Make a safer home for the holidays: Eliminate and Prevent Rats and Mice
The leaves are changing colors to beautiful yellows, reds and oranges. The smell of pumpkin spice is in the crisp autumn air. And all of the sudden you see or hear signs of critters in your home! Fall is the time of year that rodents, especially mice and rats, start trying to move from the chilly outdoors into your warm, dry house. But you can't afford to have a rodent problem - you're having guests for the holidays! What can you do to prepare your home and prevent unwanted pest guests?
Never fear! There are steps you can take to protect your home and remove or prevent an infestation.
First, examine your home for signs of a mouse or rat infestation:
- Spotting a mouse is probably the most obvious sign of an infestation, and if you see one during the day that is a sign that your infestation may be serious. Mice are shy and nocturnal, so the appearance of a mouse can indicate a large population since other adult mice may already occupy the more protected, hidden places for mice to nest.
- Mice droppings can be found in places where mice live, travel, or stop to eat or collect food. Their favorite areas are usually attics and crawl spaces, remote, hard-to reach places that are out of normal human activity. Removing the droppings and re-inspecting at a later time is a good way to figure out whether a mouse population is still active inside your building. REMEMBER: ALWAYS USE RESPIRATORY PROTECTION WHEN REMOVING MOUSE DROPPINGS.
- A small pest can do some large damage. Mice like to gnaw and chew on things in their surroundings. So you may be facing an infestation if you find chewed debris like paper, bits of wood, pieces of plastic or bits of wood and gnaw marks along the edges of boards or other hard materials. Footprints and tracks left in dusty locations can also be a sign of mouse infestation.
- Mice build nests to sleep in, so if you see nests in burrows or holes in your wall, this definitely is a sign of mouse activity.
- Sometimes you can hear your unwanted visitors scurrying from one location to another or gnawing and scratching noises within your walls. This is a sure sign of a rodent problem.
- Smelling odors from a dead rat or mouse or from their urine and fecal deposits can be an unforgettable sign that there is significant mouse activity in your home.
Next Steps for Protecting your Home from Mice and Rats
So you think you may have a mouse in the house. What do you do next? The safest answer is to call a pest control company that specializes in rodent control, rodent inspections, rodent removal and rodent exclusion. (Note: Exclusion means work that keeps mice from getting inside, physically blocking the holes and entry points, "excluding" them from the home.) Eastside Exterminators uses a team of specialized professionals to follow a proven and detailed 4-step process to solve any rodent problem, no matter how large or how small.
But solving the problem will always start with a careful, thorough rodent inspection. Our thorough, professional Rodent Inspection takes approximately 2-3 hours for a house less than 3,000 square feet.
Whatever you do, don't wait to address the problem. Mice breed quickly and often and can increase in number so rapidly that
There are plenty of things to do to prepare your home for the fall and winter onslaught of mice and rats. There are both inside and outside clean-up, preparation and sanitation measures you can use to help minimize available food and water that attracts rodents.
- Keep up with landscaping chores.
Don't let plants grow very close to your house. Rake up leaves that pile up against the foundation. Piles of leaves near your home are an open invitation to small rodents. They can hide in the vegetation while searching for an opening and you may never notice them. Keep plants and accumulated leaves at least 2 feet away from your home. Trim weeds and never allow debris to collect against the house. Cut back any trees or hedges that hang over your house. Stack any firewood away from the house and 18" off the ground.
- Prepare your house for the cool weather.
Inspect your weather stripping for cracks and other areas of weakness. Replace any weather-stripping that does not create a tight seal. Make sure you seal any cracks around windows and doors. Check where you repaired last season because weather-stripping and caulking are known to crack with temperature changes. Check all door frames, windows and window frames.
- Rodent-proof your home's exterior.
There may be some simple, obvious places on the outside of your home that let rats or mice just crawl right in! Any gap larger than 1/4 inch could potentially be used as an entry point. Inspect your foundation all the way around your home. Check where any home repairs were performed or where anything was installed. See if there are any holes around cable wires or plumbing and seal those holes with rodent-proof materials like copper wool or wire mesh. Check your exterior vents to make sure they're blocked with wire mesh. Inspect your roof, checking shingles, roof ventilators and vent screens to ensure that they are secure and undamaged.
- Remove food and water sources whenever possible.
Don't leave pet food outside. Feed pets in the morning and remove any uneaten food. Find and fix any leaky pipes or drains that could be a water source. Remove bird feeders (which we call "rat feeders") because spilled seeds are a favorite rodent snack and they attract rats and mice to your home. Check your crawl space for signs of water damage, as pools of water could be an excellent water supply for rats and mice.
- Check for other "Conducive Conditions" or circumstances in which are making rodent infestations more likely or possible. This includes but is not limited to ensuring that garbage does not pile up in garbage bins, remove garbage on a regular basis, don't let it stand for more than three days. Ensure that food is stored in rodent-proof containers like glass and metal.
This may seem like a lot to do, but don't worry, Eastside Exterminators has been solving and preventing these types of pest and rodent problems since 1969. We're here to perform all the difficult tasks and regularly monitor and guard your home against pests. We will make your home safer for your family and for your invited guests. Protecting your home, family and guests is a simple phone call away: (245) 482-2100.