Winter Pest Threats Coming To Your Town

11/17/2014


Mice   

Will pests try to get into your home this winter? Yes. It happens every year. That is why it is important to protect yourself from these perpetrators.

If I were to write up a police report, the usual suspects would be mice, rats, cockroaches and raccoons. These are the most notorious criminals, with rap sheets that include: breaking and entering, aggravated robbery, poisoning and vandalism. But in criminal law there is something called "intent." If you have intent to commit a crime it is worse than if you accidentally commit the crime. It's like the difference between murder and manslaughter. The sad thing is, pests don't have criminal intent. These creatures are just looking to get in out of the cold. Is it their fault they're nasty? Here's what you need to do to protect yourself against unlawful entry--intentional and unintentional.

Mice and rats. These two rodents require the same exclusion methods--though it is important to remember that rats are bigger and can do more gnawing damage than a mouse. If you have rats, you'll need more robust protection. A rat can lift a barrier weighing as much as a pound and can slip through a hole the size of a quarter. To protect yourself from their damaging overbite and the pestilence they carry on their fur and in their belly, try these tips:

  • Use a caulking gun to fill in rotted holes or cracks in your foundation.

  • Push wire mesh in the bottom of downspouts.

  • Put a screen over your chimney.

  • Put prickly things where power lines meet your home to prevent rodents from coming across.

  • Cut tree limbs back away from the roof or roofline.

Roaches. These nasty little buggers can slip through a crack as thin as ¼ of an inch. That means door sweeps and weather stripping have to be in good working order.

  • Use a caulking gun to seal cracks around light fixtures, pipes and utility boxes.

  • Seal your cabinet and pantry food in hard plastic containers. Roaches go where the food sources are.

  • Clean the sides of your oven and under your fridge. Roaches love rotting juice and decaying juices.

  • Roaches are exceptionally hard to protect against, so call a professional to spray your exterior or foundation. Have them show you exclusion methods, specific to your home.

Raccoons. To protect your home against raccoons, you might as well treat them like a human burglar. Raccoons are smart. Really smart. And they have fingers that are agile enough to take a quarter out of your pocket. Here's how you keep them out.

  • Lock your windows--even on the third floor and attic.

  • Put prickly things on your lattice, exterior piping or other climbable objects.

  • Make sure to fix any broken windows or rotted holes. Raccoons will make these holes bigger to get in.






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