How to Use Steel Wool for Pest Control

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023

They're not just for scrubbing! Here's how you can use steel wool pads to keep mice and other pests out of your house.

Chances are you’ve got some steel wool in your cabinet of cleaning supplies. But did you know that the versatile scrubbing tool can also be used for pest control? When used correctly, steel wool can prevent rodents and other small pests from infiltrating your home through its nooks and crannies. Here’s how.

Why Use Steel Wool for Pests?

Steel wool is a great way to block the small holes pests use to enter your home.

First off, steel wool is tough but flexible; it can be pushed into all shapes and sizes of cracks and crevices. Pests like rats and mice hate chewing through steel wool, since the sharp edges hurt them the more they try to chew.

Steel wool is also non-toxic, unlike many pest control solutions, so you can place it around your house without worrying about one of your pets or children getting into it.

How to Keep Out Pests

First, identify the places pests might entering your home. Here are some area you should check for potential pest entry points:

  • Around floor vents and dryer vents;.
  • Along the walls inside your attic;
  • In your basement and laundry room floor drains;
  • Along the walls in your basement or crawl space;
  • Around the corners inside closets;
  • Around any fireplaces/chimneys;
  • Between the floor and wall juncture;
  • Around doors;
  • Around the pipes under your sinks and washing machine;
  • Inside, under and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves;
  • Around the pipes leading to hot water heaters and furnaces.

Keep an eye out for telltale signs like rodent droppings, which can lead you to pest entry points. Once you find those points, plug them with as much steel wool as it takes to create a solid, impenetrable blockage. For good measure, apply some caulk to the exposed steel wool to seal it in place for good.

Best Steel Wool for Pest Control

Steel Wool For Pest Controlvia

If you do go with steel wool as a pest preventative, choose the right kind: medium grade. Lower grade steel wool is too soft and won’t provide enough of a challenge to deter pests, while higher grade is less malleable and harder to stuff into tight entry points. Medium grade offers just the right mix of flexible and rigid, providing a sturdy blockade.