Anyone who has ever experienced rodents in their home knows how unpleasant such an encounter can be. There is a range of different species that are commonly found in homes throughout the United States such as roof rats, Norway rats, voles, house mice, and deer mice. Rodents pose a range of problems when inside your home.
They are known to cause structural damage while trying to enter your home, gnawing on wood or even wires. Many rodents carry diseases such as salmonella, which can spread around your house through their excrement and when they get into your food.
Unfortunately for homeowners, many rodent species are social animals, meaning they travel and live in groups.
Therefore, if you’ve spotted one, chances are there are several more around your home. If you find yourself with a major rodent problem, your best option is probably to consult professional help. However, there are several tips to help you prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your home.
- Eliminate opportunities: Most homeowners focus primarily on controlling mice indoors, but what most people don’t realize is that oftentimes rodents are first attracted to your home by items outside.
- Avoid leaving piles of debris, boxes, or firewood stacked against your house. Rodents will use these items for the shelter and from there find entry into your home.
- Keep outdoor trashcans closed with sealed lids so rodents won’t be attracted to the food remnants in your garbage.
- Don’t leave items such as birdseed, flower bulbs, or pet food out in your garage. These items should also be stored in some sort of sealed container to avoid luring in rodents.
- Seal openings: Rodents can enter your home through very small openings, as small as ¼ of an inch. There are an endless number of places around your home where rodents might find an entryway.
- Check all window screens to ensure they aren’t loose or broken, allowing rodents inside.
- Thoroughly inspect all around your home, including attics and basements, for any openings. Because rodents can chew through many materials, use stronger, less penetrable items such as steel wool or sheet metal to seal openings.
- Remove food sources: Any sources of food in your house are a major attractor of rodents. Putting away food and basic cleaning practices are clear ways to prevent these pests, but there are a few less obvious ways to eliminate their food sources.
- Never leave pet food sitting out. Once your animals have finished eating, put away any extra food as rodents will see this as a feast.
- Regularly vacuum under couch cushions, a place often neglected but known to collect a lot of crumbs.
- Rodents enjoy grain foods such as cereals and rice. These food items usually come in boxes that don’t seal tightly. Therefore, you should consider purchasing sealable Tupperware to securely store grain foods, keeping these pests out and your food safe.
Following these basic pest control practices will go a long way toward preventing rodents around your home. However, even your best efforts may not eliminate these pests entirely. If you end up with rodents in your home, there are a few steps you can take to try and control them, but don’t hesitate to contact a professional, because rat or mice infestations can quickly become a major problem.