3 Tips for Preventing Rodent Infestations in your Home
No homeowner wants unwelcome rodents living inside as they bring with them several health concerns for humans and pets residing there. Because both rats and mice can reproduce quickly, seeing just one of these pests likely means there is a bigger problem in the works. Prevention is always the approach of choice when it comes to rodents and other household pests. But, how does a homeowner protect themselves and their homes from rodents?
Potential Dangers of Rodents in the Home
Both rats and mice often carry diseases, parasites, and viruses. In entering a home, they bring with them the risk of transmitting any of these to those living in the space. Even if a human has no physical contact with a mouse or rat, a disease can spread between them via feces or urine left behind as well as food contamination. Droppings and urine also smell, especially with large-scale infestations, making living in the space equally as unpleasant as it is dangerous.
The dangers of rodents in the home extend to the physical structure as well. Rodents tend to chew or gnaw on items to travel and gather building materials for their nests. In doing so, they can easily cause structural damage to insulation, walls, electrical wiring, etc. When gnawing on wires, damage potential extends to starting fires or causing irreversible damage to the home’s electrical system.
Tips for Preventing Rodent Infestations
Rodents are persistent, so it’s difficult to fully prevent them from ever making their way inside a home. However, taking a few defensive actions can greatly limit that possibility.
- Limit Entry Points into the Home
Rodents can squeeze through tiny spaces, so it’s critical that homeowners seal any holes or cracks around the foundation of the home quickly upon noticing them. Regular perimeter checks are wise to spot these holes quickly. Check for foundation cracks, damaged weatherproofing, or cracks around door and window openings. Install door sweeps on all exterior doors for further protection.
In doing regular perimeter checks, also ensure the tidiness of outdoor spaces near the structure. Keep any wood piles far from the building (at least 10 feet) and clean any dense areas of weeds or shrubbery that may conceal or provide access to entry points around the home. For homes with chimneys, adding screens to any vents or openings protects the home from rodents making their way up to the roof. Be careful with what you personally bring inside the home as well. It’s not unheard of that rodents find their way inside via grocery bags or delivered packages
- General Tidiness & Cleanliness
Since rodents will eat many of the same foods humans consume, keeping that food from being readily available to rodents makes a home far less appealing to invade. Keeping a clean and tidy home – especially the kitchen – is crucial for all types of pest prevention. Clean up spills quickly, keep all food in tightly sealed containers, and don’t let dishes pile up in the sink.
Tidiness in the pantry or other storage areas is also important. Regularly clean these spaces, wiping away crumbs and replacing any cracked or broken storage containers. Empty the trash regularly and ensure any containers storing pet food are rodent-proof. Standing water is attractive for rodents, so clean any leaks and repair them immediately upon notice. A dehumidifier can be a great tool as well to limit moisture build-up in areas prone to wetness.
- Invest in Regular, Professional Rodent Inspections/Treatments
Warning signs of a potential infestation often aren’t noticed until that problem has intensified. The earliest of signs are best caught by professional and highly-trained pest control experts. It’s smart for any homeowner to schedule regular pest inspections to quickly identify and treat issues before they escalate. But, why get an inspection if there is no visible infestation? In pest control, being proactive is the best way to keep a building pest-free. Regular inspections mean regular assessments of a home’s defense against all types of pests including rodents, termites, and cockroaches. Any weaknesses or vulnerabilities identified in that defense can be addressed before they lead to pest issues inside.
What to do when Prevention isn’t Enough
In some cases, even the most diligent prevention efforts aren’t enough to keep rodents from inhabiting a home. The EPA provides guidance on signs to look for to identify an infestation, including:
- Droppings, especially near food items or in cupboards
- Noticeable chewing or holes in food products, walls, or floors
- Stale or musty smells in low-traffic areas
Once rodents invade a home (especially if gone unnoticed for some time), it’s difficult to quickly and completely eliminate the problem without the help of experts. Partnering with a local team of pest control experts is the best way to ensure all rodents are removed from the home and that preventative measures are implemented to make it more difficult for the issue to return in the future.
The team at Knockout Pest Control knows the urgency and importance of dealing with a rodent issue right the first time. When we respond to a mouse or rat infestation, we effectively treat and remove the problem AND can develop and implement a customized prevention plan to address entry points specific to the home and best prevent rodents from reinfesting the structure. If you suspect a rodent issue in your home (or business) or want to learn more about pest prevention services contact the team at Knockout Pest Control today (and save $120 on rodent treatments)!