Why It’s Time to Start Thinking About Rodent Prevention
Something miraculous is about to happen. Although it happens every year, that doesn't make it any less miraculous. Soon, all of the leaves are going to turn red, orange, and yellow, and then fall from the trees. The air is going to become chilled and the ground is going to become hard. Leaves die and leaves are reborn. The freezing cold comes and the freezing cold goes away. The winter doesn't stay forever. It will be replaced by spring and everything will come back to life again. How amazing is that?! Well, something else is about to happen. Something that isn't quite so amazing. Rodents of all shapes and sizes are going to start trying to get into our homes. But, unlike the leaves and the cold air, a rodent infestation isn't going to correct itself. When spring comes, those rodents are likely to stay. Here are some things you can do to keep that from happening.
The number-one way to keep rodents out is to seal entry points, which rodents typically exploit. These can be found from the bottom of your home to the top.
- A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel and a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. Inspect your foundation wall for any chipped mortar or cracks that may give these tiny critters access.
- Frames around doors can have gaps. Examine all your exterior doors, especially double doors, and fix any gaps you find. Not only will this help keep rodents and bugs out, it will help keep heat in.
- Look closely around pipes and wire conduit. If you see gaps, use a caulking gun to seal things up.
- There are many access points on your roof. The best way to protect roof areas is to trim tree branches away from your roof and put wire mesh in downspouts to prevent rodents from crawling up.
When mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks come onto your property, food is a priority. If you can remove food or secure it, you can make your yard less interesting to these potential pests.
- Trash is an attractant for rodents and other wildlife. Make sure your trash is in bags and stored in sealed containers.
- If you have animals in your yard, be sure to put food down only during mealtimes.
- Birdseed is a strong attractant for some rodents. Keep bird feeders well away from your outside walls.
- Rodents eat bugs. The more bugs you have on your property, the more inviting your property will be to rodents. Everything you do to reduce bugs around your home will help to prevent a rodent infestation.
As rodents explore, they will be drawn to locations that have water resources.
- Inspect your gutters and make sure they are not obstructed or broken. This will prevent water from saturating your foundation perimeter.
- Inspect for pools of water near your home. If rainwater is pooling after storms, consider loosening the ground or creating a gradient to allow the water to run away from your home.
- Examine spigots and hoses for leaks and fix any you find.
- Look for objects that hold rainwater and stow them away if you can.
Remove Hiding Places
Most rodents are skittish creatures. When they come into your yard, they will gravitate to objects that give them a sense of safety.
- Stacked wood is a prime hiding place for rodents. Keep all stacked wood at least 20 feet away from your home if you want to reduce rodent activity.
- Toys left in the backyard provide great cover from predators.
- Overgrowth makes small rodents such as mice and rats feel safe. If you have overgrowth near your foundation walls, you'll encourage these rodents to explore your outside walls for vulnerabilities.
- If rodents can get underneath a deck, porch, patio, staircase, or some other external structure, they will have the perfect location to chew on your exterior walls in privacy. Install wire fencing to keep rodents out. Be sure to put the fencing at least a foot into the ground to prevent burrowing rodents (Norway rats, etc.) from getting under.
What To Do If You Already Have An Infestation
Are you already seeing the signs of a rodent infestation? If so, contact a professional to have that infestation properly dealt with. Rodents can cause many problems when they get into a home. They can spread illness, damage your property, and introduce fleas and other parasites, among other things.
For assistance with rodents and other pest issues in D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia, give us a call today to see which residential pest control plan is best for you!
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