Dealing With Rodents This Winter
Rats or mice going bump in the night and keeping you up? According to the experts, it’s no wonder these pests keep homeowners awake – one pair of mice has the potential to produce as many as 200 offspring in only four months.
Homeowners hear rodents at night when the pests venture out from their nesting spots, which are often in attics or wall voids.
Most mice and rats first go to the kitchen in search of food. In fact, rodents move indoors in search of food and optimal temperatures. Once inside, they can damage the structure of your home. Among the most destructive vertebrates in existence, mice and rats can chew through wood, plaster and electrical wiring.
Rodents also pose serious health threats – transmitting disease-causing organisms through urine, droppings and bites. Rats can carry more than 40 disease-causing viruses and bacteria, including Hantavirus and salmonella. The house mouse is the primary carrier of an illness called Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus, or LCMV, which causes symptoms such as headache, fever, chills and muscle aches in people with poor immune systems. Rodents also have been known to bite, most commonly sleeping babies, inquisitive children or the bedridden elderly.
Wild Animal Management
To stop mice and rats from taking up residence in your home, reduce rodent-appealing elements from and around your home. Implement the following tips to guard your home from the furry pests this winter:
- Seal any holes and gaps in floors, walls and ceilings with weather-resistant sealant, and install kick plates or sheet metal under exterior doors. Mice can squeeze through holes the size of the inside circle of a small coin, while rats can enter through openings the size of the outer circle of the coin.
- Trim and prune trees, shrubs or other plants that touch the exterior of the home and may provide rodents with access.
- Store firewood away from the house and more than 30 centimeters off the ground to minimize potential nesting sites.
- Keep food sources, including pet food and garbage, in tightly sealed containers. Do not leave dirty dishes out overnight.
If you notice droppings or signs of a rodent infestation around the house, contact a licensed pest control company to help identify the culprit and quickly eliminate the infestation.