National Pest Management Month
For many people, the word rodent means rat or mouse. But, rats and mice are not the only creatures in the world that are in the classification designated by the term rodent. Porcupines, squirrels, gophers, beavers, and hundreds more, are also considered rodents. So, why do mice and rats get top billing? Well, when was the last time you had a beaver or a porcupine get into your wall voids and nibble on the food in your pantry?
Not only are rats and mice most likely to invade your cabinets, they are the rodents that are most likely to crawl around your house while you're sleeping. This will move harmful bacteria from your trash to your food prep surfaces, silverware drawer, plate cabinet, and food storage shelves. This makes rats and mice public enemy number one. And, number two.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with these two types of rodents, or the illnesses they can bring into your home. Here are a few prevention tips that will get rodents out of your home and keep them out.
Accessible trash. There are many items in our trash that mice and rats consider food. The smell of these items will attract rats and mice. If you have no top on your trash, mice and rats may be able to get into it. Mice can jump a foot in the air, and rats are capable of an impressive 2-foot vertical leap.
Harborage. If you have objects in your yard, mice and rats will use these for cover and harborage. Norway rats will even dig tunnels under junk piles and establish a burrow. Consider moving construction materials, woodpiles, and other externally stored items away from your exterior walls. And, if possible, elevate them.
Water. Mice and rats tend to establish their home near a water source. If you have pooled water in your yard, these areas of water accumulation should be addressed.
Overgrowth. Mice and rats feel safer in areas that are overgrown with vegetation. Keeping things trimmed and neat will deter these creatures.
It is important to do regular inspections of your yard for signs of rodents. Inspect for droppings left near walls or on horizontal surfaces, chewing damage, the smell of urine, holes dug in the ground, and grease marks on walls. Setting traps is also a form of rodent surveillance. This is discussed in the section, "Bait and Trap," below.
When mice and rats explore your walls, it is vital that they do not find any entry points, or vulnerable areas, to exploit. When water softens wood, or bugs nibble tiny holes, rodents will be happy to take advantage of this. Inspect your exterior walls for wood rot and insect damage, and repair these spots.
If you find gaps around pipes or electrical conduit, fill these holes. Many mice fit through a hole the size of a dime, and many rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. And, if a hole is too tiny, they can make it bigger with their sharp, strong teeth.
This is often a control measure homeowners use inside their home. But, baiting and trapping is a powerful tool for determining pest pressures around a home. This should be done by a pest professional. Effective baiting and trapping require an education in the habits and habitats of these creatures.
The harder it is for mice and rats to get a meal inside your home, the less likely it is that they will stay. But, this is harder than it sounds. Mice can find a meal from a lot of places, and rats have powerful teeth that can cut through concrete and some metals. Keep all interior trash in sealed containers. Store vulnerable paper and cardboard packaged foods in hard plastic containers.
Keep your home clean of food debris. Leave dishes in a sink full of water, instead of in a stack next to the sink.
There is only one foolproof way to be sure that no rodents are living in your home and that is to have an experienced and educated professional do all of the above. At American Pest, our team uses modern integrated pest management methods and advanced pest control protocols to inspect, monitor, bait, trap, treat, and pest-proof homes to prevent rodent infestations.
Don't wonder if your rodent infestation is gone. Get rodent control you can trust. Reach out to American Pest for a free estimate today.
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