4" or larger. If a pencil eraser can fit through it so can a mouse. Look high and low. Mice can jump 12" vertically and can climb straight up any rough surface such as bricks and siding. Pay attention to the following areas:
    • Sill - the area where the walls meet the foundation.
    • Pipes - gaps often exist around pipes (air conditioning, gas, water, etc.) which enter the building.
    • Eaves - gaps occur at the soffit level. Remember, mice can climb!
    • Doors - be sure that the gap between a door and the floor is filled with stiff brush or other gap filling product.
  2. Sanitation: This includes good housekeeping practices and proper storage and handling of food materials, feed, and garbage. Bulk food should be stored in rodent proof containers and the perimeter of buildings and other structures should be clean of weeds and debris (including stacked lumber, firewood, and other stored materials) to discourage rodent activity.
  3. Population Reduction: If an infestation already exists, some form of population reduction is almost always necessary. This can be accomplished with traps or baits.

Xcluderis a USDA tested and proven effective method to seal holes and gaps and prevent intrusion of mice and other pests into your home or business.


Posted in Xcluder By Chris Burdett

Combat the Gap with Xcluder

Monday, October 26, 2015 2:43:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

Does it surprise you that one of the most common rodent entry points to any home or business is the door? Ironically though, it's not an open door that these pests are walking through, it's the small gaps found between the door and the floor and the door and the frame. For several years now Xcluder has been able to help combat the gap between the door and the floor with our highly effective Xcluder Pest Proof Door Sweeps.


We are proud that our door sweeps are discussed, and even recommended, in this article - "Of Rodent and Doors," written for PCT Magazine by expert rodentologist, Bobby Corrigan. The article provides some great information about urban rodents and their behavior around doors, as well as ways to inspect your premises and determine what type of exclusion you may need most.


Based on the research that Mr. Corrigan conducted and describes in this article, Xcluder has launched a new product to combat the gap between the door and the frame, or in the case of a pair of swinging doors, the gap that can appear where the doors meet, or where they are supposed to meet. The article teaches us that this area is known as the astragal, and it is an area that rodents are very familiar with. Xcluder Pest Control Astragal Door Seals are designed to combat this gap, and the article can assist you in identifying whether or not this area is a potential threat to your home or business! And of course, if it is, you can count on Xcluder to help you combat the gap!

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Fall Checklist For a Pest Free Winter

Thursday, October 1, 2015 3:01:10 PM America/Los_Angeles


The cooler temperatures have arrived, signaling that it’s time to prepare our homes for winter. Most likely you have a list of items that you do each and every year to winterize. May we suggest that you add pest proofing to the check list? Just as we are signaled to prepare ourselves for the long winter ahead, rodents instinctually begin to seek a warm and safe place to spend their winter months. Here is a quick list of some of the areas you want to inspect when you winterize your home to make sure that you stay pest free:




1. Take a walk around the entire foundation of your home, shed, and garage and check for cracks, gaps or holes. Even holes as small as ¼” can be a potential entryway for mice or other rodents. If you find any, fill that crack, gap or hole with Xcluder fill fabric. And don’t ignore the weep holes. A weep hole can have a crack or gap inside of it that may not be visible to you from the outside. We suggest filling all of your weep holes with Xcluder. The Xcluder fill fabric will keep the rodents out but still allow the weep hole to vent air and release moisture.



2. Check around all of your doors, door frames, and garage doors to ensure that there is a tight seal. Damaged, gnawed, worn, or missing door sweeps are one of the most common entry points for mice and other pests. An easy way to check door frames is at night. Turn on the brightest light in the room/garage, then go outside and see if you can see any light escaping around the door frame. If light can come out, then pests can get in! If you see light coming out at the base of the door then we highly recommend Xcluder door sweeps. They are easy to install and fit most common door sizes and types. The reinforced neoprene rubber not only provides an impenetrable seal for rodents but it also provides a weatherseal that can give you energy savings. Win-Win!


3. Check all of your windows, your screens and window panes and repair any damages. And don’t forget the windows down in the window wells. Even if your wells are covered, if there is the slightest gap the critters will get in the wells and can make an access route to your basement. Check the window shutters as well, even if they are just decorative. Often times a loose shutter can be a warm environment for a rodent to crawl behind, and in a short time they can chew their way through to your home. Simply tuck Xcluder in the gaps and the rodents won’t be able to get up there. And added features are that Xcluder is rust-proof, shrink proof, and chew proof so it won’t dislodge, nor leave any unsightly stains.


4. Check the openings where plumbing, gas and electric or cable wiring enters your home. Check dryer vents or exhaust vents too. If there is any gapping at all you can fill the area around the pipes or wires with strips of Xcluder, ensuring a tight and secure closure. And don’t think you only need to check the entry points near the ground. Most rodents will have no difficulty scaling siding, wires, or branches to get to openings high above the ground. And while you’re up there…


5. Be sure to inspect the roof line for any gaps. Ensure that the shingles, ventilators, chimney and vent screens are all in place and undamaged. Reattach areas that may be pulling away, or fill difficult to fix gaps with Xcluder. Make sure that your chimney cap is secure and in place as well. It is not uncommon for animals to try and climb down the chimney seeking warmth and shelter. . Trim back any trees or bushes so that they don’t provide easy access for rodents to get up or into your home. Complete this exclusion routine as you winterize your home and you will be able to live pest free.

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

NY Daily News Report - Xcluder Aiding MTA in War on Rats

Thursday, June 11, 2015 5:40:00 AM America/Los_Angeles

Subway rat eating garbage

Xcluder is proud to be part of the solution for the New York City MTA's war on rats. In this article, the NY Daily News highlights the benefits of Xcluder Door Sweeps and how they are keeping the rats out of the refuse rooms in their subway stations. If Xcluder can have this much impact on subway stations, imagine what they can do for your home or business.

  Photo credit - Anthony Delmundo, Freelance

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Exclusion is the Key to Protecting Your Home from Spring Pest Invasion

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 2:56:00 AM America/Los_Angeles


For nearly 40 years, April has been observed as National Pest Management Month by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). April is an ideal time to make home owners and business owners aware of the part they can take in protecting themselves from spring and summer pest invasions. Spring is species replenishment season. Squirrels, bats, birds, rats and mice will be seeking hollow cavities to nest, birth and raise their young. In urban/suburban regions, they will often find these cavities in attics, soffits, walls, behind shutters and siding, storage sheds and garages. Even the smallest hole is an invitation for pests to gain access. 


squirrel sticking out of roof

Bob Vila, one of the most recognized experts in the home improvement industry, has partnered with the NPMA to offer tips for home and business owners to defend themselves against spring and summer infestations. Never has the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” been more accurate than in regards to effective pest management for homes and businesses.


Exclusion – creating proven physical barriers against rodents and pests to keep them from entering a building in the first place – is widely recognized as the most effective pest management strategy and the theory behind most of the tips that Mr. Vila and the NPMA share below. It is no surprise that Xcluder Rodent and Pest Defense products can be used to fix the problem areas that Bob Vila and the NPMA have identified:


  • Conduct an audit of the building’s perimeter. Look for cracks, holes, loose siding, and missing shingles. Xcluder Pest Control Fill Fabric is ideal for filling any cracks and holes, and it can be tucked behind loose siding and/or shutters so that pests can’t build nests or hives in or behind them.
  • Fill outside cracks and entry points for utilities and pipes. Again, Xcluder fill fabric is a perfect solution for this process. Click here to watch a demonstration to see how easy it is to accomplish this task.
  • Repair loose mortar around foundation and replace weather stripping and damaged door sweeps. Once you install Xcluder Pest Control door sweeps you will have a barrier that is virtually impenetrable to rodents and other pests.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house and clean out clogged gutters.
  • Remove rotted tree stumps, keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the foundation and trim bushes and branches away from the building.
  • In case of an infestation, work with a licensed pest professional to properly identify the problem and determine the best treatment method.

Hopefully these tips will help you to have a glorious and pest-free Spring! Photo Credit – Tammra McCauley, Flickr Photo #249

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Can Your Business Afford "Free" Publicity?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 3:35:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

Protecting a restaurant's reputation is priority #1 for any owner operator, and the impact of a rodent infestation can be devastating. Word-of-mouth – the cornerstone marketing tool of every successful restaurant – becomes a restaurant's worst enemy in the wake of rodent infestation. An independent poll of foodservice consumers conducted by Orkin, Inc., found that more than 60% of frequent restaurant diners would tell five or more acquaintances about a pest sighting at a restaurant. As today's definition of 'acquaintance' has expanded to include social media contacts, one customer's circle of influence becomes global with a single click. And no need to take the customer's word for it – smartphone videos capturing rodent activity can be posted online and viral within a matter of hours. There is simply no containing a rodent story once exposed.


The loss of reputation, time, revenue and peace-of-mind that accompany a rodent infestation is why Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices are critical to the longevity of any restaurant. According to the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, a combination of exclusion and sanitation provides the best long-term and cost effective component of any rodent IPM program. Fundamentally, exclusion involves the elimination of cracks, crevices, and other spaces to prevent pests from entering a building. Rodents can squeeze through an opening as small as ¼ inch, which means access points are not hard for them to find. Common rodent entry points include: exterior doors, garage and/or loading dock doors, air vents, and at points where electrical, water, gas, sewer and HVAC lines enter the building. Rats and mice can also gain entry through small cracks in the foundation, by gnawing through rubber door sweeps, and beneath roofing tiles.


Rats cause an estimated $19 billion per year in losses and damages (Pimentel, et al. 1999), and Xcluder's line of rodent-proof exclusion products are a restaurant owner's best line of defense. Store-bought quick fixes such as steel wool and spray foam may satisfy a health inspector, but do not provide the level of protection that is critical to a restaurant's survival. Xcluder is the only exclusion material proven effective by the USDA APHIS Lab, offering unparalleled protection in the form of fill fabric for cracks and crevices, rodent-proof door seals for exterior doors and rodent-proof door sweeps for loading dock and garage doors. It’s cliché but true – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (and many, many pounds of contaminated food where rodents are concerned).


IPM practices involving exclusion and sanitation are simply the best prevention money can buy. Contact a pest management professional that understands and supports exclusion methods and work to develop and implement a comprehensive plan that protects both interior and exterior weaknesses. Reiterate to employees the importance of sanitation and facility monitoring for signs of rodent activity. And rely on proven, long-term exclusion solutions like those offered by Xcluder to protect both your customers and your business. Photo credit to Flickr - Caruba - Banksy Rat Mural in Soho, New York: There's No Such Thing As Good Publicity

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

After several years of wrangling with the EPA Reckitt Benckiser agreed to lessen the potency of its d-Con rat poison to address safety concerns raised by the EPA.  The state of California this year also banned d-Con sales to consumers starting in July. "Millions of households use mouse and rat poison products each year. Canceling these products will help prevent risks to children, pets and wildlife," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator at the EPA in a recent Wall Street Journal article.


The article also noted that "D-Con pellets, which are often placed in open trays, have been involved in tens of thousands of accidental ingestions by babies and young children over the years." In seeking to restrict the kinds of rodenticides used by consumers, the EPA had also pointed to risks of secondary poisoning to eagles, foxes and other wildlife that ate the poisoned mice or rats. This can be particularly problematic as, once poisoned, the mouse or rat will not die for several days during which time it will continue to eat the bait increasing the level of poison in its body. Fortunately for consumers there are more effective ways to  get rid of a mouse or rat problem that don't use poison and are just as easy to implement...


How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats Without Poison

Step One: Clean up Remove any food sources from around the house. Seal pet food and bird food in tightly closed containers and make sure that garbage cans are tightly sealed. Next, take a walk around the outside of your house looking for inviting mouse habitat. Remove any weeds, brush, or other debris from the perimeter of the building. Step Two: Get rid of the Mice or Rats  that are already inside To do this you are going to have to trap the mice as repellents are not effective. Regular snap type traps have been around forever and are very effective or if you prefer a no-kill approach there are also a variety of  live capture mousetraps readily available on the market.


Step Three: Prevent their return Find an seal all potential rodent entry points. This step is essential if you are to solve your mouse problem permanently. Thoroughly inspect your home from top to bottom looking for gaps 1/4″ or larger. If a pencil eraser can fit through it so can a mouse. Look high and low. Mice can jump 12″ vertically and can climb straight up any rough surface such as bricks and siding. Pay attention to the following areas:

    • Sill – the area where the walls meet the foundation.
    • Pipes – gaps often exist around pipes (air conditioning, gas, water, etc.) which enter the building.
    • Eaves – gaps occur at the soffit level. Remember, mice can climb!
    • Doors – be sure that that exterior doors are fitted with a good quality rodent proof door sweep.

Fill gaps and openings with a rodent proof material. Naturally, our preferred product is Xcluder Fill Fabric it's easy to install permanent and has been USDA tested and proven effective against mice and rats. Alternative solutions include steel wool and copper mesh. If you use steel wool in outdoor areas, be sure get stainless steel wool as the regular stuff will rust and deteriorate quickly. Follow these three steps and you'll have a mouse free and poison free house.

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Xcluder Featured on

Thursday, December 12, 2013 11:36:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

We received a nice mention from the folks at This Old House in their story on 35 Super-Fast Fixes and Easy Upgrades. Thanks guys!

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Which Products are Best to Plug Holes Where Pests are Entering Your Home?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:00:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

If you have researched mouse removal or pest extermination on the internet you will find that nearly all of the experts agree on one thing - The best way to ensure that you don’t get mice is to never let them enter your home in the first place.  And the experts also agree that the best way to stop those pests from getting in is to plug any small holes and cracks in and around your home.  Where the advice differs is in their opinions on how to go about filling up those holes and cracks.  They offer several creative solutions:


The solutions are many because they aren’t asked to meet any specific criteria.  As the homeowner and do-it yourselfer, the solution you will choose is most likely based on a combination of things such as permanence and effectiveness, ease of installation, aesthetics and cost.  Of course each situation will differ, but overall, a product that can meet each of these criteria effectively, certainly is the best overall choice.  Take a look at how each of the hole plugging solutions offered by the “experts” meets the criteria you most certainly need for your personal pest prevention solution. If you don’t have time to do it right then when will you have time to do it over?  This is a question you really need to ask yourself when trying to find a permanent means to keep pests from entering your home.  Mice, rats, and squirrels are all rodents, called so because the latin word rodentia means to gnaw, and these little buggers have a single pair of growing incisors that they keep short by gnawing.  They can, and will, chew through almost anything.  Using products like newspaper, towels, foam, duct tape, plastic, insulation, cardboard and caulk are all quick and handy but will be extremely temporary fixes. 


In a very short time, perhaps even a day, rodents can chew through all of these and you will be back on the internet looking for another solution. Steel wool, copper mesh, SOS pads and Xcluder are all products that can provide a permanent gnaw resistant, and therefore effective, solution for filling holes. Regarding the criteria of aesthetically pleasing, often times the holes or gaps that you are trying to fill are not in the line of sight, or they are located behind something, or in a remote corner of the house or basement.  Therefore you may not be extremely concerned with how the hole/gap looks once it’s plugged.  However, some of the more effective fill products can react to moisture and then rust, leaving a very unsightly streak down the wall or around the area.  Also unsightly is a hole filled with a brightly colored plug that doesn’t blend well with the surrounding surfaces.   Xcluder does not rust or react to moisture, and it fits snugly into the hole or gap so it can do the job without drawing attention to the hole.


When it comes to cost and ease of installation, many of the products listed above would be best because they are practically free and require little effort to install.  But of course you want a cost effective solution, and as previously mentioned, these products don’t offer a solution, they offer a temporary fix at best, to your pest problem.  So of all the products discussed it now comes down to Xcluder and copper mesh as the best solutions.  Here is a short video which compares these two on both cost and ease of installation.   After reviewing all of the criteria it is now certainly clear that the most effective, eco-friendly, permanent, and easy to install method for your money is Xcluder Rodent and Pest Control.  To learn more about Xcluder or to purchase it for yourself go to

Posted in Xcluder By Drew