Rodent Prevention in Shop

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Forum topic by skeemer posted 01-25-2014 03:27 PM 977 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 2389 days

01-25-2014 03:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop rodent

It has been a number of months since I last posted on here, mostly because I’ve been inactive from woodworking through the winter combined with very little time from having a 9 month old! But as the weather warms up, I plan to get back in the shop and start a new project.

That said, I’m planning to semi-finish my shop/shed to make it a more comfortable work space. Right now, my shed is unfinished, and the previous owner had hung fiberglass insulation on two of the 3 walls (last wall is a garage door). When I first moved into the house, I found that the insulation had become a popular nesting site for rodents, and there was nesting materials and mouse/rat poop all over the place around the framing. I’ve cleaned up the shed since, and removed some of the insulation (just near ground level). I would like to hang drywall on the walls to give me more tool storage solutions, among other reasons. At this time, I don’t think insulating is worth it as I only spend short periods in the shed, so no need to keep it at a given temperature. My concern is that once I hang drywall, that rodents will once again nest inside the framing. Since the shed has a garage door, I don’t think it will be possible to seal the shed up enough to prevent rodents.

My first though to prevent this would be to line the bottom 2×4s of the framing with a spike system (such as the spike strips used to keep birds from landing/nesting on buildings). I’m not sure this is the best option, so I wanted to see what others have done to keep rodents out of their shops.


5 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 01-25-2014 05:00 PM

I would keep the insulation except for the stuff they have been nesting in but seal up the walls so nothing can get in there. I would try to get on top of the rodent situation by trapping or maybe invest in a shop cat. Once they are gone a cat will keep it that way.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2512 days

#2 posted 01-25-2014 05:28 PM

Shop help. Especially the feline sort.

I have five, all specialists in their particular fields of endeavor:
One catches birds that get in.
One catches mice and rats.
One specializes in Palmetto bugs aka: Water Roaches, Oriental Roaches, etc….. you know them if you are from the south, monster sized roaches that get everywhere.
One makes sure all the equipment is working properly, usually while I am using it. Lately I have had to bar her from making inspections while the saws are running.
One catches snakes. She has caught snakes since she first adopted us 4 years ago. She doesn’t care what kind, rattler, cotton mouth, coral, copperhead, chicken snake, coachwhip, blue racer, etc….. she just picks them up in her mouth and takes them down to the creek, plays with them for a few minutes and lets them go.

Get rid of all the insulation in my opinion. It has rodent scent in it, no matter what and they will always come back to that.
You’ll have a difficult time keeping critters out unless you put a decent sweep under the garage door and cover all the other entrance holes with metal.

On the shop itself:
If you don’t provide a controlled environment inside your shop, your cast iron and steel tools will rust. It doesn’t need to be heated but it does need to have the humidity controlled.
Insulate, insulate, insulate! When you have as much as you think you need> Insulate some more!
It doesn’t matter if where you live get’s hot in the summer or cold in the winter…. with temp and humidity variance, most shops will be cooler in the morning when the sun comes up and any moisture in the air will condense on surfaces everywhere. Even on drywall, which may or may not cause mold eventually, not to mention making the moisture content of your lumber to rise and fall, making it swell, shrink, warp, bow, crown and turn into a pretzel.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View alohafromberkeley's profile


257 posts in 2429 days

#3 posted 01-25-2014 07:15 PM

The house I live in has an old garage that was a rat hotel. Took 2 weekends of pulling everything out and what was contaminated was either trashed or washed down with strong bleach solution and wire brushed. Luckily, I live with 6 others and we tackled the problem as a group. One thing that has helped enormously is to seal all holes with wire mesh. Larger openings had concrete board or plate glass attached (rodents don’t chew glass). It’s amazing how small an opening they can squeeze through. Funny thing is that we found a bunch of different brands of rat poison wrappers/boxes in a corner. We never baited using these brands (at least 3 different brands)- they apparently drug them in from neighbors garages/basements as part of their food cache and ate the bait at their leisure in our garage.

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3921 days

#4 posted 01-26-2014 03:05 AM

I had a similar issue at my last house. I tore out every inch of insulation then used that foam insulation that comes in a can to seal up every crack along the walls from floir to ceiling. Never had any other problems.

Good luck.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2099 days

#5 posted 01-26-2014 03:37 AM

As mentioned above, pull the insulation. Then take a cheap pump up garden sprayer and fill it with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water, and spray the place down real good. Fill cracks, voids, etc. and re-insulate. Stop by a sporting goods store and pick up a good Co2 pellet pistol, get some cheap cheeze for bait, and a bottle of JD, then sit and wait for the little pizzers to come back.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

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