You do not necessarily need to be living in a wooded area to be the victim of rodent infestation. Field mice or voles, rats and squirrels are just as eager to get out of the extreme weather conditions as you are. Unfortunately, rodents are known disease carriers and prolific breeders. Once they set up camp inside your house or commercial property, you have got a serious problem on your hands. There are some essential steps you can take to ensure you or your dog do not wake in the middle of the night from the squeaks and rustling noises emanating from within the walls.
Inspect Your Premises
The first, best defense against rodents breaching the confines of your property is in preparing both the inside and outside of your house. Start by inspecting the property. Doors, windows, vents and any other entry points such as those for cable lines into the building represent potential access for rodents. Here is an unsettling fact: Did you know that these animals are capable of gnawing through cinder block, metal sheathing, aluminum siding and even some concrete to gain access to your cozy home?
Take these steps to protect your environment:
- Fix holes, gaps and cracks in the structure
- Weatherstrip windows and doors and attach door sweeps
- Fix leaks in water pipes or drains that would provide an attractive source of refreshment
- Store firewood some distance from the home as it provides a great place for both pests and rodents to take protective cover
- Maintain a clean perimeter by raking up and disposing of any debris from landscaping that could serve as food for rodents
If that HVAC unit sitting on the ground-level slab of concrete has been idle for a while, take a moment to inspect the duct-work. Rodents prefer to inhabit the areas of the property that tend to go undisturbed. Who doesn’t like a little privacy?
Reduce the Accumulation of Clutter
If there was ever a reason to maintain a clean, uncluttered home aside from inviting friends and relatives over, it is the reality that unwanted rodents prefer the areas that tend to be ignored. They make themselves comfortable in boxes and bags, in closets and drawers and just about anywhere in the garage. They crave warm-fuzzies to make a nesting place, so any collection of clothes or fabrics and linens should be stored in plastic tubs. Follow the old rule: If you have not touched something in a year, perhaps it’s time to throw it out. It is precisely those untouched, long-left-alone zones that seem to flash the welcome sign for rodents.
A Focus on Food Storage
Storing edibles in air-tight containers not only keeps things fresher longer, but it also cuts down on the powerfully attractive aroma of food left out. Rodents deftly nibble their way through boxes and bags to get to their feasting treasures, particularly where grains and cereals are concerned. Unfortunately, all could be lost if they get into your food stores and leave hair, urine and feces behind. The harsh reality is that your food supplies could become a breeding ground for microscopic tapeworms with rodent infestation. If you see signs of droppings, it’s time to clean out the pantry and start fresh with tough, plastic, properly sealing containers.