Keep Pests Out

After a disaster, such as a hurricane, rats, mice and other pests might get in your home or building.

Rodents and other pests can cause a problem for your health. They can spread diseases and can bite people or pets. They also can trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions in some people.

Here are some things you can do to protect your home and family:
  • Cover or close all holes in your walls. Some rodents can squeeze through holes as small as a dime.
  • Wash anything you use for eating and cooking after you are done with them.
  • Store food and water in containers made of thick plastic, glass, or metal with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Throw out trash as soon as you can. Put trash in a covered trashcan or dumpster.
  • Clean up debris and trash as soon as possible outside your home.
  • Don’t eat or drink food or water that could have come in contact with rodents.
  • Trap any existing rodents using springloaded snap traps. When you clean up, wear rubber or plastic gloves, seal the dead rodent in two plastic bags, and throw away.
Cover page of CDC flyer with an image of a rat - keep pests out

Keep Pests Outpdf icon
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For more information about cleaning up safely and keeping rodents out, visit and

Infographic: Be Ready! Hurricanes Ready: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. Social Media at CDC Emergency