Survival Skills: How to Rodent-Proof Your Food Storage

The last thing you want to see in your carefully stored food is evidence of mice and rats having their way with your stuff. Having the right containers, poisons, and traps can be a big step forward in rodent-proofing your food stores. And they beat the noise and smell of a cupboard full of cats.

Put It In Glass: Mason jars are my favorite glass containers. These canning-friendly jars with tight fitting metal lids will keep any critter out of your storage (rodent or bug). The biggest jars make a great receptacle for rice and other staple foods. Twenty pounds of rice fits perfectly into 6 of the large "half-gallon" mason jars.

Put It In Metal: Canisters and boxes made of metal are another great barrier to rodents. Those big, ugly Christmas popcorn tins can hold a lot of food and supplies. Most metal containers will work for food storage, but avoid direct contact between your food and galvanized metal. Galvanizing is done with some pretty nasty chemicals.
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Poison the Vermin:** Rat and mouse poison is a nice backup strategy for a rodent-free pantry. A top pick is d-CON, which is a proven and effective brand. Just make sure that your pets cannot reach the poison--and hope that your pets don't eat a poison-filled mouse.

Trap 'Em: Mouse traps and glue boards can be your final line of defense to take care of any beasts that manage to avoid the poison. My favorite brand is Victor, as I've caught more mice and fewer of my own fingers with these traps.

Do you have a favorite way to keep pests at bay? Please share it in the comments.