Cement is a popular building material for its sturdiness, durability and relatively inexpensive cost. However, some determined rodents have been known to burrow through cement in order to make their way into a delicious vegetable garden or comfortable indoor space. The solutions to keeping these pests out depend on what type of rodent you have on your hands.
Rats eat household scraps, spread disease and can gnaw through electrical cables. A young rat can burrow through a space only half an inch in diameter. Given enough time, a rat can burrow through solid concrete. However, they have an easier time getting through softer surfaces such as wood. A combination of metal mesh and concrete will be effective for denying rats entry into your house.
Mice, while cuter than rats, are household pests. In the winter, they seek shelter and food indoors. Any seeds, cereals, sweets or grains lying around in your home are fair game for mice. An adult mouse, with its tiny body, can squeeze itself through a space as small as one quarter inch. Mice also like to burrow through freshly laid concrete, before it has dried. Mixing broken glass with the concrete will make this more difficult for them.
Gophers, hungry to get into a vegetable garden, will go through, around or over the cement blocks that surround the garden. You can keep them out of your garden, using the metal mesh known as hardware cloth. Plant the vegetable bed on top of the cloth. Join sheets of hardware cloth together with wire. Place your cement blocks on the cloth to hold it down. Crimp the edges of the cloth upward to ensure a tight fit with the blocks.
Moles can exert a digging force of many times their body weight, due to specialised bone structure. They can be a landscaper's worst nightmare, undermining cement slabs and weakening the surface of a lawn by digging multiple tunnels. A mole has the capacity to tunnel at 18 feet per hour, and can crawl at a speed of up to 80 feet per minute through an existing tunnel. Harpoon traps are a particularly effective way of getting rid of moles in your yard.