There are countless products on the market and being sold online promising to keep pests like mice, rats, and bats out of your home. And while many of these products can be effective, none may work quite as well as steel wool.
Since Victorian times, steel wool has been a household staple for a variety of chores. But many people may not be aware of how effective steel wool can actually be when it comes to a quality form of pest control.
In today’s article, we are talking about how steel wool can prevent pests like mice, bats, rats, and other invaders from getting into your home without the use of toxic chemicals or traps.
Let’s get started!
But First, Let’s Chat About Mice, Rats, and Bats
Mice and rats are rodents, but bats are not related to rodents at all.
When it comes to pest control, mice, bats, and rats tend to be at the top of the list of home-invading foes. Unfortunately, these three animals are often attracted to areas where people live thanks to certain conditions that make food, shelter, and water readily available to them.
Here’s what you should know about mice, bats, and rats when looking for the best steel wool for these creepy critters.
Mice are small rodents prevalent throughout most of the world. Some mice are kept as pets, though many people consider mice to be a common nuisance. Though small, mice can carry serious diseases that can be harmful and even deadly to people.
One of the most common diseases mice are known to carry is transmitted through their feces and is known as hantavirus. This virus can be inhaled and cause serious health risks.
In the United States, one of the most common home-invading rodents is the house mouse. This rodent can give birth to between three to 14 young at a time and is capable of up to ten litters a year.
Because mice seek out warmth and shelter, they may choose your home as a nesting site. This can quickly lead to an infestation.
Some common signs of mice in your home include mouse droppings, scratching sounds, a foul odor, gnawed wood, runways, nests, and strange noises in your walls.
Both mice and rats are rodents. As such, they are quite similar in their appearance. However, rats are significantly larger than mice, which is one of their main differences. Like mice, rats seek out shelter and warmth, especially during poor weather.
More than anything, rats will seek out places with abundant food sources. Like mice, rats can also carry some serious diseases that can be detrimental to both people and pets in the home. These diseases include Murine typhus, borreliosis, plague, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and more.
Rats are social animals, and they are incredibly clever. They can find their way into your home in a number of ways. Once inside, rats can cause serious damage to interior walls and even electrical wires.
Rats can nest in your home, with rats capable of having up to six litters a year with between five to ten young per litter.
Last we have bats. Bats are greatly feared throughout the world due to their rumored propensity to carry rabies. The truth is, less than one percent of bats actually do carry rabies. However, it is said that bats who are acting strangely or are seeking out the presence of people or animals are much more likely to have rabies.
For this reason, any contact with a bat should be reported.
However, most bats generally keep to themselves and are even considered quite beneficial. They feed on a wide variety of pests like mosquitos, moths, flies, and other insects that are considered a nuisance to people.
Bats are protected, which can pose a problem when they get into your home. Roosting bats in particular cannot be removed until the young have “flown the nest” so to speak.
These animals are attracted to dark, quiet spaces like attics, eaves, and sometimes even the interior of walls. Some common signs of a bat infestation in your home include a foul odor, the sign of bat feces, strange noises, and bats coming or going from your home during dawn or dusk.
How Do Mice, Rats, and Bats Get Into Homes?
Rats are excellent climbers. Mice, rats, and bats can all squeeze into holes smaller than a quarter.
If you’re looking for the best steel wool for mice, rats, and bats, it helps to know first why these pests are getting into your home. It’s important to understand this so you can know how to best use the steel wool to keep these animals out.
Mice and rats in particular can squeeze into spaces that are much smaller than they are. This makes even the tiniest cracks or holes along your foundation a potential entry point for these pests.
In fact, mice are capable of squeezing through holes that are around the diameter of an average-sized pen, while rats can push their way into spaces no larger than the size of a quarter!
Both mice and rats can also jump, and rats are well-known climbers. This means that rodents can find their way into your home through vulnerabilities in your siding, through gaps in doors or windows, spaces in your roof, and more.
Bats, like their rodent counterparts, can also squeeze into very small cracks and crevices. In fact, bats are able to make their way into holes no larger than a dime.
They often find their way into the home through upper levels like second floors or attics, though it is possible for bats to get into the first floor of the home if they are dwelling near eaves.
So, how does the best stell wool for mice, rats, and bats play into keeping these pests out? Keep reading!
What Is Steel Wool And How Can It Keep Pests Out?
Steel wool consists of woven bits of metal that are difficult for mice, rats, or bats to chew through.
Originally coined as a new product in the late 1800s, steel wool has been around for as long as Victorian times. In fact, it was and continues to still be a staple for cleaning supplies in most households.
Steel wool is not actually made of steel, though it is made of a variety of types of metal like copper, wire, aluminum, bronze, and sometimes steel particles.
This metal is produced as fine, thin threading and bound together into a small ball. Most people use steel wool as an apparatus to scrub with. Steel wool is incomparable to traditional sponges of today, which are made with synthetic fibers which don’t have anywhere near the scrubbing power of metal on metal.
Another unique quality of steel wool? The metal threading makes for an impenetrable barrier when looking for ways to keep pests like mice, rats, and bats out of your home.
The sharp corners and strong metals of the thin threading are not only quite difficult for these pests to chew through, but it also causes pain to the animal’s gums. The majority of the time, mice, rats, and bats will avoid chewing through steel wool, making it an excellent deterrent and temporary sealant for small holes or potential entry points.
While it is effective, even the best steel wool for mice, rats, and bats is not designed to be a permanent solution. Steel wool should be used as a form of preventative while you find other solutions to repairing or sealing vulnerabilities around your home.
With all that noted, let’s now take a look at the best steel wool for mice, bats, and rats.
The Best Steel Wool For Mice, Rats, And Bats
Steel wool is an effective solution for keeping bats, mice, and rats at bay, but it’s not a permanent one.
Steel wool can come in a variety of grades, and the best steel wool for mice, rats, and bats is going to be thicker steel wool that is more coarse and difficult to chew from. Most people recommend using steel wool in grade medium.
Avoid steel wool that is larger grade as this can provide mice, rats, and bats with an opportunity to squeeze through threading. Smaller grade steel wool for mice, rats, and bats may be easier for some determined animals to chew through.
If you’re not sure which is the best steel wool for mice, rats, and bats in your area, we have listed several we recommend.
Xcluder Rodent Control Steel Wool
When looking for the best steel wool for mice, bats, and rats, it’s helpful to look for a steel wool product that is specifically designed for keeping these pests out of your house. The above steel wool product by the Xcluder Store is a steel wool blend designed to help keep pests out, particularly mice and rats.
The product is available for order in one roll, three rolls, or six rolls depending on your needs. You can size it based on the hole or crevice you are trying to fill, and it is effective against gaps around pipes, attic vents, weep holes, gaps in windows, and more.
Steel Wool DIY Kit
Another steel wool product we recommend as the best steel wool for mice, bats, and rats in the above steel wool DIY kit by the Pick For Life Store. You can use the above steel wool for a variety of different household needs, including for plumbing, scrubbing, cleaning, fixing cracks, and of course, keeping pests out.
The product is easy to use and can help repel a number of pests including mice, rats, bats, and more. Each order includes a ten foot long roll of steel wool that you can use as you need.
20 Foot Steel Wool Roll, Medium Grade
A larger amount of steel wool for mice, rats, and bats may be ideal if you’re dealing with a fixer-upper or repairing a home with quite a few vulnerabilities. The above order of steel wool for mice, rats, and bats includes 20 feet of steel wool.
If that’s not enough, you can also order it in 40 feet. This steel wool is specially made to keep rodents out of the home by sealing vulnerabilities. It is designed to be cut by you according to where it needs to fit, and you can use it to fill ventilation holes, window gaps, duct systems, wall panels, and more.
Steel Wire Wool
Another steel wool product that we like and recommend when it comes to the best steel wool for mice, rats, and bats is the above steel wire wool by the LOOBANI Store. This steel wool is medium grade, making it perfect for filling in gaps, holes, crevices, and vulnerabilities in siding.
It also comes with a pair of gloves so you can easily stuff it into holes without accidentally injuring yourself.
The pack comes in an order of two and you can order it in a 20-foot roll or a 30-foot roll.
2 Pack Steel Wool DIY Kit
Last, we have the ultimate DIY kit when it comes to steel wool for mice, rats, and bats. This kit includes medium-grade steel wool that is designed as a gap blocker for rodents and bats. It also includes a pair of gloves and scissors that help to cut through the steel wool easily so you can size it as you need.
It is made with a multi-fiber blend that ensures it will stand up to those sharp rodent teeth, and it comes ready to use. It does not corrode easily and each order includes 10.5 feet of steel wool.
Alternatives or Products To Use Along With Steel Wool For Mice, Rats, and Bats
Other products you can purchase may provide a longer-term solution for rodent control.
As we mentioned above, steel wool for mice, rats, and bats can be an effective form of pest control, but it’s certainly not permanent.
In fact, this video below talks in more detail about how to use steel wool for pests.
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But remember, steel wool provides a temporary solution to pests entering your home and allows you time to repair vulnerabilities, cracks, and crevices so that you can better keep these animals at bay.
If you are looking for a more long-term solution to using steel wool for mice, rats, and bats, or if you are looking for products to prevent mice, rats, and bats, we recommend using some of the products listed below.
DAP Touch ‘n Foam Mouse Shield
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If you’d prefer to use a product that may be a bit more long-lasting than steel wool for mice, bats, and rats, we recommend using the above product by DAP. This product is a foam sealant that you can spray directly into holes, gaps, crevices, and cracks to keep not only mice at bay but also a variety of other pests.
This sealant can even help keep out cold drafts during winter weather! It is safe to use indoors and does not have a strong or lingering odor. The product comes in two different colors depending on your needs, but the above order arrives in a cream color.
Great Stuff Smart Despenser Gaps and Cracks
The above sealant is another product you might consider if you’re considering forgoing steel wool for mice, rats, and bats and would prefer to go straight to a sealant. The above product, called Great Stuff, comes in a smart dispenser that is designed to fit into small crevices, gaps, and cracks for easy repair.
The product works quickly and its new design helps to reduce messes and drips. You can reuse it for up to 30 days if it begins to degrade while searching for a more permanent solution to your home repairs.
Ultrasonic Sound Repellent
Ultrasonic Sound Repellents like the product listed above can help to keep rodents and bats from wanting to come into your home in the first place. Though harmless to people and pets, ultrasonic sound repellents work by releasing ultrasonic sounds and vibrations that are highly irritating to mice, rats, and bats.
The product includes a few different settings so you can choose the strength you need it to be on. It also works for other pests, not just mice, bats, and rats.
Mighty Mint Rodent Repellent
Mighty Mint Rodent Repellent Spray is a natural alternative to mouse poisons, sound machines, and steel wool that you can use to repel rodents. Mice, bats, and rats are deterred by the strong smell of mint and the above spray works simply by using essential oils like peppermint oil and other natural ingredients.
The product is safe for people and pets and has a pleasant smell, which is a bonus! Because it is mint, it can also help repel a variety of insects and pests like spiders, roaches, ants, and more.
DIY Methods For Keeping Mice, Rats, And Bats Out
Peppermint oil and lavender oil both make effective forms of pest control.
While some may argue that using steel wool for mice, rats, and bats is a form of do it yourself pest control, there are other forms of DIY rodent and bat deterrent you can use in a pinch.
Some of the best products not only for prevention but also sealant for holes and vulnerabilities can be found right in your home’s medicine cabinet, beneath your sink, or even in your pantry!
Use Essential Oils To Repel Them
Essential oils can work to repel mice, rats, and bats, thanks to the strong smell essential oils produce. Some of the best essential oils you can use to repel mice, bats, and rats include oils like:
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- And Citrus Oil
There are a few ways you can go about making an essential oil spray to repel rats, mice, and bats. The first way is to combine 15 to 20 drops of one of the above essential oils with two cups of water into a spray bottle.
Spray this solution around your home and around windows, doors, and crawlspaces where pests may be able to find their way in. For best results, you should spray your oil spray at least once every few days.
You can also use cotton balls that are saturated in the essential oils of your choice to deter pests. Leave freshly soaked cotton balls around your home to repel mice, rats, bats, and even other pests like insects and spiders.
Replace these cotton balls once every three days.
Try Apple Cider Vinegar And Water Spray
Mice, rats, and bats hate the scent of apple cider vinegar. You can use this to your advantage by mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and using it as a cleaner. You can also add a shot of vodka to the spray or a bit of rubbing alcohol to give it an extra kick of cleaning power.
This spray can also repel other pests like ants and roaches, and it is perfectly safe to use in homes with children and pets. In fact, it is so safe you can even use it in pantries and cabinets where food is stored and prepared.
Cayenne Pepper Or Garlic Cloves
Cayenne pepper and garlic cloves are strong-smelling and spicy. For animals, both products can cause irritation to their nasal cavities, eyes, and throat. Sprinkle cayenne around entry points of your home to help keep rats, bats, and mice at bay, or crush fresh garlic up and leave it in attics to repel bats.
Try Using Fabric Softener Sheets Instead Of Steel Wool
If you find small holes or potential entry points along your foundation and don’t have any steel wool for mice, rats, or bats on hand, we recommend trying fabric softener sheets. The smell of fabric softener is repulsive to pests like mice, rats, and bats, and they will avoid it.
However, this again is not a permanent solution. Be sure to use fabric softer temporarily while you look for other ways to keep rats, mice, and bats out of your home.
Other Tips On Protecting Your Home From Pests
Prevention is key when it comes to repelling mice, rats, and bats.
Using steel wool for mice, rats, and bats can be an effective form of temporary pest control, but again this method is not a permanent solution.
While it can work for a time, there are other steps we recommend you take when it comes to keeping pests like mice, bats, and rats outside where they belong.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Product For The Specified Pest
Depending on what you are dealing with, whether it is a rat, bat, or mouse problem, you’ll want to choose a quality pest control specified for your problem pest. The best pest control products are going to provide long-lasting protection.
Though many forms of pest control are chemical pest controls, there are also plenty of natural options as well to help protect your home and family from pests.
Ensure You Keep Up With Routine Home Maintenance
Ensuring you keep up with routine home maintenance is key to reducing the number of pests you come across in your home.
Since bats, rats, and mice can squeeze into homes through vulnerabilities as small as a quarter (and sometimes smaller), it is important to be vigilant and not assume that a crack or crevice is too small.
If you find any vulnerability around your home’s siding, on your roof, or near entry points, repair them as quickly as possible.
Keep Your Home Tidy And Clean
Sweep and vacuum often to help prevent rodents and other pests, including insects like roaches and ants. Remember that even the smallest crumbs left behind can attract pests.
Store Food And Garbage Properly
Try storing food in airtight containers made of plastic or glass. Doing this can help deter pests because it won’t attract them by smell. Furthermore, storing your food this way will protect it from potential pest invaders if they do get into your home, which in turn can help prevent you from getting sick.
If All Else Fails, Contact A Professional Pest Control Expert
While we do love the best steel wool for mice, rodents, and bats, we also know that it’s not always as simple as that to manage a pest problem in your home. Bats can be especially tricky to get rid of considering they are protected in many regions throughout the United States.
If you’re struggling with mice, bats, or rats and you have tried the above steps and the best steel wool for mice, bats, and rats, it may be a good idea to contact a professional pest control expert for further help.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to use the best steel wool for mice, rats, and bats.
Now we want to hear from you! What do you think about using steel wool as a temporary form of pest control? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.